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Just Another Emperor? The Myths and Realities of Philanthrocapitalism Perfect Paperback – April 5, 2008
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While it's true that international aid and the organizations that control it (the World Bank, the IMF) have not been wildly successful, it seems to me a big jump to claim that wide-scale development can be accomplished by setting the world's poor up in business. Edwards makes the case for stepping back a bit and fully analyzing the impacts, especially the long-term ones, that philanthrocapitalism is having, and is likely to have, on the way we understand and manage economic and social policy. His caution makes good sense.
That's not to say that for-profit social ventures haven't been a positive force. Some certainly have, particularly those that are created by offering micro-credit to individuals and communities through institutions such as the Grameen Bank and more recently Kiva. But Edwards' encouragement to look deeply at these hybrids before fully embracing them as the best approach is welcome, and should give pause to those making broad claims for capitalism as a solver of a very complex set of problems.