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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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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

      • by pudge (1) on 2005.07.21 10:10 (#42090) Homepage Journal
        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 problems

        Yes, and that is getting deeper into it than I intended, but I agree with it. I don't think more money is the answer, I think different policies are the answer. And if different policies prove effective, then we can expand those policies with additional funds, if warranted. Because you're right, the proposed funding level is almost entirely arbitrary.

        Heck, the U.S. could give less than everyone else in both dollar amounts *and* percent of GDP and still be reasonably "leading the world," if the *way* in which it provided aid was simply more effective (which wouldn't take much!) (though that is not what Bush meant, I think).
        • 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