Skip to comments.Haiti Doesn't Need Your Yoga Mat
Posted on 10/12/2011 12:22:29 PM PDT by nickcarraway
A visual history of the West's misguided attempts to send its hand-me-downs to the developing world.
Most of us don't have billions of dollars to give away like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. But the charitable impulse is still strong: combined, Americans gave away almost $300 billion in 2010. Sometimes, though, good intentions have questionable results. In the rush to help after a crisis, public and private donors from around the world sometimes give without quite realizing what the needs on the ground are. Do Haitians really need your used yoga mat? Do the Balkans lack for clowns?
Above, a young man eats a Pop-Tart in Kabul, Afghanistan, in October, 2006. Everyone likes a breakfast pastry, but in 2002, the U.S. was sharply criticized for airlifting millions of Pop-Tarts into Afghanistan, much of which ended up on the black market. In many cases, writes Foreign Policy's Charles Kenny in "Haiti Doesn't Need Your Old T-Shirt," this kind of aid ends up undermining the local economy rather than helping it.
It may sound curmudgeonly and cynical to question these good intentions, but there's a reason some humanitarians are concerned about giving away "Stuff We Don't Need." Join us on a tour.
(Excerpt) Read more at foreignpolicy.com ...
“Haiti Doesn’t Need Your Old T-Shirt,”
I’ll never let go of ‘Golden Boy’.
You might not believe what some people try to give to our local Salvation Army. Used, worn out and broken appliances, urine stained and torn mattresses and box springs, broken tables and chairs, worn out and dirty clothing. It gets rejected and people take offense.
You see, there’s a fee when people take this stuff to the dump and they think they can give it to charity, avoid the fee and perhaps take a deduction too, win-win.
Besides, when you send durable goods instead of cash, the bureaucrats at all levels of government don’t get their cut, which is really the issue in most of these countries. Hard to bribe somebody with 150 fake Chicago Bears SuperBowl championship T-shirts.
MMMM Nothing like a banned pastry! I wonder what connections you would need to get a Bear Claw?? LOL..
Garage sale yoga mats make for a good gun bench pad.
When I moved to an apartment I stopped giving to charity. I had a big dumpster and threw perfectly good stuff away. My theory was I was taking a job away from the person manufacturing the one that would replace it.
Two other things: First, a lot of items are worthless and hard to get rid of so people try to “donate” them, when their only motivation is to find the cheapest and easiest way to get rid of it. CRT monitors and Tv’s as well as mattresses come to mind. Second, people go for that receipt so they can give away a pile of crap that they could not sell at a garage sale for five bucks (a quarter at a time) and take a $200 deduction.
I’m very cynical about the whole thing, partly because I’ve been guilty myself of the above two items.
When I was in BiH during the war, I'd see repackaged food, stuff they don't eat or produce, in consumer sized bags in the grocery shops. It was obvious it had been food aid from the US via the UN.
In his book “Africa Unchained”, George Ayittey argues that foreign aid has helped keep most parts of Africa from being able to economically advance out of poverty.
Which war was that?
BTW:what is BiH?
Do you still have to pick on Clinton. He’s been out of office for a decade?
These "people" are dangerous scum and need to be removed.
Page after page of non-stop bitching that they don’t want stuff, they want cash. Well, after looking over the photo essay, I’m more jaded than ever. I agree with the notion that flooding these places with free stuff is destroying their economies. Same with cash. They need to start expending even a little effort at bootstrapping themselves.
Haiti is a shameful example of a bunch of recipients waiting to, well, receive. They can’t have my yoga mat, or my old t-shirts either. I’m sure they’d rather wear their bin Laden ones, as they were pictured doing when we were shipping tsunami relief to Indonesia a few years back.
OTOH, I have a few old TVs they can have, if they’ll pay the shipping....
I lost all thought of helping Haiti when a government official there tried to tax donations and the people themselves were unwilling to haul aid to the rest of the nation. Too entitled and lazy.
I've recently begun a program where I'm sending blankets to children in Chechnya.
Specifically, they're infected with weaponized smallpox, “Pox for Tots” I call it.
Are these folks telling me there are better ways to help kids... or at least make me feel virtuous.
The day after I got to Saigon in 1967, I was walking around in a daze. I walked by a sidewalk vendor who was selling ripstop fatigues, skivvies, socks, caps, etc., all of which were still wrapped in QM cellophane. They made no attempt to cover up what they were doing. I saw a lot of Army vehicles with signs that said in English and Vietnamese: If you see this vehicle stopped on the street, call this number! How many billions of tax dollars have gone down the drain in this manner?
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