Dan Henninger cites a useful stat in his Friday WSJ column. "The Red Cross estimates that for the past ten years when a natural disaster occurred in a developing country, the number of people killed was 589; but in what the Red Cross calls a country of 'high human development' it was 51. That's 11 to 1. ... The answer is to compress this ratio."
Much of the commentary about the Indian Ocean tsunami notes how unkind nature can be, how fragile we are, etc. (David Brooks' "A Time to Mourn" in today's NY Times.) Of course. But we can compress the ratio.
Development is the only way. And it is dawning on more and more people that economic freedoms are the only way to development.