WHEN ANNOUNCING A GOAL IS ENOUGH TO ACHIEVE IT. Some 50 years ago, when I was studying economics, the field of development economics was coming into existence. A fundamental question for research was what countries should do to grow. It turned out that this question was a very difficult one, and there were many discouraging years ahead. I have posted, for example here, on recent practical successes in reducing poverty.
This article on economic development in the Economist (February 28) seems to veer into a New Age way of thinking that seems more prevalent lately—that announcing lofty goals to the universe will lead to those goals being accomplished. The second sentence of the article is: “[The United Nations] is deservedly proud of having already met its goal of halving the share of people living in extreme poverty by the end of this year, compared with the level of 1990.”