The Fight For the Poor
Above: The people of El Paltel More hold up the written documents of legal title to their land. Source: "Power of the Poor", Free to Choose Network
an economist advocates for the poor
De Soto became the first person to clearly spell out the problem that has kept as much as 90% of the populations of Third World countries locked out from participating in a globalized economy.
He convinced the government of Peru that if they restructured the legal system to allow poor farmers and shopkeepers to get title to their homes, farms, and market stalls, they can then borrow against them and unlock the value of what they own.
"De Soto's ideas about how to empower the world's poor represent one of the most significant economic insights of our time," said Bill Clinton, former US President, of de Soto's ideas.
Peddler improves means of transporting his wares in Lima, Peru.
Photo: Luis Peirano
"For a person to understand that private property is a good thing, he must have an opportunity to get it as well."
The green chart of ILD data explains how many days and the cost to start a company in a third world country in the 1980s.
The second red chart lists key laws passed in Peru due to de Soto's reforms.
Source: Thepowerofthepoor.com. n.d. Web. 15 May 2017 <http://www.thepowerofthepoor.com/concepts/c7.php>
Source: Institute of Liberty and Democracy. Ild.org.pe. n.d. Web. 16 May 2017. <http://www.ild.org.pe/>
Street vendors's stalls appear as a white belt all around the Central Market.
Photos: El Comercio archive
"They have houses but no titles; crops but not deeds; businesses but not statutes of incorporation."
This video explains how the poor works outside of the economy, and therefore have businesses that are extra legal.
Source: The Power of the Poor. Video by Hernando de Soto Polar, Free to Choose Network.
"Between 1988 and 1995, he and the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD) were mainly responsible for some four hundred initiatives, laws, and regulations that led to significant changes in Peru's economic system."
Hum of voices at a Peruvian Market.