If you really want to help the poor, this is a must read.
It's not written well which makes it a bit of a drudge to read, but who said helping the poor would be easy?
Naturally no one has a magic bullet for this problem, but DeSoto clearly shines some much needed light on the subject of what structural changes are required and how they might be accomplished. He also gives some incredibly fascinating history of how the US became successful. This is not just for fun though, he uses it as a yardstick to determine if poor countries are making progress or not. Very insightful.
Best explanation for social and economic problems ever
Hernando de Soto is a Peruian businessman who has the natural instincts and intuitive insight of a prophet. In "The Mystery of Capital" he lays bare the reason why 80 to 90 percent of Humankind suffer needlessly in poverty throughout their lives. I have read extensively on Marx, Lenin, and Mao and felt that they either ignore the fundamental and intractable flaws of human nature or have missed something vital philosophically. This emptiness is the reason for my anti-Communist/anti-Socialist views. It wasn't that I loved Capitalism, but that I "knew" that Communism would become a path for the growth of an elitist ruling class. At last, I've found an explanation for why the great icons of collectivism and corporatism were wrong. Hernando de Soto, without obfiscation, tells the reader why Capitalism is not money, nor land, nor any other asset but a legal process which entitles every human being to reap the benefits of what they have built and what they produce. It is the only workable path for a society to produce wealth and secure it for all their people. Adam Smith was a man who described Capitalism in broad strokes which left few clues how to do it. De Soto tells the nuts and bolts of a working engine of the wealth of nations. This should be required reading for High School students. This should be a prerequisite for running for elected office. It is truly a work of high intellect which is very readable by the average man or woman.
The product was in great condition, but it took WAY longer to get it than I expected. I ordered 2 other books the same day as this one, and they both came almost 2 wks before this one. I would order from someone else before coming back here.
This book, though ten years old, is as relevant today as the day it was written. Should be mandatory reading for everyone in the United Nations and for anyone who cares about freedom and the third world.
"The hour of capitalism's greatest triumph," writes Hernando de Soto, "is, in the eyes of four-fifths of humanity, its hour of crisis." In The Mystery of Capital, the world-famous Peruvian economist takes up the question that, more than any other, is central to one of the most crucial problems the world faces today: Why do some countries succeed at capitalism while others fail? In strong opposition to the popular view that success is determined by cultural differences, de Soto finds that it actually has everything to do with the legal structure of property and property rights. Every developed nation in the world at one time went through the transformation from predominantly informal, extralegal ownership to a formal, unified legal property system. In the West we've forgotten that creating this system is also what allowed people everywhere to leverage property into wealth. This persuasive book will revolutionize our understanding of capital and point the way to a major transformation of the world economy.