Sweet smell of success (WTF? edition)

In the adjacent post I describe Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim as unqualified to head the World Bank — the position to which he has been nominated by President Obama — but that may be too charitable. His views on global economic development (the mission of the World Bank) are so wide of the mark they are scary. He appears to believe that the rest of the world is poor because we are rich.

Is that too harsh? Check out the collection Dying for Growth (seriously, that’s the name) — as the lead editor, his one foray into the economics of development. And check out who wrote the first blurb on the cover:

Viewing the contemporary world from the perspective of health outcomes, this penetrating and often harrowing inquiry provides a wealth of valuable insights and analyses, woven together with in-depth studies that are poignant, vivid, and highly informative. It is a challenge to complacency, a thoughtful and compelling call to action —Noam Chomsky

In Edward O’Neil’s book Awakening Hippocrates, Kim is quoted talking about his time as a tag-along to Paul Farmer at Partners in Health (an organization that is one of Kim’s claims to fame). Kim describes the animating philosophy of the organization as wedding together two “great thinkers” — Noam Chomsky and Gustavo Gutierrez, the founder of liberation theology. You can see the quote in the Amazon listing linked above at page 364 (search for Chomsky).

In short, Kim is not only astonishingly unqualified for the position to which he has been nominated. Based on his views of global poverty and economic growth, he would be positively harmful to the poor of the world. But, hey, you can say that Kim will do his best to do for global economic development what Obama has done for our own.