2-4-6 (NOT Live 8!)
I'd like to point out some comments by my "friend," Max Boot. I use the term friend liberally, since though I've had the honor of meeting Mr. Boot (one of the 500 pound brains at the Council on Foreign Relations
) he listened to me for about 20 minutes and I did not have the privilege of being able to pick his brain in return. But, judging from his works I'd be honored to count him as a friend.
On the recent Live 8 spectacle (or debacle), Max says, "The solution being promoted by Live 8 is simple: Send beaucoup bucks. The anti-poverty campaigners are grouchy because the wealthy world spends only 0.25% of its gross national income on aid -- a mere $76.8 billion last year. They want to nearly triple that, to 0.7% of GNI.
"The United States, in particular, is castigated for its "stingy" development budget -- only 0.16% of GNI. This obscures the fact that, in absolute terms, the U.S. government spends far more on foreign aid ($19 billion last year) than any other nation.
And that's only a small part of our total contribution. Thanks in part to our lower tax rates, Americans give far more to charity than do Europeans. If you include private-sector donations ... U.S. foreign aid totals $81 billion or 0.68% of GNI. ... And that's not counting the billions the U.S. spends to subsidize global security or the billions more it sends abroad as investment capital.
"By any measure, the U.S. is extraordinarily generous.
" Max points out. "But for the anti-poverty campaigners it's not enough. It never is. Their animating idea is: ...Massive transfers of wealth can eradicate poverty.
"Africans' income and life expectancy have gone down, not up, [in the last 50 years]while South Korea, Singapore and other Asian nations that received little if any assistance have moved from ...African-level poverty to European-level prosperity thanks to their superior economic policies.
"Africans continue to be tormented not by the G-8, ... but by their own politicos, including Sudanese President Bashir, abetting genocide in Darfur, and Zimbabwean President Mugabe, turning his once-prosperous country into a famine-plagued basket case.
"Instead of pouring billions more down the same old rat holes, maybe the Live 8 crew should promote a more innovative approach: Use the G-8's jillions 2
hire mercenaries 4
the overthrow of the 6
most thuggish regimes in Africa. That would do more to help ordinary Africans than any number of musical extravaganzas."
Sounds like Max agrees with my good friend Clay, at In My Right Mind
, "There is a solution that would improve the plight of millions of starving, abused, and downtrodden people in Africa, ... The best way to help these unfortunate people in Africa is military action. ... Talk about a chance for the world to be united in a cause!
"For those who want to hold hands around the world and "make a change", how about this; how about each nation contribute its fair share of troops to march into Africa, kill the bloody dictators and gangs that are holding the starving in Africa captive, and set these people free. Then all of the aid donated would actually make a difference."