The Aid Curse

"Then there is Ethiopia. Meles Zenawi, seen by the Pentagon as something of an ally in the war on terror, has been more successful at terrorizing his own people, especially in the opposition party, than in routing out extremists bent on wreaking destruction in the West. He has also continued to follow Marxist economic policies; there is virtually no private property in the country, making it very difficult for any development to occur, and making development aid rather pointless. This doesn’t seem to bother Zenawi, as he prevents all significant legitimate opposition and probably stole the last election — at the same time as the U.S. and U.K. decided to write-off his bad debts. And the more aid Zenawi’s government receives, the less he needs actually to encourage the causes of wealth creation. This not only has obvious economic implications, but also moral ones; to rely on handouts breeds an ethos in an entire country not unlike that found in the most aid-dependent parts of Western society. And while the welfare state works well in Scandinavia, it has partially or totally failed in most other locations, requiring high degrees of political honesty and hence low corruption — unheard of in the entire African continent, along with much of the rest of the world." ---Roger Bate

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at4:13 PM


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