This is a fantastic article by Naomi Klein in the UK’s Guardian about the World Bank. Her argument, with many historical facts to back it up, is that the World Bank was a flawed and hypocritical institution way before Paul Wolfowitz became bank president two years ago. All this spin the staff of the bank is doing now–touting their noble position of trying to end world poverty, wringing their hands that Wolfowitz is tarnishing their reputation—is rubbish.
Here’s what World Bank policy has been in the recent past:
It forced school fees on students in Ghana in exchange for a loan
It demanded that Tanzania privatize its water system
It made telecom privatization a condition of aid for Hurricane Mitch
It demanded labor “flexibility” in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami
It pushed for eliminating food subsidies in post-invasion Iraq.
Ecuador is rescinding their membership to the World Bank. Venezuela is following suit. Not because of Wolfowitz. But because the institution has never had these countries’ best interests at heart.
To read the article, click here.