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Thread: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    That's bald, but it's real. Now, I'm not talking the rank and file worker who actually meets the starving, I'm talking about the non-profit CEO who would have to find a new job if he finishes that one. He's got no incentive to finish that problem and move one to the next one.
    Umm who the hell joins a non-profit organization for the money? If the CEO just wanted the salary and didn't actually care about the cause, he could almost certainly get a much bigger paycheck in the for-profit sector.
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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Umm who the hell joins a non-profit organization for the money? If the CEO just wanted the salary and didn't actually care about the cause, he could almost certainly get a much bigger paycheck in the for-profit sector.
    I was thinking about what It would take to make it a full time job and be a real positive benefit to a people in need of skills.

    I mean even if it is a non profit, the ceo/owner/whatever still needs to earn a living.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    There is quite a bit of both. You can't establish capital markets if your workers are dying like flies from easily preventable diseases, and you can't establish a true democracy if your citizens don't know how to read and have no reliable communication outside of their villages.
    And there's nothing we can do to change any of that short of invading and occupying Africa. Government corruption and tribal conflict cannot be side-stepped with good intentions. People always have great ideas about how to fix Africa but they never seem any closer to achieving their goal, indeed, it appears as if the country is actually moving backwards. It's time to accept reality and stop worrying about things which don't directly involve our country.

    It seems, however, that making the sobering yet prudent choice is never an option in today's political dialogue. I mean, it wouldn't be "nice" to suggest that perhaps Africa is impervious to our compassion because it’s a giant mess of ignorance and corruption. Maybe the reason we have trouble finding solutions to our problems is because we automatically rule out things that sound harsh or unfair. Most often, and forgive the cliché, the truth is harsh and life is not fair. Only Africa can fix Africa. Time to cut the knot and look to our own shores.

    Establishing a functioning economy is indeed essential...but that's going to require massive infusions of cash aimed at solving other problems as well.
    You'd think that after decades of failure a certain solution would get ruled out.

    I think it's more accurate to say that Africa needs functional capitalism than "Western ideals." The Chinese model will suffice for many parts of Africa; in fact, it may work better in some places.
    No, Western ideals are precisely what they require. A functional form of Capitalism cannot be established without a measure of Western foundation. The Chinese and Indian models didn't start experiencing exponential growth until they recognized private property rights to some extent; we figured that one out in the 1600's. Even implementing some fundamental Western concepts can cause growth and development. Africa doesn't need Benjamin Franklin's portrait, they need his autobiography.

    But regardless, just saying "they need to adopt Western ideals" is meaningless, because it doesn't address HOW they get from here to there.
    How they get there or if they get there is none of my concern, nor should you make it my concern via government proxy. You want to save Africa? Be my guest and donate as much time and money as your heart desires, but please don't oblige the government to waste my money and time on fruitless endeavors.

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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Umm who the hell joins a non-profit organization for the money? If the CEO just wanted the salary and didn't actually care about the cause, he could almost certainly get a much bigger paycheck in the for-profit sector.
    Who the hell thinks those people are working for free?

    Ya don't remember stink about the UNICEF chief with the fat paycheck?

    Get real, dude.

    Here's a more important consideration:

    The US economy is in shambles. Our government should stop wasting tax dollars on luxuries, and foreign aid is a luxury we can no longer afford. It makes absolutely no sense to have a permanent budget deficit and continue to throw money away on other nations.
    Last edited by Scarecrow Akhbar; 03-23-09 at 10:30 PM.

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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Well....you see...most of Africa HAS adopted "Western ideals". Socialism is a product of the West, one of our culture's most disastrous exports ever, even worse than smallpox, perhaps.

    What those countries need to do is regain their self-sufficiency so they can estabish rational trade policies. They can't do that with a trillion dollars of goods and services flooding their markets and swamping domestic capabilities. Their biggest question has to be "how do I get this OPM needle out of my aorta before it kills me?"
    Good point, although I meant "Western" in the Cold War sense; i.e., the ideas that worked.

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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    Good point, although I meant "Western" in the Cold War sense; i.e., the ideas that worked.
    Heck, we don't follow "western" ideas any more, if that's your criteria.

    What the hell's wrong with you, demanding those people stick to programs that are known to work, instead of letting them copy us as we wander aimlessly down the road to serfdom ourselves?

