The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

Monday, July 18th, 2005 11:31 pm by Neal

I recently wrote about how Righteousness Comes Cheap to wealthy rock stars who think the government should seize more money from American taxpayers to send to Africa. Does anyone seriously think that “this time” all of the woes of that resource-rich continent will finally be solved? I am beyond tired of these “musicians” turned foreign policy wonks who propose to take more of my money so that they can “feel good” about themselves.

Unfortunately, the Live 8 concerts are a case study in how the road to hell is paved with good intentions.Today’s column by Suzanne Fields, Snapping fingers at African aid notes that, contrary to what Sting or Will Smith might say, prior aid packages to Africa have actually caused harm to those very people they intended to help. And, the people that are pointing this out are experts and African. A choice quote:

The stars have been praised (most eloquently by themselves) for focusing attention on poverty in Africa, but their glitter and flash don’t quite rise to the level of effective policy. While they were rappin’ and rockin’, James Shikwati, a distinguished Kenyan economist, was singing another song: “For God’s sake, please just stop the aid.”

In an interview in der Spiegel, the German magazine, Mr. Shikwati describes what he sees as the disastrous result of aid to Africa. Not only do African leaders exploit it for their own purposes, stuffing their pocketbooks and adding to their power, but aid weakens local markets, destroys incentives and fosters corruption and complacency. He scoffs at the motives of the United Nations World Food Program, “which is a massive agency of apparatchiks who are in the absurd situation of . . . being dedicated to the fight against hunger while . . . being faced with unemployment were hunger actually eliminated.”

This is an excellent article with points you will not hear in the MSM.

One Response to “The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions”

  1. tom Says:

    Jimmy Carter pulled support from democratic Rhodesia (currently Zimbabwe,) a country which was a food exporter, resulting in Rober Mugabee’s rise to power. The resulting land grab has left Zimbabwe a country whose people are starving.

    I am opposed to taking taxpayer money and sending anywhere. But if the money is going to be spent then support countries which are moving toward stability. Stability will be self-supporting. Businesses from around the world will invest in infrastructure in stable countries. Business will more intelligently, and from the inside out, develop those countries that will return their investments in product or sales.

    Our government can only influence a country from the outside-in. Both inside-out and outside-in influence will result in some “shady” dealings. However, corruption of small officials in an inside-out influence is controlled within a hierarchy. Statewide official corruption is only controlled by revolution.