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Thursday, May 15, 2008


Myanmar Crisis

Since I've been following the recent crises in Myanmar I thought I would check out the Economic situation of the country and share what I learn with you all. I went to CIA World Factbook at this link: https://webmail.uccs.edu/SRedirect/www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bm.html to get a quick overview of the country. The country obviously includes most of the symptoms for a bad economic situation.

The country for all intensive purposes has been under military rule since 1962. Today there is much unrest and instability in the country. The junta refused to give up leadership of the country to the rightfully elected president in 2003. There are are other major corruption issues in the country as well. It is a big source country for human trafficking and there is bound to be other major humanitarian issues in the country.

The country has been devestated by the cyclone and the situation is just getting worse. The latest state media report raised the death toll to 43,318, with nearly 28,000 still missing and another two million in dire need of help. Red Cross says there is a good chance that 128,000 people could be dead already. We'll probably never know the real numbers. Even the number of people who died in hurricane Katrina in the US was vastly under-reported. I learned this by talking to people who were there when the storm hit. But what we do know is that the situation is bad.

There are many ideas from Mancur Olsen's writings that can be applied to this situation. The main story obviously is corruption's negative impact on the country which is discussed in power and prosperity. International aid is not being allowed into the country. Why would the junta government refuse aid to its people? There must be big issues, probably humanitarian, in the country that the government is hiding. I'm suprised that the junta isn't letting aid in just for the sake of its perception in the eyes of the people.

It could be that a revolution rises up because of this situation. This is a catastrophic event that could completely change the country around. It could be that good comes out of this tragic situation if you follow the reasoning from the Rise and Decline of Nations. We will wait and see what unfolds.

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