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07/11/2005

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» Aid to Africa: Will it Help? from The New Editor
Despite guilt-laden rhetoric to the contrary, merely giving aid is not the best way to help Africa. Gary Becker offers a good example for study -- India -- as an illustration for helping Africa to come out out of its subsistence economy and widespread, gr [Read More]

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Murrayfield Stadium Edinburgh, Scotland Live8: The Final Push After attending the final Live8 concert Thursday night 6 July, in Edinburgh, I left you in the wee hours of Friday morning with a teaser -- Bob Geldof's challenge to the... [Read More]

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N.E.Hatfield

The "Corey" issue? Perhaps it's the boredom imposed by the syncophantism of an ideologue who can't seem to free themself of trying to stuff five pounds of crap into a two pound Neo-Marxian bag. Yawn! ;)

Nancy Reyes

Africa needs basic help with education and medicine (how much HIV was spread thru unsterilized needles or knives used by untrained healers?). They also need roads and an infrastructure.
However, one only has to see how Mugabe, in the name of his Marxist philosophy, has turned Zimbabwe from a vibrant economic system into a place where starvation in rural areas will be rampant in the next few months.

nate


On another topic, do you think there is a housing bubble in the U.S.? Globally? Why or why not?

Corey

"Perhaps it's the boredom imposed by the syncophantism of an ideologue who can't seem to free themself of trying to stuff five pounds of crap into a two pound Neo-Marxian bag."

So it has come to that eh? Why don't you try holding your hands up to your ears and yelling, "nyah nyah na na nyahhh! I can't hear you!" That's a bit more universal and direct.

You needn't worry, my last post was intercepted and censored from the blog. It seems likely that you will all soon be free to reinforce each others unsupported assumptions without fear of challenge or other crimethink. Isn't that double-plus good!

Three cheers for group polarization!

ranc

As an old Chinese saying goes, giving somebody fish is not as good as teaching her how to fish.

fullymubbed

Corey,

Honestly, I wish the $24 billion in remittances worked that way in India. Sadly, it doesn't..
India has amongst the largest gold in the world, not as reserves - in personal bank vaults and on Indian women as jewellery - in a form where it cannot be included in the 'total reserves;!!

I will keep my limited knowledge in other issues to myself!!!

N.E.Hatfield

Corey, I think all the prrof necessary has been provided. Hopefully, an epiphany has or will occur. Ahh..., the joys of applied Philosophy.

michael persoon

As usually happens around comment 20, the discussion has degraded.

As an attempt to restart a dialogue let me put this forth:

1) "We" (the industrialized North) have a prescriptive vision of what improvements can be made to better the overall (socio-politco-economic) quality of life for Africans.

2) "We" need to create incentives for Africans to pursue those goals (creating incentives towards "desired" action seems to me to be a base level inquiry in economic thought).

3) Without a proper infrastructure, no incentives will allow for the successful pursuit of the goals incentivized (word?).

Based off of this, I think any direct aid should go towards building the infrastructure that will allowincentives to operate, e.g. lending institutions, insurance, individual property rights, electricity, and telecom. Note that this does not have to be centralized, e.g. wireless phones have an immersino rate of 7/100 whereas land lines hace an immersion rate of 4/100 in SS Africa. Energy production can be localized. Lending can be localized (group savings, micro-lending). THis is not to claim that a centralized process could not work better.

Once an infrastructure is created, then incentives can be applied--not only to Africans, but also to foreign industry and investment (kill all agri-subsidies and tariffs on finsihed goods).

Let's talk about how to channel money so that it builds infrastructure, and let's talk about how to incentivize behavior towards these goals.

Sorry for the length.

N.E.Hatfield

Mike, I agree that the basis for economic development begins at the infrastructure level i.e. "food, shelter, clothing, sanitation transport-logistics, communications and agricultural-land reform". The problem is that the prior 500 billion or so has not gone to that in most countries and the reason why is social, political and military in nature. Before anything can be done, these issues need to be straightend out. Which is the province of the United Nations, which hasn't done much in this regard. The question is, "Why not?"

michael persoon

What issue needs to be straightened out?

The $500 billion or so is GONE, either in private accounts of corrupt leaders, doled out in nepotistic contracts, or sent back to lenders in the form of debt service.

I realize there should be some reflection so that past mistakes are not repeated, but let's get moving. There are ways that aid/investment can be narrowly directed to the task of building a real infrastructure. The people on the ground will make progress if the funds get to them. So get the funds to them, e.g. microlending.

Pay some contractor like Halliburton $2 billion to go in and set up a power grid, train 500 locals on the maintenance and operation, leave behind a group of 50 people on US payroll, and get out.

Fund a group of 500 law students to go to take a 25 gps equipped PDA's and 25 laptops with GIS and record people's land title's.

There is a shortage of trained tool and dye operators in the US. Go set up a tool and dye factory and train people in how to work it.

Stop dumping subsidized grain and cotton.

Open up Northern markets to value added goods so there can be some economy other than exporting raw materials.

Go start a mango farmer's co-op and open a juice bottling plant.

There are steps we can take that don't involve shaking our heads at the result of three decades of irresponsible lending. The money is gone.

nate

Amartya Sen, in a book callled "Development as Freedom", has related information on education of women in developing nations. If I interpreted the table in his book correctly, historical literacy rates for women in the least-developed parts of some developing nations (including sub-Saharan Africa) are noticeably lower than rates for men.

richard

africa needs hands-on type help.a liberal trade policy is obviously imperative.
outsiders must come in to make a difference and achieve results.
settlements of peace-corps type volunteers willing to spend five years or more would help surrounding african areas.youth from these settlements can be of tremendous help travelling across the country.
these idealistic young people would then go back home to be replaced by other volunteers.
i am confident that more funds would then be forthcoming from the rich nations.they would see that the money is being put to excellent use.
this idea would be part of a larger plan that includes a large civil-service made up of outsiders.
are we short of the young and idealistic?
perhaps we can start with edinburgh.

nate


"The Elusive Quest for Growth" by William Easterly has interesting content related to this topic.

Tino

"So, $2 a day is better than $1 a day, but they are both slave wages. ...both are crimes."

"...exploitation..."

The wages paid in Africa reflect productivity. Partly the productivity of the unskilled workers, but more so the low ability to be productive in the horrible economic environment (the same workers earn more in the US)

How do we know the wages represent productivity and not theft/exploitation? There is a simple test. If exploitation was the cause firms producing in Africa would earn massive profits, for above the risk-adjusted return on capital. Where else would the money go?

Is anyone here stupid enough to think profits are dramatically higher in Burkina-Faso than the US? Why are you leftist not investing in Africa?

The third world is poor not only because of itís leaders, but because of the illogical socialist ideology the intellectual leftist have sold to Africa for 50 years. Galbraith and Frisch are as responsible for Indian poverty as Indira Nehru and Indira.

richard

tino is absolutely right galbraith and nehru have a great deal to answer for.the whole nehru family has been a huge disaster for india.
yet the intellectually bankrupt galbraith is still lauded by the likes of the bbc and cnn.

Nayak S.D.

Whatever you ( WEST) may do, please do not charge hefty "consultation fees", hence forth.

richard

if you will permit further comment on the subject.nigeria has just invited farmers expelled from zimambwe to farm in the country.
first crops have already been planted.this is surely the way forward.outsiders coming in and taking an active part in africa's economy.
the times of london 22/7/2005

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