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February 13, 2005

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spencer

If you are going to quote Drezner, you should at least be up to data as this feb quote of his that shows the
US ranks 15th among the top donors.

If you policy is so good, why do you have to lie about it?

"Combining public and private donations puts total U.S. development assistance in the range of $35 billion per year, or about 0.32 percent of U.S. income. In other words, for every $3 of income, the United States provides about one cent in development assistance. Even with this broader measure (and using the larger estimate of U.S. private assistance without making a similar adjustment for other countries), the United States ranks, at best, 15th among the top donors."

spencer

Explain something to me. I though the right wing position on aid is that it was highy wasteful and did more damage then good.

But, one minor UN official makes an offhand remark and you guys get bent out of shape and have bend over backwards to show him wrong and brag about how much aid the US gives.

Make up uour mind -- are you now in favor of a massive expansion of US aid to poor countries or do you still hold to the previous conservative position?

Cecil Turner

"If you are going to quote Drezner, you should at least be up to data as this feb quote of his that shows the US ranks 15th among the top donors."

Your quote isn't Drezner's, it's him quoting Radelet. And it's a bit disingenuous to use this to defend the Traub piece, as Drezner specifically uses it as a rebuttal.

"If you policy is so good, why do you have to lie about it?"

If it's so bad, why does the NYTimes have to lie about it? (Not that I'm averse to holding TM to higher standards than the Times, but I think he comes out relatively well in the comparison, especially in this case.)

Les Nessman

"Explain something to me. I though the right wing position on aid is that it was highy wasteful and did more damage then good."

If that's what you think, then you thought wrong. The Official Right Wing Position is that short-term aid is good and long-term handouts are bad.

spencer

I went back and reread the Traub article. I find nothing in it that is incorrect. Would you please point out where he lied.

The quote from Dezners is given as a fact that he does dispute. He give the fact to agree that the US aid effort is much lower then generally believed. In contrast is that in the earlier article he disputed the point that the US was cheap.

I presume by short term aid you mean something like the
tsunami relief after a disaster and by long term aid you mean something that would help the countries do something to increase their economic development.

But my point is still valid -- the right wing is opposed to aid but still is fighting like crazy to show we give a lot of aid. It still looks inconsistent to me. Why do you feel that you have to disprove the UN official?

Cecil Turner

"I went back and reread the Traub article. I find nothing in it that is incorrect."

Well, if you're using Drezner's post as an authority, this bit certainly suggests Traub is off-track:

Traub covers some of the same ground, but can't seem to concede the point that on development policy, the Bush administration is actually closer in its stated plans to Traub's "ideal" than either the Clinton administration or the European Union
It's certainly as much of a "lie" as TM quoting Drezner's earlier post that placed the US at #7.

"But my point is still valid -- the right wing is opposed to aid but still is fighting like crazy to show we give a lot of aid."

I think you've beat the stuffing out of that particular strawman.

Les Nessman

spencer
"I presume by short term aid you mean something like the
tsunami relief after a disaster.."

You are correct there, however, you then bizarrely say :

"But my point is still valid -- the right wing is opposed to aid.."

Uh, no. I guess I'll type it again, please read it slowly this time : The Official Right Wing Position is that short-term aid is good.

As one of the Official Leaders of the Official Right Wing, I guarentee that.

The Kid

This is in contrast to the libertarian position on foreign aid:
Send a box with copies of the US Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, The Road to Serfdom, and Desoto’s The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. Before sealing the box, put a piece of paper at the top that reads as follows:
Read the enclosed.
Implement.
Let us know how it goes.

ATM

Frankly, European countries have been receiving a huge aid package in the form defense aid that has allowed most of them to cut military budgets by a huge amount. This greatly exceeds the amount of aid that they pay out.

TM

As one of the Official Leaders of the Official Right Wing, I guarentee that.

So, Les, you are the voice on the other end when my dental fillings tingle - glad to know.

Spencer, maybe third time lucky here - there is the possibility of confusion betwen disaster relief, and long term development aid.

Althogh we are generous in time of crisis, we of the right are guided by the old wisdom - give a man a fish, feed him today; teach a man to fish, watch him leave on a vacation to go fly-fishing in Alaska.

spencer

I have no problem with the concept that foreign aid had not been very effective -- I personally think markets are great and free market capitalism in combination with intelligent, effective public capital has been the greatest thing ever. But, markets do make mistakes and I can not think of a single country that has made the transition to be a rich developed country without large scale, effective public capital in education and infrastructure. Rather, my question is why are you so sensitive about the US providing little aid when you claim it is ineffective. Why didn't you just let the remark by a UN offical pass without coment?

TM

Why didn't you just let the remark by a UN offical pass without coment?

Althouhg I can hardly claim to speak for the entire VRWC (without the permission of Les Nessman, anyway), I will take two wild guesses:

with respect to disaster relief, the complaint is false and offensive;

we don't like UN officials.

Spencer, I am missing your point - where is your killer rhetorical thrust headed?

Cecil Turner

"Rather, my question is why are you so sensitive about the US providing little aid when you claim it is ineffective. Why didn't you just let the remark by a UN offical pass without coment?"

Well, neglecting the part about a UN official blowing hot air (hardly a remarkable occurrence, admittedly), the debate over aid is also a bit more of a longstanding concern, and runs into some larger issues. What could possibly be annoying about:

  • European nations providing about half the prudent defense expenditures (1.5% GDP vs 3.0% GDP), spending half of the savings on foreign aid, and thinking that gives them the moral high ground for righteous lectures to the US
  • The UN and various "NGOs" claiming the right to administer .7% of US GDP (soon after their involvement in the most stunningly corrupt aid program in history)
  • UN functionaries ignoring the primary purpose of the UN (collective security) in order to line their pockets while actively subverting UNSC resolutions, making diplomatic solutions impossible and war more likely
  • Various member nations of the UN ignoring their collective security obligations in order to "counterbalance" the US "hyperpower"
But the main focus of this post appears to be media treatment. Specifically, many US media sources, including the "Paper of Record," consistently taking the side of America's enemies, to the point of misrepresenting facts that might be supportive of US policy. Defend 'em if you like . . . personally I'm tired of our media outlets cheering for our enemies on the off chance that it might hurt the current Administration. The only bright spot is that it's transparent and completely counterproductive.

Les Nessman

"The only bright spot is that it's transparent and completely counterproductive."

..and is rapidly slipping deeper into irrelevence, thanks to the internet. The best thing the VRWC did was invent the internet.

Harry Arthur

Hah! Les, another "lie" from the VRWC. Everyone knows Al Gore invented the internet.

Spencer, it's kind of like Bill Clinton's Welfare to Work program. Some help at the start should lead to self-reliance over the long term.

BTW, as debates go, it's not considered sporting to argue against a point your opponent didn't make. Nor is it sporting to argue "ad hominem." Hence, if you disagree with a point, no need to characterize it as a "lie" without some level of proof as to your opponent's mindset or thought process. Otherwise all you have is unsubstantiated alegation - generally the domain of the intellectually lazy.

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