Here's a little something to think about, post-Cancun:
Historically, countries that have achieved large reductions in poverty are generally those that have experienced rapid economic growth spurred in significant measure by openness to international trade. Newly industrialized economies such as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan have all been open to trade during the past four decades and have been entirely free of poverty, according to the dollar-a-day poverty line, for more than a decade. By contrast, during the 1960s and 1970s, India remained closed to trade, grew approximately 1 percent annually (in per capita terms), and experienced no reduction in poverty during that period.The piece punctures a number of other globalization myths, but doesn't answer the fundamental question: Why does every 18-year-old with more than one facial piercing see nobility in infantilizing the third world? Does the developed world exploit the poor countries? Sure. The symptoms of exploitation can readily be seen in the local development of a middle class, the rule of law, and infrastructure. Via A&LD.