============================================================ Fundamentally Right: A Fundamentally Right Truth

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Fundamentally Right Truth

It sometimes takes man thousands of years to discover a truth. If we would only listen to and believe God we could save a lot of time, effort, money and grief.

This article really nails it.

It was taken from the National Post found at canada.com

Thanks to them for the great information and for supporting what we already knew.
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Western aid will never end world poverty

Steven Edwards
National Post
January 19, 2005
THE UNITED NATIONS - In high-school geography classes a generation ago, students learned the key to ending global poverty was to inject huge amounts of cash into the Third World to trigger economic "takeoff."
Billions of dollars have been poured into the developing world in the past 30 years, yet billions of people still live in abject poverty, the most desperate south of the Sahara.
That has not stopped the United Nations from proposing rich countries more than double their foreign aid spending to help the impoverished.
Promised handouts for 2006 of US$87-billion should be immediately increased to US$135-billion and reach US$195-billion by 2015, says a new report, which has been three years in the making.

The major premise for this demand is that 34 years ago, wealthy nations pledged to raise overseas aid budgets to 0.7% of gross national product, then renewed the promise in 2000 at the Millennium Summit and at a 2002 conference in Mexico.
But in calling for more handouts the world body ignores the central lesson of the last three decades -- the countries that forged ahead economically created conditions for investment themselves, rather than relying on the international equivalent of pogey.

Attracting investment has been a key goal for many Asian and Latin American nations, and their economic progress has been remarkable.
Many African countries, meanwhile, continue to argue the West "owes them," in part as compensation for the slave trade and colonial rule. Billions have already been sent to Africa, much of it disappearing into the sinkhole of corruption. For ambitious Africans, joining the kleptocrats and tyrants is a faster track to wealth than launching a legitimate business.
The result is a continent where incomes per head and life expectancy are actually falling. A recent study by the World Bank named only South Africa and Botswana as places where businesses can expect to operate with any level of normality.

The UN report was compiled by Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University economics professor, and a team of what the UN describes as 265 "leading development experts."
"We are not asking for one new promise from any country in the world," Mr. Sachs said on Monday as he gave Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, a copy of the report.
"We only want them to follow through on what they promised at the Millennium Summit."
The report's title -- Investing in Development -- seems to suggest its authors have bought into the need for free enterprise to boost development. But in this case the return for the investors would not be dividends that encourage more investment, but a warm feeling the world would be safer if everyone were living comfortably.
Although the report is being presented as part of an international "security bargain" for the West, it admits increasing cash flows to the governments of failed or failing states, or to highly corrupt countries, is a complete waste.
It names Belarus, Myanmar, North Korea and Zimbabwe as places where aid should be channeled only through charities that can ensure it reaches people in need. This essentially translates to emergency relief.

So if such states are excluded, won't they pose an ever greater security risk?
The report's authors say the West shouldn't worry that past aid "investments" have been wasted, and provide a 3,000-page blueprint showing how the new money could be put to better use.

Development aid should have specific objectives, starting with spending on "quick win" projects, such as supplying mosquito nets in malaria-affected parts of Africa. Heavy spending would be on infrastructure, such as roads, and improving health and education services.

While well-intentioned, the report prompts a number of obvious questions. If massive cash injections alone could end poverty and make the world secure, peace and prosperity would reign throughout the Middle East.
Since Arab oil-producing countries raised the price of oil dramatically in the 1970s, money has poured into the region. Yet poverty remains, and it is one of the most violent regions on Earth.

Conversely, China's creation of capitalist enclaves has led to world-beating economic growth rates in that country, where famine once killed millions.
Development in Latin American economies has come not only from investment following economic liberalization, but also through the awakening of the entrepreneurial spirit of millions of Hispanic immigrants in the United States. Their earnings, invested directly through their families, have fuelled a veritable house building boom in many parts of South and Central America.

The UN report rightly calls for giving developing countries access to Western markets through freer international trade. This would require rich countries to stop protecting certain coddled industries, such as textiles.
There is also no substitute for quick injections of money for emergency relief, for example, for victims of the tsunami. But overseas aid should focus on helping people to help themselves through the only proven creator of wealth -- free enterprise.

Handouts are a thing of the past.
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Jesus said it all in Mark 14:7

Mk 14:7
The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.

I think it comes down to the old "buy em a fish sandwich today or show em how to catch their own fish for the rest of their lives". It's all about freedom and free enterprise.

But we knew that.....


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