Thursday, July 14, 2005

Greed, tranzi style.

Europeans smugly call the US stingy on aid, because they're covering a deep personal greed with the fiction of governments doing good for them. If you believe that all live flows through government, then you might mananage to channel some of it personally, but it’s only imagined. Stinginess however, is not wanting to do it yourself.

Tim Wortsall:

«I mean, really. What would happen if people were simply free to spend their own money in their own way? Not only would they be rich and happy themselves but it looks as if they would spend more than the official targets! We could never have that now, could we, things proceeding along nicely without a bureaucracy to administer it? Anyway, we all know private spending doesn't work, it isn't really money unless it has been processed through the system, unless the form fillers have said the magic incantation...we're from the government and we're here to help. »
From the Hudson Institute report that he cites:

«While the United States gives the greatest absolute amount of ODA to developing countries, it is routinely criticized for being "stingy" because U.S. Government aid ranks last among donor nations as a percent of Gross National Income (GNI). U.S. official aid is .15 percent of GNI compared to Norway, the highest ranked donor, at .92 percent.

What such criticism ignores, however, is that the measure, developed by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), fails to take into account the primary way in which Americans help others abroad: through the private sector. "ODA is an outdated and inaccurate way of measuring a country's generosity," says Dr. Adelman, Director of the Center for Science in Public Policy, at the Hudson Institute. "Americans prefer to give people to people assistance versus Europeans who give primarily government to government aid."»