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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    And there's nothing we can do to change any of that short of invading and occupying Africa.
    Sure we can: We can spend money on charities that do important work in countries which are reasonably well-governed and allow charities to operate freely. $10 can prevent a case of malaria in Mozambique. $20 can prevent a death from starvation in Mali. $50 can prevent a case of HIV in Botswana.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    Government corruption and tribal conflict cannot be side-stepped with good intentions. People always have great ideas about how to fix Africa but they never seem any closer to achieving their goal, indeed, it appears as if the country is actually moving backwards.
    1. Africa is not a country. And while I'll assume that was a typo, that mentality is one of the biggest problems with the way people look at the foreign aid process. Why must we view all of Africa's disparate problems through a single prism? Why must we look at whether "Africa" is moving forward or backward, instead of looking at whether Mali, Senegal, Cameroon, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Somalia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Congo, and Ghana are each individually moving forward or backward? And furthermore, what are each of them doing right or wrong?
    2. Most of Africa is indeed developing...and very quickly. To the extent that some parts ARE backsliding, they are often due to the emergence of HIV rather than a failure of foreign assistance.
    3. Every part of the world has a few countries that are moving backwards due to incompetent governments, and Africa is no exception (e.g. Zimbabwe, Somalia, Congo). But most of Africa is developing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    It's time to accept reality and stop worrying about things which don't directly involve our country.
    Having reliable trade and investment partners on the most resource-rich continent on earth would directly involve our country. Stopping the spread of communicable diseases from the least sanitary continent on earth would directly involve our country.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    It seems, however, that making the sobering yet prudent choice is never an option in today's political dialogue. I mean, it wouldn't be "nice" to suggest that perhaps Africa is impervious to our compassion because it’s a giant mess of ignorance and corruption.
    Africa is NOT impervious to our help. Overall, it is developing quite well. And no one has denied that many places in Africa are giant messes of ignorance and corruption. But those problems don't automatically correct themselves without good reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    Maybe the reason we have trouble finding solutions to our problems is because we automatically rule out things that sound harsh or unfair. Most often, and forgive the cliché, the truth is harsh and life is not fair. Only Africa can fix Africa. Time to cut the knot and look to our own shores.
    Only Africa can establish capital markets and overthrow idiots like Mugabe. But outside nations and outside charities can play a big role in ending infectious diseases, purifying the water, and teaching people to read and do basic math.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    You'd think that after decades of failure a certain solution would get ruled out.
    Again, there have NOT been decades of failure. Most of Africa is developing well, and many parts are backsliding solely due to the spread of HIV and not to the failure of foreign assistance over the last few decades.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    No, Western ideals are precisely what they require. A functional form of Capitalism cannot be established without a measure of Western foundation. The Chinese and Indian models didn't start experiencing exponential growth until they recognized private property rights to some extent; we figured that one out in the 1600's. Even implementing some fundamental Western concepts can cause growth and development.
    Well, I guess we simply differ on what "Western ideals" entail then. I don't think private property rights are anything inherent to one region of the world, but we agree that the rule of law and private property are necessary to establish a growing economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    Africa doesn't need Benjamin Franklin's portrait, they need his autobiography.
    This is another problem I have with the way that many people view the foreign aid process. Africa is not the United States, and never will be the United States. Africa needs to develop its own way, and the United States certainly has a number of valuable lessons to teach Africa...as do Europe, Russia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Chile, and many other countries. The problems of Africa are not the same as the problems of the United States, and simply abolishing their diverse systems of government and establishing a US-clone would likely be ineffective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    How they get there or if they get there is none of my concern, nor should you make it my concern via government proxy. You want to save Africa? Be my guest and donate as much time and money as your heart desires, but please don't oblige the government to waste my money and time on fruitless endeavors.
    I do donate plenty of time and money to charities for Africa. And I'll oblige the government to spend time and money as well, because the world's concerns ARE America's concerns to a certain degree. That doesn't mean we need to overthrow every crummy tinpot dictator in Africa, but foreign assistance (both from governments and from private charities) can play an important role if used correctly.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-23-09 at 11:30 PM.
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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Who the hell thinks those people are working for free?
    Do you EVER address the points that were actually made? Or do you not know how to respond without these infantile strawman attacks?
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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Well....you see...most of Africa HAS adopted "Western ideals". Socialism is a product of the West, one of our culture's most disastrous exports ever, even worse than smallpox, perhaps.
    Incorrect - while there are some socialist governments spread around, most are still dictatorships or one party states where there is nothing socialist about the countries services, policy or taxation.

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    Re: Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Do you EVER address the points that were actually made? Or do you not know how to respond without these infantile strawman attacks?
    That was a response to the point made.

    If someone is scamming United Way (I believe I wrongly said "UNICEF" above) for money, chances are really really good that the boy wasn't good enough to get a job with a for-profit company paying more legitimately.

    Again....no one ever works to eliminate their own job. It's contrary to human nature and the #1 reason government NEVER gets smaller.

    That you can't see past the surface isn't any reflection on my abilities, my methods, or my meanings.

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