Monday, January 31, 2005
delusions of property
John Gravois has written a cogent and much-needed take-down of Peruvian free-marketeer Hernando de Soto. De Soto's books The Other Path and The Mystery of Capital did much to call attention to the promise and possibilities inherent in squatter communities and they garnered great press in the U.S.. But his simplistic mechanism for empowering squatters -- providing title deeds and stepping back to watch their communities become wealthy -- has a spotty record where it matters most: in the squatter communities themselves.