I had reasonably positive views about Kaushik Basu 14 years ago. But over time, Basu has lurched to the left, then more to the left. Today he is talking the language of equality, not prosperity.
The first thing he does on becoming WB CE is to say that "reaching out to people who live in extreme poverty is a top priority for him in his new role" [Source]. How will he do that? Fund anti-poverty programs – which end up in the pocket of politicians and bureaucrats? Or by eliminating efficiency and increasing fairness?
While he was in India he did NOTHING to promote the negative income tax model I've been suggesting for the past 14 years (my detailed analysis – available online – was customised for India). That would have eliminated India's poverty. He did NOTHING for India's poor. He did NOTHING for liberty in India. He did NOTHING to fight corruption in India (merely spoke about regularising corruption).
What did he do for India? Nothing. And now he has been promoted to do his "nothing" for the world!
This is a purely political appointment. It has nothing to do with merit.
I've been reading Deirdre McCloskey recently, and she has shot close to the top of my list of the world's best living economists. (I'll make such a list separately.) I'd have been delighted to have Deirdre McCloskey as WB CE. The first thing she'd have said would have been: "LET'S FOSTER INNOVATION by increasing liberty".
It is sheer bliss to read McCloskey's work. I encourage you to read as much of it as you can.
Kaushik Basu is a very poor choice, but then, the World Bank doesn't count for much, anyway. The world will find the best answers for itself regardless of these overbearing government bodies.
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