Let’s not repeat the absurd narrative that Wolfowitz’s indiscretions have ruined an otherwise laudable antipoverty organization.
It’s not the act itself, it’s the hypocrisy. That’s the line on Paul Wolfowitz, coming from editorial pages around the world. It’s neither: not the act (disregarding the rules to get his girlfriend a pay raise) nor the hypocrisy (the fact that Wolfowitz’s mission as World Bank president is fighting for “good governance”).
First, let’s dispense with the supposed hypocrisy problem. “Who wants to be lectured on corruption by someone telling them to ‘do as I say, not as I do’?” asked one journalist. No one, of course. But that’s a pretty good description of the game of one-way strip poker that is our global trade system, in which the United States and Europe — via the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization — tell the developing world, “You take down your trade barriers and we’ll keep ours up.” From farm subsidies to the Dubai Ports World scandal, hypocrisy is our economic order’s guiding principle. READ MORE