I watched Dambisa Moyo’s Ted talk: “Is China the new idol for emerging economies?” I decided to watch this talk because I am taking an African Economic Development course this semester and my professor mentioned Dambisa Moyo’s point of view on developing countries. This talk raised many interesting questions about economics and political systems.
Historically there has been a notion that the whole world should adopt private capitalism and liberal democracy. In other words countries should prioritize political rights over economic rights. Moyo disagrees with this theory and deems it an illusion. She believes the western obsession with political rights is flawed. She raises the question if a poor person had to choose between a roof over their head or a right to vote, which would they choose? I found this point intriguing. It seems obvious to me a poor person would probably care more about their basic necessities to survive, such as food and shelter, rather than their political rights.
Moyo uses China as an example of an economically successful country that can be a role model for emerging countries. China proves that democracy is not a prerequesite for economic growth and development. Instead she argues that economic growth is a prerequisite for democracy. Moyo believes countries need to establish and grow the middle class first in order to hold the government accountable for its actions. In conclusion Moyo disagrees with the western’s methods for development. She suggests the world should be more open-minded and look at alternative options of how to transform the world in order to make it a better place.
This Ted talk raised many important points. In my economics class this semester we have learned about the importance of a solid political system for development. Many African countries have corrupt authoritarian political systems. These corrupt governments have had a major impact on Africa’s weak economies. Moyo raises an alternative view. I am still unsure whether countries should prioritize economic or political rights.