Saturday, February 18, 2006

NY Times Discovers Third World Corruption

Chad's Oil Riches, Meant for Poor, Are Diverted

Much to the chagrin of the NY Times, they have discovered that the government of an oil-rich country is corrupt, mistreating its populace...and there are no Republicans to blame!

I know it comes as a shocker to the good people at the NY Times, but they could have written this very same story about pretty much any Third World country. With few exceptions, the primary reason most of these countries remain "Third World" is because the money that industrialized nations pour into them winds up in the pockets of those in charge.

Believe it or not NY Times (and those who share their willfully blind world view): this is the primary reason that so many fiscal conservatives don't want our tax dollars being spent on huge foreign aid packages. It's not that there aren't people in those countries who need help: it's that until the government changes, the money isn't going to get to them anyway, so why are we busy filling the pockets of corrupt strongmen?

I liken it to alcoholics: they won't do anything about their problem until they hit rock bottom. The people of these countries would demand change if the situation gets bad enough, and we stop giving these strongmen the financial resources they need to keep a strangehold on them. You can't fund a private army if no one will give you the money to keep it fed. You can't support roving bands of thugs by robbing a populace that is devoid of money. Eventually the strongmen will be tossed out by a popular uprising. Our foreign aid money would be better spent funding education through Peace Corps-style on the ground programs and supporting rival pro-democracy movements in those countries rather than paying to perpetuate the problem as we do today.

It may feel better to toss a huge sum of money at a country and pat yourself on the back for being a caring nation, but all policies like that do are ensure that things will never change. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

It's time to change our foreign aid policy...

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