Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Useless aid for Africa

Jonathan Tobin makes the obvious point regarding the Life8 crew's self-righteous and self-congratulatory demand that the rich nations send ever more money to Africa:

Geldoff wants concert-goers to exert pressure on the Bush administration and other heads of state in advance of the annual G8 conference of industrial powers, to be held next month in Scotland. It's simple: Listen to music, and then make the rich give to the poor. Self-righteousness comes pretty cheap these days, and you'd have to be an incorrigible curmudgeon to say anything bad about it, wouldn't you? But there's a real problem with this mass-produced activism: It isn't likely to help the Third World poor. As it so happens, the developed nations, including the wicked Americans, have already donated untold billions for this very purpose. The United Nations, the World Bank and the G-8 countries have all tried their hand at it. And yet, the result hasn't been what they intended. Instead of ending poverty, the money earmarked for aid to impoverished Africans and expensive development projects has had little effect on the availability of clean water, the control of diseases or even the AIDS pandemic. What aid to Third World nations has instead done is reinforce the power of the small, undemocratic and corrupt elites in those countries, and enrich them while consigning virtually everybody else to despair.
Wasn't it Hillary or Bill who said, to the MSM's appreciative amusement, that insanity is doing the identical thing over and over again, but expecting a different result? Tobin points out the better way -- a way that is proven:
But there is a model for how a debt-ridden nation can free itself of the bonds of foreign economic control. Interestingly enough, it took place right here in Philly. Some 215 years ago, when the American republic was in its infancy, the United States was weighed down with debt, and newly inaugurated President George Washington was faced with a bankrupt economy. But rather than follow the advice of followers of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and allow debts to be repudiated, Washington listened to Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton believed that America could prosper only by establishing a government that paid its debts, supported its currency and encouraged a free economy for its citizens. And that's exactly what he did. To the amazement of the world, the credit of the United States was soon good, and the American economic engine was primed to take on Europe. If we live in prosperity today, it's because of the vision of Hamilton, whom biographer Ron Chernow aptly described as "the prophet of the capitalist revolution in America," and not that of the agrarian Jefferson.