Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bush's Grand Aid to Africa Scheme is Disaster

As you may recall, I spoke out against Bush's Aid to Africa scheme over a year-and-a-half ago. Just now, it is being reported by the AP that the records have been so sloppy, we have absolutely no idea how the money is being spent or if it's effective.

Go figure.

As I previously wrote, "trade is really the issue which will truly help Africa." People appreciate what they work for, and it's easy to take a handout for granted.

This lack of record keeping and responsibility is something that we could have predicted back then. It's not simply due to the Bush regime's sloppy administration of the funds. It's also due to a lack of gratitude on the part of the people we're supposedly helping.

Back when the increased aid to Africa was announced, I felt that it was Bush trying to throw a sop to the world community as a way to ameliorate the Iraq war. The sop hasn't worked, and we're obviously throwing away the money when it could be better spent at home.

The aid to Africa needs to stop now. "Charity begins at home," my mother used to say. It's time to help our own, before we attempt to help others.


The Lazy Iguana said...

This is a complex problem with no simple solutions.

On one hand, doing nothing creates the perfect environment for extremist groups to fester. Yes the nation in the hands of the extremist groups will be poor - but Afghanistan was also poor. And look at all the problems caused by a handful of guys living in caves over there.

On the flip side - money for public works projects and sacks of surplus grain is only part of what is needed. Only the military has the means to distribute aid supplies. It takes engineers, construction equipment, and at least some educated / skilled workers to build stuff. That means schools and aid to fund the schools long enough for people to obtain graduate degrees so that there is not a need for foreign educated workers.

And that is VERY expensive. And very long term. If you pull the plug on one thing before the entire project is done - it all falls apart.

So what to do? Nothing, a half ass job that will result in a waste of money, or fund a complete effort that will be very costly (way more costly than the current Iraq war in money terms) without a guarantee that the effort will be a success?

Senor Caiman said...


Happy Kwanzaa day uno.

Ameliorable post.

KristieD said...

merry late christmas! hope you and yours had a great time and that santa was good to everyone!

Mr. Grey Ghost said...

Part of the liberal mantra is to throw money at a problem and it will be be solved. Someone forgot to tell Bush that liberals are usually wrong about everything.

Malnurtured Snay said...

I really wish the government would give me a lot of money to use for productive purposes -- y'know, get out of debt, pay for school, hire a maid to clean my bathroom. I think graft should start at home, to the benefit of the American taxpayer, dammit. If anyone's going to be stealing from the American taxpayer, it should BE the American taxpayer (by, y'know, being cheating bastards and stuff).

Anonymous said...

The aid to Africa does not need to stop. There is a real war going on there, against poverty, disease and uneducation, and we need to do our part as the richest nation on earth to help. But help isn't a handout as you wrote, its teaching people how to fish. That's why I'm joining the peace corps and going to Africa. Spread peace and knowledge, not war.