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An Interesting Take on Foreign Aid
Old 06-03-2010, 05:12 PM   #1
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An Interesting Take on Foreign Aid

The Next Empire - Magazine - The Atlantic- (Free Article)

Seems like local people on the ground are less enthusiastic about international do-goodism than the do-gooders are. File under quixotic undertakings that ignore economic reality.

Davies calls the Chinese boom “a phenomenal success story for Africa,” and sees it continuing indefinitely. “Africa is the source of at least one-third of the world’s commodities”—commodities China will need, as its manufacturing economy continues to grow—“and once you’ve understood that, you understand China’s determination to build roads, ports, and railroads all over Africa.”
Davies is not alone in his enthusiasm. “No country has made as big an impact on the political, economic and social fabric of Africa as China has since the turn of the millennium,” writes Dambisa Moyo, a London-based economist, in her influential book, Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. Moyo, a 40-year-old Zambian who has worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs and as a consultant for the World Bank, believes that foreign aid is a curse that has crippled and corrupted Africa—and that China offers a way out of the mess the West has made.
“Between 1970 and 1998,” she writes, “when aid flows to Africa were at their peak, poverty in Africa rose from 11 percent to a staggering 66 percent.” Subsidized lending, she says, encourages African governments to make sloppy, wasteful decisions. It breeds corruption, by allowing politicians to siphon off poorly monitored funds. And it forestalls national development, which she says begins with the building of a taxation system and the attraction of foreign commercial capital. In Moyo’s view, even the West’s “obsession with democracy” has been harmful. In poor countries, she writes, “democratic regimes find it difficult to push through economically beneficial legislation amid rival parties and jockeying interests.” Sustainable democracy, she feels, is possible only after a strong middle class has emerged.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:39 PM   #2
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“democratic regimes find it difficult to push through economically beneficial legislation amid rival parties and jockeying interests.”
Now why does that seem so familiar?

(I, therefore, look forward to reading the article... which I will do tomorrow.)
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:47 AM   #3
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I have been wanting to read Moyo's book, which seems to have a lot of interesting things to say, but I would not put too shiney a gloss on China's intentions in Africa. As with their own Western provinces/autonomous regions (which have seen lots of large scale "development" projects over the past two decades that have not done a whole lot to benefit the everyday local in the area), their model in Africa is based on two things: 1) wholesale importation of cheap labor from overpopulated parts of China and 2) resource extraction. Will Africa get a lot of roads, dams, ports and mines? Yeah, probably. Who will benefit? Mostly the elites, both local and Chinese. And the environment will be totally trashed in the process.

Let's see if the great fire wall cuts me off after I post this from the heart of Beijing...

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Old 06-04-2010, 11:23 AM   #4
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I am really not putting a value judgment on it. All I mean is we spent a lot of money in Africa, much of it given away, and got hated in the process.

China is spending a lot of money, will take a lot more money out in profits, and so far is getting respect.

Looks to me like a better business plan.

Ha
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:40 AM   #5
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Looks to me like a better business plan.
Yeah... thinking Haiti. And soon, the Gulf of Mexico States -- Katrina sure seems to be taking a long time to clean up after.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:39 AM   #6
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I am really not putting a value judgment on it. All I mean is we spent a lot of money in Africa, much of it given away, and got hated in the process.

China is spending a lot of money, will take a lot more money out in profits, and so far is getting respect.

Looks to me like a better business plan.

Ha
I'm curious how much we actually do spend, on for instance, Africa. The graph from the link below would indicate that sub Saharan Africa gets $ 5.7B or about $20 per US citizen per year.

Foreign Aid for Development Assistance — Global Issues
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
I am really not putting a value judgment on it. All I mean is we spent a lot of money in Africa, much of it given away, and got hated in the process.

China is spending a lot of money, will take a lot more money out in profits, and so far is getting respect.

Looks to me like a better business plan.

Ha
Sounds much like the British Empire of yesteryear.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:32 AM   #8
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Similar problem as the US welfare system. Giving people money directly teaches you to learn how to get more free money. Eventually you end up with just more people needing free money. And those people end up losing respect for the source of the free money. Better to give a job or opportunity to earn what you need.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:39 AM   #9
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Better to give a job or opportunity to earn what you need.
Seeing as the high unemployment rate is causing such havoc and millions are actively seeking work, what "job or opportunity" are you personally willing to "give"? Hopefully multi instances of each.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:24 AM   #10
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Seeing as the high unemployment rate is causing such havoc and millions are actively seeking work, what "job or opportunity" are you personally willing to "give"? Hopefully multi instances of each.
Well our unemployment rate might decrase markedly if all the jobs being done by Latino illegales became open to US citizens who no longer had perpetual welfare payments.

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:35 AM   #11
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Well our unemployment rate might decrase markedly if all the jobs being done by Latino illegales became open to US citizens who no longer had perpetual welfare payments.
And if a frog had wings...
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:36 PM   #12
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And if a frog had wings...

Democracy in America is past its sell by date. My working hypothesis is that we are in a terminal decline. It will take a while, things will go up and down, but we are on an overall downward course. If liquid fuels production should be unable to respond to the next economic upturn it will be over soon.

The complexity of the economy and the society have overrun the intellectual and moral capacities of our elected officials, and indeed of the electorate.

Our last two presidents are caricatures of leaders of America, let alone leaders of the “free world”. The next will be no better, and quite possibly worse.




Ha
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:08 PM   #13
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Well our unemployment rate might decrase markedly if all the jobs being done by Latino illegales became open to US citizens who no longer had perpetual welfare payments.

