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pudge (1)

pudge
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Journal of pudge (1)

Wednesday July 20, 2005
09:51 AM

Re: Leading

[ #25813 ]

Quoth TorgoX, via (who else?) the Guardian:

[Bush] said America was "leading the world when it comes to helping Africa", despite the fact that it gives only 0.2% of its GDP in overseas aid - well below the UN's 0.7% target.

What is this "despite" doing here? There's no obvious -- and indeed, no actual -- connection between leading the world when it comes to helping Africa, and the UN target. It's a target for 2015, one that only five countries have reached, including none of those mentioned in the article. The EU as a whole gives 0.39 percent of GDP currently, and have an additional 2010 target of 0.56 percent, something that many of them probably won't reach.

If the editorialist wanted to be informative and fair, they would have compared the U.S. contributions as a percentage of GDP to the current EU contributions, not to their as-yet unattained 10-year targets, or discussed the lack of U.S. committment to such targets. And of course, the article would have mentioned that the U.S. gives more in dollar amounts than anyone else, which was Bush's point.

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  • "If the editorialist wanted to be informative and fair..."

    If they wanted to be fair, they would just say "The US is helping Africa. Although most Americans will never go to Africa and couldn't name more than 3 countries in Africa, their tax money is being sent there to help people who will likely never be able to return the favor. How much are they helping? Well, it's charity, so everything counts."

    Same thing happened after the tsunami, right? The US can never give enough charity to people in need to ha

    • ...their tax money is being sent there to help people who will likely never be able to return the favor.

      Returning the favor is completely missing the point. It's not about making an investment with returns in kind or in actual dollars. It's about alleviating needless suffering.

      But that's a side issue. There's no indication that throwing the entire US GDP for the next 10 years at helping Africa would solve the endemic problems, some of which are of western origin over the last few centuries, some o

      • Returning the favor is completely missing the point. It's not about making an investment with returns in kind or in actual dollars. It's about alleviating needless suffering.

        Yeah, I have sympathy for the view that we shouldn't use the government for charity, but didn't address that in my post, since it's beside the point of my complaint, which is simple mischaracterization of the facts.

        There's no indication that throwing the entire US GDP for the next 10 years at helping Africa would solve the endemic probl
        • Yes, and that is getting deeper into it than I intended

          Ditto.

          I don't think more money is the answer, I think different policies are the answer.

          And I really don't want to start talking about political policy.

          My point is that sometimes, you can swap out an aging VAX for a multi-million dollar StarCat and solve a whole mess of problems. But sometimes, you don't have limitless bank accounts to buy big iron, and you just have to roll up your sleeves, study the problem and find a better algorithm gi

  • Then don't read TorgoX and the Guardian. : )