Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Throwing Out The Begging Bowl: Defeating Poverty in the 21st Century
The Band of Patriots ^ | July 29, 2012 | Matthew Monos

Posted on 08/02/2012 2:00:51 PM PDT by orthodoxyordeath

The 21st century will be remembered for many things: the Arab Spring, the Kyoto Protocol implementation, the Iraq war or another of the countless influential events. However, the Western World’s legacy for the century may be one based on history’s best-intended yet most misguided movements, foreign development advocacy. Foreign development advocacy, the term sounds pleasant enough on the surface. However, development advocacy does not ask for individual citizens to donate money to help build up poor countries, but rather these advocacy groups, such as Bono’s ONE Campaign, ask for developed nations worldwide to increase government funding for international aid programs. The solution to world poverty though is not for Western nations to throw money to the poor in recompense for their own richness and the omnipresent sins of colonialism. The solution is not to give money until all nations are on equal footing, but rather, to help nations create an environment conducive to the creation and increase of wealth. To create an environment of economic growth, three things must be achieved, law and order; population growth and consolidation and the end of foreign aid. Law and order is the first requirement to any nation being able to eliminate poverty. Economist Thomas Sowell notes that, “Wherever government authority breaks down...economic stagnation or even retrogression is seldom far behind” (Sowell 199). Law and order does not necessarily mean democratic law and order, but simply stability in governmental rule. A nation may be somewhat unfree, but still economically prosperous, simply by virtue of its laws being dependable and uncorrupt. Democracy, of course, is preferable, as there are correlations between government corruption and subsequent black market activity and over-regulation (Wilhelm). By creating governance that is not subject to constant regime change, the resulting reliability will increase investor’s willingness and desire to trade. A full-fledged legal system, particularly one that recognizes property rights, something hugely important for the poor, is an integral part of creating this governance. This is evidenced by the fact that the five most unpeaceful nations (Global Peace Index), Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and North Korea rank 191st, 112th, 143rd, 170th and 129th in GDP per capita respectively (CIA World Factbook) So, because “trade contributes to growth...by...increasing the amount of actual goods and services...a country sells abroad, and by driving up productivity of the workforce,” (Moyo 114) a lawful and orderly country will receive an influx of capital, as well as the means to tap its own capital. Economists and politicians often argue over the ideas of “overpopulation,” debating the merits of population control via control of fertility to slow down the high birth rates in undeveloped nations. However, an interesting fact to consider about population is that many of the poorest nations, such as those in Sub-Saharan Africa, have the lowest populations per square mile (The Economist). In Africa for example, therefore, the problem is not “overpopulation,” but too low concentration of that population. This is because “thinly populated areas means much higher costs per person to supply water, electricity, sewage lines, telephone lines, hospitals and other numerous costly things” (Sowell 204). This does not mean governments should begin force relocation of their citizenry, but rather, that governments should create an environment in which people move towards towns and population centers, much like Europeans in the Middle Ages. Many humanitarians often cry out about the lack of basic amenities in the developing world, however, until people coalesce in larger population areas, it is economically unfeasible to provide them with amenities such as running water and electricity. For people to want to move into population centers, there need to be tangible property rights regarding housing ownership, as well as laws upheld to keep the balance in these areas. If the undeveloped world is to ever fully break of the shackles of poverty, systematic foreign governmental aid must end, completely. Systematic aid is different from emergency and charity based aid, both of which should always be given. Instead, systematic aid refers to “aid payments made directly to governments either through government-to-government transfers...or transferred via institutions such as the World Bank” (Moyo 7). In 2005, Sharon LaFraniere noted that, “Too much of the $300 million in aid to Africa since 1980 has vanished into a sinkhole of fraud, malfeasance and waste” (IMF). This is because systematic foreign aid creates a cyclical mess, in which despotic regimes are given money to help their citizenry, which they then use to prop themselves up, further entrenching corruption and poverty within the government, therefore resulting in calls for more aid for the suffering citizenry. Ironically, systematic aid does promote growth, that is, the growth of corruption and power of despots. There are markets rising at a meteoric pace in places such as India, China, Russia and Brazil. Conversely, “as many as thirty other developing countries, mainly aid-dependent nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, have failed to generate consistent economic growth and have... regressed” (Moyo 29) Ghanaian economist George Ayittey notes that “Back in the 1960s Africa not only fed itself, it also exported food. Not anymore” (TED) There is nothing inherently different or deficient about the people in underdeveloped regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Rather, there is a complacency and dependency that has developed in these regions, in which the elite power-holders (and citizens too sometimes) are perfectly content with basking in the inefficient status quo of systematic aid. George Ayittey also notes that for example, back in his home continent of Africa, “40 percent of the wealth created in Africa is not invested here in Africa...It’s taken out of Africa” (TED) Over the last thirty years, “aid-dependent nations have had growth rates averaging minus 0.2 per cent per annum” (Moyo 46). The Chief Economist at the British Department of Trade and Industry remarked that “they know its crap, but it sells the T-shirts” (PBS) This is the problem with aid, in most people’s hearts, they know aid won’t, and hasn’t worked, but they feel they are obligated to give the money. These people’s selfishness in seeking to fulfill their own sense of purpose does not help the poor, but damages them, in many cases, irreparably. Poverty is not something that can ever be eliminated, contrary to what some economists and politicians say. To eliminate poverty, human greed, selfishness, power-seeking and evil would all have to be wiped out, something that will never happen. Poverty therefore cannot be gotten rid of, but rather, the people in poverty can be given the tools to get themselves out of poverty. It is not a simple matter of “sending more aid,” or “cutting all the aid,” or “setting up democracies.” Repairing the bottom rung of the ladder so that the poor can pull themselves out of their situations, on their own is a complex, multi-faceted issue. No people has ever gotten themselves out of a bad situation simply by virtue of diffusing responsibility to someone else. If the poor are ever going to be not poor, they must have law and order, a large population and no foreign aid. The poor - they must make the journey on their own.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Government; History
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/02/2012 2:01:00 PM PDT by orthodoxyordeath
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: orthodoxyordeath

