Re: playing catch-up

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Fri Dec 28 2001 - 07:19:32 MST

On Friday, December 28, 2001 1:21 AM Neil Blanch
> In v6#355 Technotransendence wrote: "As for the United States and
> nations, the best foreign aid policy is no foreign aid. Let people
trade if
> they want to, but don't take money forcibly from anyone here to give
> anyone anywhere else - or vice versa. (An extra special added bonus
of this
> "no aid" policy no one can never accuse you of meddling or
> neo-colonialism.:)"
> Techno - a very easy statement for you to make - you have access to
power, a
> computer, the internet, clean water and hospitals. Most of the world
> not.

So, your idea here is that only people who have the loot can be
libertarians? And also that others can only get the loot by having it
given to them through foreign aid packages? I.e., trade and voluntary
charity can't do this?

Also, you don't know my condition aside from the fact that I have access
to the internet. Don't make assumptions here.

> We as a species really do need to learn not to live in luxury at the
> expense of the majority - if we don't learn this NOW, how the hell
will we
> cope when new technologies make the majority of jobs redundant?

Your assumption here is that if some live better than others, it must be
because the others are living worse off. In other words, people only
make wealth by taking wealth.

> When only a
> tiny percentage of the population can find ANY meaningful paid
> who will feed you, your friends and family?

A few years ago, I saw a retrospective on the 1960s. In it, some guy
whined about how automation was taking jobs away. I got the idea the
guy didn't do a study of the problem, but was just mouthing slogans in
the air at the time. Why would I think this? Well, partly from his
demeanor I admit and the fact that the person interviewing him didn't
bother to challenge him on this, but also partly because there are more
jobs now in total in the US, then there were in the 1960s.

I think the thing holding the Third World back is not the lack of First
World foreign aid, but the lack of respect for property rights (see
Hernando De Soto's -- the Peruvian economist NOT the Spanish
explorer:) -- _The Other Path_ and _The Mystery of Capital: Why
Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else_) and, all too
often, because First World foreign comes in an destroys the society.
Since the former should be obvious, let me elaborate on the latter.
Foreign aid not only helps to keep unpopular regimes in power, it allows
them to pursue wreckless policies, including Israel's continued high
level of public sector economic activity and Egypt's devotion to
building up its military despite it having no real threats to its
security -- unless Israle is the threat.

Also, foreign aid often destroys local economies, as happened in Somalia
in the early 1990s. US grain shipments to Somalia actually helped to
bankrupt a lot of small farmers. Why? People in cities could get grain
for free, so the small farmers then lost their revenues and, guess
what?, they became refugees and moved to the cities! See _The Road to
Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity_
by Michael Maren and _The Tears of the White Man: Compassion As
Contempt_ by Pascal Bruckner.

> Should you then live in shit,
> disease & starvation? I somehow suspect you will have a very different
> of "welfare" & "foreign aid" then.

This is sort of like saying, if a robot beats you up, you'll finally
understand technophobia.

The problem is being in the situation does not help you to get out of it
or to necessarily understand it. Every so often in Hollywood, they
through parties where some people get a premium dinner and others get a
bowl of rice. The goal? To help rich actors understand what it feels
like to live in the Third World. Well, this doesn't help people in the
Third World. If you really want to help them, then remove the barriers
to them helping themselves and, if you feel so inclined, give charity
from your funds -- not other people's.


Daniel Ust
    My "Love in Ancient America," a poem recently published in _The
Thought_, is now at:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:32 MDT