Jesus Felipe is Advisor in the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, Philippines.


“To determine the laws which regulate. . . distribution, is the principal problem in Political Economy.” – Ricardo, Works, 1, p.5

“I can imagine a world fifty years from now in which the differences in economic performance among the rich countries are about the same as they are now. I cannot imagine another fifty years going by with as many people remaining poor. Either the poor countries must get considerably richer or the rich countries will have to organize the world in an apartheid-like way. Nobody wants a global apartheid. Therefore, the most important problem facing us today is economic growth for the poor countries.” (William W. Lewis 2004, The Power of Productivity, pp.251-252)

“Here is the greatest single problem and danger facing the world of the Third Millenniuim. The only other worry that comes close is environmental deterioration, and the two are intimately connected, indeed are one. They are one because wealth entails not only consumption but also waste, not only production but also destruction. It is this waste and destruction, which has increased enormously with output and income, that threatens the space we live and move in [...] Our task (the rich countries), in our own interest as well as theirs, is to help the poor become healthier and wealthier. If we do not, they will seek to take what they cannot make; and if they cannot earn by exporting commodities, they will export people. In short, wealth is an irresistible magnet; and poverty is a potentially ragging contaminant: it cannot be segregated, and our peace and prosperity depend in the long run on the well-being of others.” (David Landes 1998, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, p. xx)

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