Wednesday, March 08, 2006

OECD gravitates towards "enemies of liberty"

I thought the OECD was going soft. This news from the Independent Institute confirms it.


For about half of its life, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) attempted to defend and promote economic liberty in the West. As Independent Institute Research Fellow Pierre Lemieux explains,however, in the past
two decades the OECD has drifted toward government intervention.

Beginning in the 1980s, the OECD began advocating "fair competition" and a "global playing field," rather than free trade. Since the 1990s, it has also pushed both "socially responsible" corporate governance, which puts the alleged claims of so-called community "stake holders" on par with the claims of stockholders, and "sustainable development," which asserts presumptuously that long-run development requires the government to prevent private developers from acting against their own rational self-interest.

Although the OECD still does some good work (Lemieux lauds its country surveys and research on comparative health-care systems), the recent selection of Angel Gurria of Mexico to head the OECD in June, rather than the market-oriented classical liberal candidate Alain Madelin of France, bodes poorly for the organization -- and for the future of economic liberty.

Writes Lemieux: "Alain Madelin believes that the OECD will be more and more carried into the world governance movement, which, he explains, is where the enemies of liberty have refocused their fight. He adds, pessimistically, 'It is the end of the OECD.'"

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