Thursday, May 14, 2009
The Paradox of Aid
Cheap/free food keeps poor countries poor, because the workers there all want to start with agriculture. Of course, the availability of cheap/free food prevents them from ever getting started, because there simply is no market for their goods. Thus, aid keeps poor countries poor. So why is it championed as such a great thing?
I've tried to have this discussion with some government/non-Econ majors and they seem to be reasonably accepting of the idea. Nonetheless, American imperialism of food aid continues unabated. What will it take to stop it?
Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that which the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant. ~Fredrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty