Wednesday, 14 October 2009

“The poor are not helpless victims” – Hernando de Soto

In yesterday’s interview about his new book, former NZ PM Mike Moore mentioned he was a chum of Hernando de Soto, and that de Soto in fact wrote his (Moore’s) introduction.

So who’s Hernando de Soto then? He’s a hero. A man who maintains “the poor are not helpless victims in need of rescue, but entrepreneurial people capable of pulling themselves out of poverty when left free to do so.” Here’s an introduction, a documentary from Free to Choose Media featuring Hernando de Soto which began airing in the US on October 8 [hat tip Free Agents Network]:

“Filmed on location from Latin America to Africa, The Power of the Poor demonstrates how free markets, individual freedom and especially the right to property can transform the poor into the most powerful resource in the world. At its heart is the potential triumph of capitalism as a system.”


  1. I have always viewed poor people as being a lot of lazy b*ggers who are responsible for their own lot in life; alcohol, bad genes and indolence being the main causes of poverty.

    Glad this Spaniard chappie agrees that poor people do not require handouts.

  2. Mike Moore is becoming something of a hero - I will purchase his book.

    Imagine what the poor in Africa could achieve with just a small dose of property rights and individual freedom...and possibly a few arms to overthrow their corrupt governments wouldn't hurt either.

  3. @Ruth: Exactly.

    @Elijah: Actually, this "Spanish chappie" views the poor precisely the opposite of the way you describe.

    And he's not a "Spanish chappie." He's "a Peruvian economist known for his work on the informal economy and on the importance of business and property rights." And a hero.

  4. Ruth, quite it is in fact the core reason why Africa fails.

    Elijah: Given you want a massive handout according to this comment you can hardly talk, you Elbonian hypocrite.

    Some libertarian you are wanting taxpayers forced to pay NZ$1.5 billion for an underground railway tunnel that will be worth a fraction of that when it is completed.

    Most people who are poor in most of the world don't have alcohol, bad genes or indolence, because with indolence they die. What they need is the right to apply their minds freely to the world around them, the right to own what they produce, educate their kids how they wish and not face theft and control from governments - it would help if Western countries stopped subsidising the production of goods they are no longer very good at.

  5. Wow,

    What a find libertyscott!! Ka pai. Some libertarian indeed.

  6. It must be 'Conference Season'... *sigh*

  7. Wannabe Libertarian15 Oct 2009, 09:32:00

    Spot on LibertyScott. Elijah Lineberry seems to be everywhere on the net spouting out nonsense. This idiot seems to do more harm to the Libz's image every time he opens his mouth. Keep your mouth shut Eli or otherwise argue the issue in a sensible manner , ie, like a true Libertarian. You're a bigot and you always talk (indirectly) about white supremacy on the net (which is un-Libertarian). Do us a favour Eli and don't spoil the good image of the Libz philosophies.

  8. Just before anyone reading these childish comments from the Peter Keatings of the Libertarianz believes them... blogging on the 'net is quite accurate and an espousal of libertarian philosophy, together with strong criticism of the John Key government..(with a few bits of gossip thrown in for amusement)

    Perhaps people should read what is actually written, and in context, rather than what they deperately wish 'had' been written.

    Rather ironic that 'freedom of speech' advocates what to silence someone! hahahahahaha!!

  9. Elijah: The context is a post on Kiwiblog supportive of a taxpayer funded underground rail loop in Auckland. You expressed gleeful support for it. You didn't make the only libertarian response which is "fine, let those who want it pay for it, voluntarily".

    Secondly you expressed your childlike opinion on poor people, which is as collectivist and non-objectivist as can be, then demonstrated rather pathetic stereotyping of a rather clever man from Peru as a "Spaniard".

    I'd never suppress your freedom of speech on someone else's blog.

    Childish comments? Look in the mirror.

  10. Actually, Scott, the post's context was a quip meaning that if the Britomart to Mt Eden rail system needs to be paid for it should be paid for by the rest of the Country; so many provincial people moan about paying for Auckland motorways and I was basically saying "and you idiots should pay for rail up here, too"

    Sorry you have no sense of humour.. *shrugs*

  11. Wannabe Libertarian15 Oct 2009, 10:30:00

    One just have to look at the following comment (one of many) from Elijah at Kiwiblog, which makes some folks automatically think that the Libz is somehow associated with the skinheads.

    Elijah Lineberry:

    Jacinta Ardern, a shallow ‘temporary’ MP [deleted by DPF and 20 demerits for personal remarks] certainly is not being honest when she claims voluntary membership was a disaster.

    A good question would be “A disaster for whom?” or perhaps “who lost out and therefore found it a disaster?”

    It is difficult enough these days for the parents of students from ‘good backgrounds’ – (decent, sensible, silent majority, law abiding white people) – to keep their children away from ‘bad influences’ in life – (working class children, troublemakers, foreigners, socialists) – that when these impressionable fellows get to University they should not have Labour/Green party politics thrust down their throats by self appointed University Student Association troublemakers and loudmouths.

    Furthermore they should not be required to pay for that nonsense.

    [DPF: I'm shaking my head at your comment about law abiding white people]

  12. Nobody with half a brain would think that.

    I also doubt you are a Libz member or you would sign your name and are simply mischief making; by the sounds of it you are redbaiter.

  13. Wannabe Libertarian15 Oct 2009, 10:56:00

    Eli, I am no Redbaiter, however I am attracted to the Libz philosophies. I was apolitical before, till I ran into Helen Hughes here up north last year by chance. I never knew that there is something called libertarian. What I heard from her opened up my mind to things that I never thought of before (as an apolitical person). I may end up joining Helen and the Libz crews here up north at some stage, but I am appalled to see idiots like you devaluing what Libz stands for (equality with no state coercion) with your bigotry.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Elijah, like I said, you seemed to approve of a huge taxpayer funded project. Humour is a subjective thing, but I think it's worth opposing this enormous waste of money instead of making a vague joke that DOESN'T say what you just said.

    No one with half a brain thinks it's funny to say people with good backgrounds are white, nor that it is anything but destructive to libertarian politics to have someone who expresses such "jokes". Similarly stereotyping anyone poor as having poor genes smells of eugenics, and you're woefully ignorant if you don't know what that implies.

    I don't know if you're really racist or not. I've never met you, but it is enough that I worry that you are - those who haven't encountered Libertarianz nefore who encounter you as a self-styled libertarian see this and at best will think it's childish and tiresome, at worst that you're serious and it is a party that is racist, opposes individual aspiration and thinks personal success is about genetics.

    If you can't see how destructive that is, then you're more stupid than you make out. The world isn't like a closeted branch of the British Conservative Party in the 1960s.

  16. Incidentally Liberty Scott when my kids were little they were always on at me to sponsor a child from Africa. I always used to say that if you want to help Africans you should send them arms ;-)

  17. A few months ago I discovered the series "Commanding Heights". I would highly recommend watching all three 2 hour episodes to anyone that wants to know anything about the economic history of the world for the past century. It most have more educational power than an economics degree. All three episodes are in Google video and De Soto features in the third episode:

  18. Ruthie: arms not alms!
    Very good!


Comments are moderated to encourage honest conversation, and remove persistent trolls.