Today, every office in the small South American nation of Bolivia is closed as the country celebrates its 185th Independence Day. Every office, that is, but the tiny, sparsely equipped mayoral office of Pasorapa.
Countries and economies have prospered without the effective rule of law; ones haven't even though they may have it; and plenty of companies are willing to invest even in abysmal or deteriorating conditions.
The problems I witnessed -- abandonment of children and the brutal view on HIV/AIDS -- are the outgrowth of extreme poverty. Bolivia is the poorest country in South America -- we don't have the luxury to turn our backs.