Rafe’s Roundup 11 May

Very busy this last week, so a diminished and late Roundup.

World news: Spiked on Line. Keeping the flame alive in Cuba.

Third World. William Easterly on the destructive tyranny of experts in the World Bank.

Global poverty has largely been viewed as a technical problem that merely requires the right expert solutions. Yet all too often, experts recommend solutions that fix immediate problems while ignoring the political oppression that created them in the first place, accidentally colluding with autocrats who violate the rights of the poor. The Tyranny of Experts traces the history of the fight against global poverty, showing how development has long suppressed the vital debate on the individual rights of people in developing countries, the crucial debate on whether unchecked power for dictators is the problem and not the solution.

Literature and life. The 2014 Bulwer-Lytton awards. “It was a dark and stormy night …….etc”.

Books. Bargains. Book of eggs. Wodehouse and others.

Around the town: IPA HEY. The Sydney Institute. Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Liberty on the Rocks, the notice board for the ATA: Quadrant on line, Mannkal Foundation, Centre for Independent Studies.

Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog
Don Aitkin.
Jim Rose, feral and utopian!

For nerds. Melvyn Bragg’s radio program. RIP Gary Becker.

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7 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup 11 May

  1. stackja

    MWD reports on SMH and Pell. I am shocked doubting SMH!

  2. mareeS

    I have a copy of “Call For the Dead,” bought for $2 at my friend’s USB some dozens of years ago (the price is still there in pencil), will sell for $22,500. Who wouldn’t?
    George Smiley at his best, and all true about England’s traitors.

  3. Rafe, Easterly is the successor to P.T. Bauer.

    Easterly combines great technical skills with passion in his writings.

  4. Rabz

    Greetings Rafe, you ol’ legend!

    :)

  5. Big Jim

    Easterly’s screed would make sense if he wasn’t coming across as another PC toady. Third world countries with impeccable constitutions are worse because vulnerable tyrants tend to be more paranoid and violent. It’s the people, stupid!

  6. Walter Plinge

    Global poverty has largely been viewed as a technical problem that merely requires the right expert solutions. Yet all too often, experts recommend solutions that fix immediate problems while ignoring the political oppression that created them in the first place, accidentally colluding with autocrats who violate the rights of the poor.

    This is not a new or original perspective. I’ll just reach over and pull off my bookshelf…Lords of Poverty – the power, prestige, and corruption of the international aid business. by Graham Hancock (1994).

    From the Amazon blurb:

    Each year some sixty billion dollars are spent on foreign aid throughout the world. Whether in donations to charities such as Save the Children, Oxfam, CARE, UNICEF, or the Red Cross, in the form of enormous loans from the World Bank, or as direct payments from one government to another, the money is earmarked for the needy, for relief in natural disasters—floods or famines, earthquakes, or droughts—and for assistance in the development of nations.

    The magnitude of generosity from the world’s wealthy nations suggests the possibility of easing, if not eliminating, hunger, misery, and poverty; in truth, however, only a small portion of this sixty billion dollars is ever translated into direct assistance. Thanks to bureaucratic inefficiency, misguided policies, large executive salaries, political corruption, and the self-perpetuating “overhead” of the administrative agencies, much of this tremendous wealth is frittered away, as Graham Hancock’s alarming and comprehensive book reveals. Hancock cuts through the smoke screens and hot air of the “aristocracy of mercy” to provide a critical look at a multinational business that has never been subject to strict accountability.

    Lords of Poverty is a case study in betrayals of a public trust. The shortcomings of aid are numerous, and serious enough to raise questions about the viability of the practice at its most fundamental levels. Hancock’s report is thorough, deeply shocking, and certain to cause critical reevaluation—of the government’s motives in giving foreign aid, and of the true needs of our intended beneficiaries.

    I never donate to charities involved in overseas aid. Waste of money. Live Aid was just a wank fest that achieved zilch. Didn’t Smelly Bob’s career any harm however.

  7. Poor Old Rafe

    Greetings Rabz!

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