Monday, January 17, 2005


How The U.N Wants to Fight Global Poverty

Guess how!

It's really quite simple. The industrialized countries need to up their aid to poor countries to half of a percent of their national incomes. Don't believe it? Well the beloved U.N. says it's "utterly affordable."

"We're talking about rich countries committing 50 cents out of every $100 of income to help the poorest people in the world get a foothold on the ladder of development," said Sachs, appointed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to head the project in 2002.

The worldwide outpouring of grief and aid since the tsunami killed more than 150,000 people has stirred hope here that the same wellspring of empathy can be tapped for what Sachs called "the silent tsunami" of global poverty that kills more than 150,000 children every month from malaria alone.

So then, Americans are not paying enough taxes?

I wonder if these bureaucrats even know the meaning of the world capitalism. Did it ever occur to them that the most prosperous countries are ones where individual rights and property rights are upheld?

I doubt it. To them, it's all a matter of industrialized, prosperous countries being stingy. It's as if they believe that the wealth created in America makes other countries poorer. That bromide is debunked here, and here.

Andrew Bernstein of the Ayn Rand Institute describes capitalism best in an old commentary piece:

Capitalism is a social system based on individual rights, the right of every individual to his life, his liberty and the pursuit of his own happiness. The thinkers of the Enlightenment, including John Locke and the Founding Fathers, brought these ideas to the forefront in Europe and America. The result was an economic revolution, which--in a relatively brief time--transformed the West from a poverty-stricken region to one of great productive wealth. This system of freedom liberated the most creative minds of Western society, resulting in a torrent of innovations--from James Watt's steam engine to Louis Pasteur's germ theory to Henry Ford's automobile to the Wright Brothers' airplane and much more. This new freedom, and the Industrial Revolution it spawned, resulted in vast increases in agricultural and industrial production.

Creative minds--from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs--flourish only under freedom. The result is new products, new jobs, new wealth, in short: the furtherance of life on earth, in length, quantity and quality. Under the kings, theocracies, military dictatorships and socialist regimes that dominate Africa, such minds are stifled. The result is stagnation, poverty and death.

Africa has the identical natural resource fundamentally responsible for the West's rise: the human mind. But it has neither the freedom nor the Enlightenment philosophy of reason, individualism and political liberty necessary for creating wealth and health. Africa is mired in tribal cultures that stress subordination to the group rather than personal independence and achievement. All over the continent brutal dictators murder and rob innocent citizens in order to aggrandize themselves and members of their tribes.

Time to give that U.N. the boot!


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