UNCLOS based on outdated and discredited redistributionist ideas from the 1970s
[ Page 3 ]
This redistributionist, collectivist language, I’ve suggested, is archaic and this is not surprising. The treaty was drafted during the height of the G-77 – when many saw world poverty as the result of the west’s wealth. People in Africa, Asia, and South America were poor because we were rich; make us poorer and they will become richer! In that era, only foreign aid and other wealth redistribution schemes were viewed as offering any hope of alleviating world poverty. LOST was typical of the flawed policy prescriptions of that era. But the world has learned much over the last decades. Most now recognize that Foreign Aid, while occasionally useful in emergency relief situations, can too often stifle the entrepreneurial forces and political reforms which offer the only hope for sustainable economic growth. The work of Lord Peter Bauer, recipient of the Cato Institute Friedman Prize, showed that too often foreign aid is simply the transfer of wealth from the poor in the rich world to the rich in the poor world, that such wealth transfer programs hurt, rather than helped the poor. LOST was crafted in this era and it shows. Even the World Bank and its other international institutions increasingly recognize that the key to addressing poverty is for the affected nation states to move toward economic freedom, private property, a predictable rule of law, a reduction in domestic violence. To enshrine collective political management of the oceans does nothing to advance this cause.