Some of us are getting a little too excited about Presidential Study Directive #7

Professor Philip Auerswald published a spirited rebuttal to my post on the US government process reforming policy towards global development. In all the heated excitement on this subject, a few points may have been overlooked: (1) my post was signed "Laura Freschi", (2) my name is not "Laura Freschi", (3) there is a very gifted writer on the Aid Watch blog whose name is "Laura Freschi." I do confess I have had trouble getting consumed with thrills about the whole PSD 7 exercise. I actually got an earlier leak on the process a while ago, in which there was an attempt to get consensus from all the US government experts on development. One of the consensus conclusions was that higher productivity was an important deteminant of development. I really have to agree with that one, since the definition of productivity was GDP per worker and the definition of development was GDP per worker. At least we finally have agreed that if you increase GDP per worker, it is likely to increase GDP per worker.

Professor Auerswald was consulted during the PSD 7 process and he asked me if I was. I vaguely remember that I was invited to a meeting with a US government big shot on development whose name I've forgotten, to take place in Washington. I failed to do my patriotic duty, using the lame excuse that the meeting was two days before Christmas, and I unreasonably treat the days around Christmas as belonging to Family Zone.

Professor Auerswald (sorry for my teasing you in this post), you do seem to have a theory of social change in which promises about government intentions to someday change priorities are a major force. My experience of many years of observing such statements is that they are more like New Year's resolutions that are repeated every year.

I do heartily believe development change is possible and indeed is already happening, but I still  have these nagging doubts that PSD #7 will go down in history as the major turning point.