Live 8, G8, and music to my ears
Ball-less and soul-less as I am (at least according to some commenters at another blog), I shall strive to continue my present ball-and-soul-lessness by reitirating my position: good governance, true democracy, the rule of law, property rights, free trade, and educational choices are what will lead Africa out of its misery. Rock concerts are for entertainemnt. Or, as Joe at ¡No Pasarán! has been asking,
So WATCHING a concert is AID? Since WHEN?
Cavalier X calls Live 8 Live Waste, but Mark Steyn looks at the Live 8 performers and concludes, “These faux revolutionaries are capitalists red in tooth and claw.” He hadn’t even had a chance to look at the new sales of old CDs (at least Pink Floyd vowed on Tuesday to donate all profits made from their greatest hits album to charity). Not a waste at all, even when a lot of garbage came from it.
Mahone at Paxety posts about The Imposition Of Leftist Morality On Besieged Humanity, and Helen at EU Referendum looks at the Live 8 slogans and sees Glasnost and perestroika EU style, but fellow soul-less Stephen Pollard felt that In terms of news impact, nothing which happened yesterday in Hyde Park was of any more importance than what I chose to eat for dinner.
Pollard refers to the Make Poverty History campaign as Make Poverty Permanent. He might not be too far from the truth: Commenter (to my prior post) Rufus sent a link to Dr Tomi Ovaska’s More Aid, Less Growth, which, after studying 86 developing countries from 1975 to 1998 concluded that there’s a negative relationship between development aid and economic growth: (emphasis mine)
. . . one percent increase in aid as a percent of GDP decreased annual real GDP per capita growth by 3.65 percent.
Furthermore, aid given to countries with better quality of governance was not found to improve the effectiveness of the aid.
Simon Jenkins of the London Times has a couple of proposals.
Scott Burgess does an excellent job of comparing and contrasting how the British press reports on the G8 summit, and Pres. Bush’s extraordinary proposal: Specifically, Pres. Bush has proposed slashing American farm subsidies if the EU did the same:
“Let’s join hands as wealthy industrialised nations and say to the world, ‘We are going to get rid of all our agricultural subsidies together.’ We are willing to do so and we will do so with our fine friends in the European Union.”
This would do more towards ending poverty worldwide than any Live8, Live 15, Live-ad infinitum feel-good reunion of old rockers, but the Grauniad and the Beeb think of it as selfish. In contrast, that arm of the vast-right-wing-conspiracy, the NYTimes, has an article by Nicholas Kristoff calling Bush, a Friend of Africa. Kristoff ends up calling Bush selfish, but at least pointed out
But the fact is that Mr. Bush has done much more for Africa than Bill Clinton ever did, increasing the money actually spent for aid there by two-thirds so far, and setting in motion an eventual tripling of aid for Africa.
Kristoff ignores the fact that the Bush administration has tripled the total American aid to Africa over the past four years.
John O’Sullivan thinks Pres. Bush has a “surprisingly good chance of being hailed as a savior of mankind” at the G8. Since I’m not as optimistic as Mr. O’Sullivan, I predict that there’s a snowball’s chance in hell for that. O’Sullivan, however, looks at the Make Poverty History manifesto and explains,
Indeed, the more one examines the MPH manifesto, the more sinister it seems. It is a manifesto for government controls and against markets — ignoring the fact that government in poor countries is very often inefficient, corrupt and clannish. It wants more aid instead of more trade — ignoring the fact that aid goes to governments, not the poor, and strengthens their power even in the rare cases where they use it honestly, whereas trade benefits the enterprising and hardworking. It wants to stop privatization programs — ignoring the fact that government monopolies in the Third World are overstaffed with relatives of influential people, treated as private bank accounts by ministers, and thus forced to charge high monopoly prices to the non-influential (i.e., the poor).
Experience tells me American Generosity is Underappreciated. I expect that no one at the GB will hail Bush as a savior of mankind, or of anything. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jacques, who loves to play to the media cracks a joke or two. That’s a lot more likely than expecting any EU concessions on farm subsidies.
Arthur Chrenkoff paraphrases Adam Smith,
“It is not from the benevolence of the aging rock legend, or the upcoming pop star, that Africans can expect dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
Now, that is music to my ears.
Update M. sent a link to Thinker’s Room, a Kenyan blog,
No, I am not holding my breath. The solution will not come from Live Aid or from G8. It will come from Africans who will finally refuse to accept the nonsense they are subjected to by their asinine leadership and throw the lot of the useless cretins out.
It will come from Africans who will put their skills and abilities to use for their countries.
It will come from Africans who will refuse to acknowledge the empty gestures from Europe and America, whose only concern is how best to plunder the continent of its resources and people without ruffling too many feathers and upsetting too many of their taxpayers.
Will have to add Thinker’s Room to the blogroll.