Saturday, January 01, 2005

Any Opportunity for a Cheap Shot

Tim Blair has a handy round up of articles pertaining to international aid, in particular the United States' contribution. Polly Toynbee of the UK Guardian shows a particular willingness to make the data fit the conclusion:

"Charity begins at home" is the mean-minded dictum of the right, unwilling to spend on foreigners, unwilling to spend on those outside the family fortress at home, either. But there may be a lot of truth in the old maxim. Countries that tolerate vast wealth gaps are unlikely to concern themselves greatly about the poor even further from their door. Countries that give most - the Nordics - are the ones that have created the most socially equal societies at home first. Can America be anything but unjust in dealing with foreigners when it cares so little about the third world poverty within its own borders?

Ms. Toynbee is evidently operating under the assumption that only charity that comes from the government can truly represent the people of that nation. How about we just let the people decide by sending their own, untaxed, money to help the relief effort. If anything, that money is going to be far better spent than it will as it travels through the corrupt channels of numerous governmental bank accounts.

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