Sorry, dunno why it formatted itself into a giant text block. If you want a correctly formatted article, it’s correct on the site. Again, really sorry.


2 posted on 08/02/2012 2:03:37 PM PDT by orthodoxyordeath
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: orthodoxyordeath

Throwing Out The Begging Bowl: Defeating Poverty in the 21st Century

Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 1:30PM Matthew Monos Print Article

    The 21st century will be remembered for many things: the Arab Spring, the Kyoto Protocol implementation, the Iraq war or another of the countless influential events. However, the Western World’s legacy for the century may be one based on history’s best-intended yet most misguided movements, foreign development advocacy. Foreign development advocacy, the term sounds pleasant enough on the surface. However, development advocacy does not ask for individual citizens to donate money to help build up poor countries, but rather these advocacy groups, such as Bono’s ONE Campaign, ask for developed nations worldwide to increase government funding for international aid programs. The solution to world poverty though is not for Western nations to throw money to the poor in recompense for their own richness and the omnipresent sins of colonialism. The solution is not to give money until all nations are on equal footing, but rather, to help nations create an environment conducive to the creation and increase of wealth.  To create an environment of economic growth, three things must be achieved, law and order; population growth and consolidation and the end of foreign aid.
    Law and order is the first requirement to any nation being able to eliminate poverty. Economist Thomas Sowell notes that, “Wherever government authority breaks down...economic stagnation or even retrogression is seldom far behind” (Sowell 199). Law and order does not necessarily mean democratic law and order, but simply stability in governmental rule. A nation may be somewhat unfree, but still economically prosperous, simply by virtue of its laws being dependable and uncorrupt. Democracy, of course, is preferable, as there are correlations between government corruption and subsequent black market activity and over-regulation (Wilhelm). By creating governance that is not subject to constant regime change, the resulting reliability will increase investor’s willingness and desire to trade. A full-fledged legal system, particularly one that recognizes property rights, something hugely important for the poor, is an integral part of creating this governance. This is evidenced by the fact that the five most unpeaceful nations (Global Peace Index), Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and North Korea rank 191st, 112th, 143rd, 170th and 129th in GDP per capita respectively (CIA World Factbook) So, because “trade contributes to growth...by...increasing the amount of actual goods and services...a country sells abroad, and by driving up productivity of the workforce,” (Moyo 114) a lawful and orderly country will receive an influx of capital, as well as the means to tap its own capital.
    Economists and politicians often argue over the ideas of “overpopulation,” debating the merits of population control via control of fertility to slow down the high birth rates in undeveloped nations. However, an interesting fact to consider about population is that many of the poorest nations, such as those in Sub-Saharan Africa, have the lowest populations per square mile (The Economist). In Africa for example, therefore, the problem is not “overpopulation,” but too low concentration of that population. This is because “thinly populated areas means much higher costs per person to supply water, electricity, sewage lines, telephone lines, hospitals and other numerous costly things” (Sowell 204). This does not mean governments should begin force relocation of their citizenry, but rather, that governments should create an environment in which people move towards towns and population centers, much like Europeans in the Middle Ages. Many humanitarians often cry out about the lack of basic amenities in the developing world, however, until people coalesce in larger population areas, it is economically unfeasible to provide them with amenities such as running water and electricity. For people to want to move into population centers, there need to be tangible property rights regarding housing ownership, as well as laws upheld to keep the balance in these areas.
