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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/3795/for-gods-sake-please-stop-the-aid/

“For God’s Sake, Please Stop the Aid!”

July 7, 2005 by

From a Der Spiegel interview with Kenyan (not Keynesian) economics expert James Shikwati:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa…

Shikwati: … for God’s sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.


TPI July 8, 2005 at 2:36 am

Remembering that aid to some countries equals capital exports from there it might help when governments and the elites would have to start an actual business and cannot rely on siphoning off aid money anymore.

indcoup July 8, 2005 at 4:51 am

Is Bob Geldof a meddling idiot?
Who is responsible for poverty?
And what is poverty anyway?


Ohhh Henry July 8, 2005 at 1:52 pm

And if cutting off aid is good enough for Africans, then it should also be applied to the money used in Canada to subsidize many regions and industries, plus welfare, public education, medicare and all the other corrupt and damaging “aid” programs.

tz July 8, 2005 at 3:14 pm

It is aid and not charity – the two terms are very different.

Aid destroys local economics (the farmers can no longer support their families in the face of free food, and in Adventure Capitalist, Jimmy Rogers notes that the old clothing sent as aid destroys the local clothing production and merchants).

Removing our barriers and subsidies to the lowest value-added goods so as to allow them to trade freely and earn a living would do far more.

Instead we find it better to pay them to stay poor and never develop to where they can threaten some of our jobs.

xteve July 8, 2005 at 10:28 pm

“Aid destroys local economics (the farmers can no longer support their families in the face of free food, and in Adventure Capitalist, Jimmy Rogers notes that the old clothing sent as aid destroys the local clothing production and merchants).”

That sounds an awful lot like arguments advocating protectionism, like saying cheap goods from China will destroy our local economy.

I’m not so much advancing a point of my own, but rather asking: what’s the difference?

hej July 9, 2005 at 2:33 am

The difference between aid and trade: Trade helps develope the local industry, and the better each trading party becomes the more they will benefit from the trade. Aid on the other hand is payed to those who can’t take care of themselves, and gives the recievers incentives to not try and improve their situation through own work, since if they did that they would lose the aid.

In other words, aid gives short term gains for doing nothing, and thus discourage the aid recievers from doing anything to get better off in the long run.

Phillip Conti July 11, 2005 at 1:48 pm

Poverty is such a dirty word, I think it belongs right up there with the F word in its ability to shock, disorient, and narcotize readers and listeners.

The mad doctor July 13, 2005 at 6:47 pm

Stop all third world aid period.

There are too many people and the strain on earth’s resources is way too high. If people cannot control their own reproduction then let nature take it’s course. Humans like all animals have had their population checked by disease and starvation. Let both take their course. Feed them and there will be more to feed.

Then apply the same principles here. Maybe to a lesser degree. Can’t afford to feed and house kids? Don’t get pregnant. No health care blanket? How about taking care of your smoking druggy fat ass?

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