Thursday, July 07, 2005

Rock On!

The last post (“Capitalism Rocks”) generated great commentary from my splendid readers.

Dori wrote:

I was listening to the radio this morning and I heard of some interesting stories coming out of the Live8 concert...performers received $12,000 gift baskets; backstage they feasted on, among other delicacies, lobster; egos got bruised here and there esp. between McCartney & Beckham's...etc., etc. Bob Geldolf was quoted as saying, "we must do something even if it doesn't work."

WHAT? You want me to give my hard earned money to something that may not work?! You will be happy just to do SOMETHING...ANYTHING, Mr. Geldolf, no matter the outcome? That's exactly the problem. Billions of $$ have been poured into Africa, for example, and look at that place. It's worse than ever --

Right on Dori!

And at least one African agrees. Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. In an interview with German paper DER SPIEGEL, Shikwati addressed the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa...

Shikwati: ... for God's sake, please just stop. Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent.

SPIEGEL: Would Africa actually be able to solve these problems on its own?

Shikwati: Of course. Hunger should not be a problem in most of the countries south of the Sahara. In addition, there are vast natural resources: oil, gold, diamonds. Africa existed before you Europeans came along. And we didn't do all that poorly either.

The full article is a must read.

On the other end of the capitalism spectrum is Ireland.

This from Pamela:

Thomas Friedman recently devoted two columns (in the NY Times) to the boom of Ireland's economy. Ireland today is the richest country in the European Union after Luxembourg. How did ireland do it?

"... the government, the main trade unions, farmers and industrialists came together and agreed on a program of fiscal austerity, slashing corporate taxes to 12.5 percent, far below the rest of Europe, moderating wages and prices, and aggressively courting foreign investment. Today, 9 out of 10 of the world's top pharmaceutical companies have operations here, as do 16 of the top 20 medical device companies and 7 out of the top 10 software designers. Last year, Ireland got more foreign direct investment from America than from China. And overall government tax receipts are way up."

"The question is "when Germany and France will face reality: Either they become Ireland, or they become museums."

Capitalism does work! So France and Germany put that in your pipes and smoke it!

Rock on Pam!

I love my readers.


Blogger Stephanie said...

Interesting, too, that women are becoming such great spokespeople for capitalism. I wrote a book for moms, Cost Benefit Simplicity, that illustrates how capitalism is actually healthier for the planet, and helps keep our lives "simplified." My fear was that young moms were buying into the socialist teaching they got in public school. But your readers give me hope! :)

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stephanie brings up a very good point. socialism in the school systems. In my economics class in high school the teachers taught us how capitalism can't work without government stepping in, but as all of us critical thinkers (conservatives) already know is that isn't true (look at luxemberg). Now i attend the university of Nebraska at lincoln and it is very frustrating because SOO many of my professors are closer to communist then they are capitalists and nebraska is supposed to be a red state. I fear that too many of my classmates have learned not to think on thier own and let teachers and media do it for them. I start to get discouraged but then i see how the positive effects on the economy and feel better. The Bush tax cuts are larger than expected and unemployment is down to 5% now, the lowest in over 4 years. Liberals should just compare that to frances.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think conservatism is on the rise but it is hard to overcome how institutionalised liberalism has become.. it really is sickening. this is off topic but i thought i would heard a rumor today that might brighten everyones day. Two more supreme court judges are supposed to retire before the end of the year. of course one of them is going to be reimquist(spelling,) but also a liberal judge (sorry can;t remember the name).

2:08 PM  

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