Bono Is Bad For Africa
So Bono, Sir Bob Geldof and Michael Jackson are trying to raise financial aid for the suffering of Africa through their Live8 concert. Noble cause and they will feel really good about themselves. And all of their help will do NOTHING for the recipients.
In a study reported by A World Connected, the futility of the aid provided by these rock stars result in no progress like such charity has done for the past 35 years.
Julian Morris, Executive Director of International Policy Network, said: “Rock star economists see the world through rose-tinted spectacles (both literally and figuratively in many cases). Their belief that aid will help the poor is misguided. The reality is that aid rewards failure and bolsters regimes that would otherwise have been thrown out.”
Swedish economist Fredrik Erixon, the reports's author, says:
“Countries are not poor because they lack roads, schools or health clinics. They lack these things because they are poor – and they are poor because they lack the institutions of the free society, which create the underlying conditions for economic development. Aid has it upside down.”
Foreign aid has the same results as in smaller scale human situations. Parents who support their spendthrift children with no strings attached do not wind up with independent productive adult children.
In African countries their leaders have either pilfered the public treasuries or pursued largely socialist programs that fail.
Kenya and Tanzania were both recipients of large amounts of aid from 1970-1996. Both countries pursued flawed economic policies, such as price controls, marketing boards and import substitution. Their extreme poverty was almost entirely due to those policies, and reforms have not been forthcoming in recent years because of entrenched economic interests.
By contrast, millions of the poorest people in the world live in China and India, whose economies are growing rapidly despite receiving trivial amounts of aid.
Recognizing the follow-through by the rock stars will be minimal, even short-term relief to feed the starving for a few days, may not occur given the our recent experience of tsunami relief (where tons of food has rotted on docks). The chance of success will be nil if any UN-types have any part in the process.