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Freedom and World Prosperity We in the United States are keenly aware of these annual gatherings, the importance of them--you drive the work of all of us in maintaining a strong international economic and financial system.
This is my first opportunity to speak to you as President of the United States. But I have followed the activities of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank throughout my years of public service. I have visited many of your homelands and seen firsthand the problems created by inadequate growth and development, problems that your two distinguished institutions are working hard to solve.
We have witnessed a dramatic shift over the past few years in the debate over how to achieve sustained growth and development.
All across the world, there has been an almost simultaneous rediscovery of the power created when individuals are given the freedom to act in their own best interests.
Economic and Political Freedoms:
True, we are here today mainly to discuss economic freedom. But make no mistake; in the end, both economic freedom and political freedom are essential and inseparable companions on the road to national prosperity.
The jury is no longer out. Look at the two economic systems and see which has prospered and which has struggled. Let us put an end to this economic experiment, because history has decided.
It is not climate, natural resources, or cultural traditions that make the difference. I said it in my own inaugural address: "We know what works. Freedom works... We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Eart--through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state."
In Latin America, Africa, and Mexico, courageous leaders are …