Friday, January 26, 2007

Color me unfashionable...

Fashionable I am not. I figure I'll grow up to be an old curmudgeon at some point if I haven't reached that point already. Here's food for thought - it's worth reading it all:

My own, unfashionable view is that charitable giving, both governmental and private, is more likely to increase than to alleviate the poverty, ill health, and other miseries of the recipient populations.
In aggregate, and having observed the "good works" of overreaching bureaucracies like the World Bank, IMF and UN, not to mention of many well intentioned charities, contrasted to the entrepreneurial energy of some of even my clients and business people those who I feel honored to be able to call friends, I can't help but agree. While there are undoubtedly exceptions, why do we keep pushing our solutions onto the poor instead of providing them with the incentives to develop their own? According to Greg Mankiw:
Smart economic analysts debate the value of foreign aid, but no one seriously doubts that truly free trade would benefit the world's poor.
Unfortunately there are too many who aren't serious.

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