Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Crumbs for Africa? GOOD.

Re the NYT's latest op-ed:

Leaving aside the whole 'throwing good money after bad dictatorships' thing, just focusing on the dollars, they seem to (willfully) forget the cultural differences between American charity and European charity. When Europeans see something wrong in the world they call on their government to spend tax dollars to make a difference. Americans donate to private charities and prefer their governments to 'stick to their knitting'. There was a lot of handwringing on this issue in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami, and this essay does a good job of discussing the issue. And yes, I count military spending on reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan to be 3rd world charity.

I call on everyone, from now on, to combine private charity with public spending when commenting on poor country aid.


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