The author of J-walkblog.com threw out the suggestion on his website that if we had taken the 200 billion dollars used to free Iraq saving maybe 100,000 lives a year and instead put that money to foreign aid for starving countries; we could have saved 20 million lives a year instead. Well it certainly sounds nice on paper. But an African economist put his finger on the problem of that kind of thinking. ( hat tip little green footballs)
A Kenya-based economist begins to see the way out of Africa�s self-reinforcing tragedy: Economist Blames Aid for Africa Famine.
DAKAR, Senegal - In Niger, a desert country twice the size of Texas, most of the 11 million people live on a dollar a day. Forty percent of children are underfed, and one out of four dies before turning 5. And that�s when things are normal. Throw in a plague of locusts, and a familiar spectacle emerges: skeletal babies, distended bellies, people too famished to brush the flies from their faces.
To the aid workers charged with saving the dying, the immediate challenge is to raise relief money and get supplies to the stricken areas. They leave it to the economists and politicians to come up with a lasting remedy. One such economist is James Shikwati. He blames foreign aid.
When aid money keeps coming, all our policy-makers do is strategize on how to get more, said the Kenya-based director of the Inter Region Economic Network, an African think tank.
They forget about getting their own people working to solve these very basic problems. In Africa, we look to outsiders to solve our problems, making the victim not take responsibility to change.
JB here: If you don't understand the inherent greed and corruption of the human heart you'll always believe in the possibility of utopia. Wouldn't it be nice of 200 billion dollars American money actually provided food to the impoverished. But that NEVER HAPPENS. The rulers, dictators, kings, princes and politicians end up with the money; not the people. To give foreign aid is to simply further the corruption of the already corrupt. The poor NEVER benefit from the largesse.