You see much of this report is quotes from Helen Clark, but the imbecile who reported it (remember journalism isn’t about quoting verbatim what someone said, but actually interpreting it) starts the article with “Former prime minister Helen Clark has called for world leaders who promised aid to developed nations at the turn of the millennium to deliver on their promises”
Aid to “developed nations”? What, to EU member states, Japan, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand? Who promised that? The word is developing. What fool wrote developed? What moron can’t proof read to save himself?
Now the material issue here is whether aid is a good thing. I’ve just finished reading the rather dated book “Lords of Poverty” by Graham Hancock, which despite having a centre-left tint to it, comes clearly to the conclusion that aid is harmful and destructive. That despite billions of dollars going to developing countries since the 1950s, it has not made a material difference. State aid primarily goes to wealthy people in poor countries and wealthy people in rich countries (who go there to “help out”), and private aid is an industry in ripping people off.
Aid is a salve for consciences, as the biggest sources of developing country poverty are quietly ignored:
- Corrupt, thieving governments that don’t protect individual rights, property rights or have judicial systems to manage disputes over these (such as contracts). This is generally the rule in Africa;
- European, Asian and US protectionism against developing country goods, particularly primary produce;
- Intellectually and morally bankrupt socialist economic philosophies that damage wealth creation in favour of grandiose “national” plans and ideas.
Helen Clark feeding the patronising dependency attitude that has kept many a politician and bureaucrat well fed (especially the likes of those now working for her) is counterproductive. The adage trade not aid is right
However, you can’t expect New Zealand journalists to engage in any critical investigation or reporting on the UNDP when some don’t know the difference between developed and developing countries!