Ha
We already have farm labor shortages in California. In the Imperial Valley area, asparagus growers haven't been able to find enough field hands for several years. Feed lots can't find workers for shed sanitation jobs. There's a need for several hundred thousand seasonal workers here.

For some reason those unemployed US citizens aren't applying for these jobs. I suppose city folk might not have the skills and temperament to do field work, or move through herds of large animals.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:34 PM   #14
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Democracy in America is past its sell by date. My working hypothesis is that we are in a terminal decline. It will take a while, things will go up and down, but we are on an overall downward course. If liquid fuels production should be unable to respond to the next economic upturn it will be over soon.

The complexity of the economy and the society have overrun the intellectual and moral capacities of our elected officials, and indeed of the electorate.

Our last two presidents are caricatures of leaders of America, let alone leaders of the “free world”. The next will be no better, and quite possibly worse.
Yeah, I quite agree... especially with the middle paragraph (nevermind, that you are speaking of "We, the people"). Looking around, I, certainly, don't see that heading in the right direction. The Internet (read mass/free-form communication) will take another hundred years to be brought under control (I mean in a good way) and by then the world will be unrecognizable to those living today.

I prefer to not comment on a sitting POTUS -- and definitely not this soon -- but you are correct on the previous one.

The Video was dead-on, BTW.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:06 PM   #15
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they will find all the legal workers they need when the pay reaches what is required for such. Yeah I know price will go up on the product but that is the
way business works so be it. Us tax payer picking up the bill for illegal labor
families so someone pays the extra cost anyways but the businesses continue
to profit from a tax payer benefit by illegal means. I guess we should all just decide to knock a bit off our taxes shouldn't we? Seems fair to me.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:13 PM   #16
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On second thought... (yeah, I was watching the Belmont Stake Hypebole)



I am certainly planning to "back on top in June." <chuckle>
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:53 PM   #17
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For some reason those unemployed US citizens aren't applying for these jobs. I suppose city folk might not have the skills and temperament to do field work, or move through herds of large animals.
How about welfare as that reason? As soon as the current illegals are given amnesty, they also will forget these skills.

Ha
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Democracy in America is past its sell by date. My working hypothesis is that we are in a terminal decline. It will take a while, things will go up and down, but we are on an overall downward course. If liquid fuels production should be unable to respond to the next economic upturn it will be over soon.

The complexity of the economy and the society have overrun the intellectual and moral capacities of our elected officials, and indeed of the electorate.

Our last two presidents are caricatures of leaders of America, let alone leaders of the “free world”. The next will be no better, and quite possibly worse.




Ha
agree with the spirit - but will extend it to jfk. our last true prez of the people -

also, we are not a democracy - but a republic. the rule of law protects the 49% from the 51.
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:57 AM   #19
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We already have farm labor shortages in California. In the Imperial Valley area, asparagus growers haven't been able to find enough field hands for several years. Feed lots can't find workers for shed sanitation jobs. There's a need for several hundred thousand seasonal workers here.

For some reason those unemployed US citizens aren't applying for these jobs. I suppose city folk might not have the skills and temperament to do field work, or move through herds of large animals.
There's a shortage of legal workers at the present pay scales. The "picking and processing" labor cost embedded in the retail price of produce is 3-5% of the price. So, if we tripled the amount of pay field workers get, that $1 head of lettuce would only go up to about $1.10. That's not a huge jump, people would still buy produce. Maybe American citizens would take that work for triple the pay now being earned by illegal aliens. But, we'll never know as long as:
1)"Free" government money allows citizens to live without working. That field work is truly arduous, after all.
2) The door is open to hiring cheap, illegal foreign workers.

What we'd gain by changing the situation goes well beyond economic benefits. There's something to be said for enforcing our borders, re-inforcing the importance of earning one's own way, and preventing the undercutting of low-skill employment wage rates.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:25 AM   #20
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What we'd gain by changing the situation goes well beyond economic benefits. There's something to be said for enforcing our borders, re-inforcing the importance of earning one's own way, and preventing the undercutting of low-skill employment wage rates.
Yes, it should be as simplistic as all that... but life is complicated:

Laid-off workers retrain but end up in same spot: Jobless

Quote:
... the 28-year-old decided that the something else would be welding. Industry officials bemoan a shortage of skilled trainees to replace the 10,000 or so older workers retiring each year.

But since graduating from a 10-month, government-subsidized welding program in early December, Wyman has come up empty in the search for his first gig. Wyman and job-center officials say he's competing against experienced welders in a still-wounded southwestern Ohio economy.
Quote:
"Training doesn't create jobs," particularly as a nation emerges from recession, says Anthony Carnevale, head of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. "It's jobs that create the demand for training."

Many enrollees do land positions weeks after graduating, and experts say retraining is often the best option for a laid-off worker in a battered industry. But others hunt for months, or even years, with some using federal dollars to retrain multiple times for different occupations. Part of the problem: Though economists say the recession ended last summer, high unemployment pits graduates against both experienced workers who were laid off in the slump and newly trained colleagues. Sometimes job centers funnel too many workers into the same field.
Like saying "There's a need for several hundred thousand seasonal workers here." (A suspicious number to begin with.) And expecting that to solve the long-term problem of millions.

So my original statement that "giving" people a job is not the solution when there are no jobs (or "opportunities") to "give." Jobs must be created (or is a better word; invented?) before our "dream world" can become reality. (So in that respect, I am in the anti-welfare camp.) Whining about strangers showing up at the borders of the "land of opportunity" is only deverting our attention -- like the sleight-of-hand from a Magician.

(And don't get me started on the rant that starts with: I am unaware of any members of this Forum who themselves or their ancestors did not immigrate to this country in the last 300 years.)
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