    If the undeveloped world is to ever fully break of the shackles of poverty, systematic foreign governmental aid must end, completely. Systematic aid is different from emergency and charity based aid, both of which should always be given. Instead, systematic aid refers to “aid payments made directly to governments either through government-to-government transfers...or transferred via institutions such as the World Bank” (Moyo 7). In 2005, Sharon LaFraniere noted that, “Too much of the $300 million in aid to Africa since 1980 has vanished into a sinkhole of fraud, malfeasance and waste” (IMF). This is because systematic foreign aid creates a cyclical mess, in which despotic regimes are given money to help their citizenry, which they then use to prop themselves up, further entrenching corruption and poverty within the government, therefore resulting in calls for more aid for the suffering citizenry. Ironically, systematic aid does promote growth, that is, the growth of corruption and power of despots.
    There are markets rising at a meteoric pace in places such as India, China, Russia and Brazil. Conversely, “as many as thirty other developing countries, mainly aid-dependent nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, have failed to generate consistent economic growth and have... regressed” (Moyo 29) Ghanaian economist George Ayittey notes that “Back in the 1960s Africa not only fed itself, it also exported food. Not anymore” (TED) There is nothing inherently different or deficient about the people in underdeveloped regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Rather, there is a complacency and dependency that has developed in these regions, in which the elite power-holders (and citizens too sometimes) are perfectly content with basking in the inefficient status quo of systematic aid. George Ayittey also notes that for example, back in his home continent of Africa, “40 percent of the wealth created in Africa is not invested here in Africa...It’s taken out of Africa” (TED) Over the last thirty years, “aid-dependent nations have had growth rates averaging minus 0.2 per cent per annum” (Moyo 46). The Chief Economist at the British Department of Trade and Industry remarked that “they know its crap, but it sells the T-shirts” (PBS) This is the problem with aid, in most people’s hearts, they know aid won’t, and hasn’t worked, but they feel they are obligated to give the money. These people’s selfishness in seeking to fulfill their own sense of purpose does not help the poor, but damages them, in many cases, irreparably.
    Poverty is not something that can ever be eliminated, contrary to what some economists and politicians say. To eliminate poverty, human greed, selfishness, power-seeking and evil would all have to be wiped out, something that will never happen. Poverty therefore cannot be gotten rid of, but rather, the people in poverty can be given the tools to get themselves out of poverty. It is not a simple matter of “sending more aid,” or “cutting all the aid,” or “setting up democracies.” Repairing the bottom rung of the ladder so that the poor can pull themselves out of their situations, on their own is a complex, multi-faceted issue. No people has ever gotten themselves out of a bad situation simply by virtue of diffusing responsibility to someone else. If the poor are ever going to be not poor, they must have law and order, a large population and no foreign aid. The poor - they must make the journey on their own.


3 posted on 08/02/2012 2:43:22 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("I love to hear you talk talk talk, but I hate what I hear you say."-Del Shannon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson