.7% to foreign aid?


GreenGreta
#1
GLENEAGLES, Scotland (Reuters) - Irish rock star and anti-poverty activist Bono injected undiplomatic language into a gathering of the world's most powerful men on Wednesday, telling the Canadian prime minister his refusal to promise more foreign aid was "infuriating"

Bono finds Canada's refusal to bend over backwards and do whatever he says infuriating? I'm sorry Bono and Bob, you can't have all our money. Hey, bud. We have people dying in our hospitals because WE dont' have enough money FOR US. I appreciate Martin. I'm glad he is saying not yet.

I'm sorry, I hate that the world is starving. I hate that in Africa hordes of people are dying of Aids. I hate that in Canada, I trip over the homeless because they have nowhere to go. I hate that in Canada our elderly are hungry. I hate that in Canada we have to wait weeks for surgeries. I hate that in Canada our schools don't have enough teachers, computers, gym equipment and paper. I hate that in Canada our minimum wage is only 7 bucks.

Hey, let's fix Canada and then we'll worry about the world! I think the percentage we give to foreign aid is sufficient. Perhaps if they didn't have such corrupt governments, their people wouldn't be starving............
 
missile
#2
Agreed that most of Africa's problems are politically based,and until those are changed..
 
Reverend Blair
#3
O.7% is our idea, Greta. It came from Lester B. Pearson, who sat in the same government as our current PM's father did.

It is achievable and, by the way, nobody is talking about it being immediate, but to be phased in by 2015.

The reality is that people are focusing strictly on the money as well. There are also issues about how is targeted, implications of various trade agreements, and the fact that corruption runs both ways.

Another little reality is that if don't pony up with money and real help starting now, that we'll end up paying far more in the long run. If we help these countries get back on their feet, it will not only save us money, but give us new trading partners.
 
TenPenny
#4
Oh, it's a terrible time when we can't bend over to please a rock star. After all, where are our priorities?

Any time a celebrity demands the cause du jour, we need to react immediately.

Pearson was very careful, when he came up with the 0.7% idea, to keep it as a vague, "to be phased in" idea.
 
GreenGreta
#5
Pearson died in 1972. Maybe what was a good idea when he was in charge (when our schools had teachers and our hospitals had doctors) is no longer a good idea. I don't think we can afford it and it is inappropriate for a rock star to demand it.
 
Jay
#6
Lots of rock stars want anarchy too, but their not getting it.

We have been down this Pearson path for how long now? And we still have all the problems....now we have one more problem, we bicker and fight over it. So far we have (so it would seem) solved nothing. It's time for new ideas in Canada.

I agree Greta...we should be fixing our problems long before we fix Africa's problems; once we get on track then we can help other nations....
 
Diamond Sun
#7
Especially with Africa's biggest problem being their corrupt politicians and officials. Until that problem is solved, no amount of money is going to help anything, except make the corrupt individuals much much richer.
 
albertzz
#8
why is getting a kid the latest 2005 edition canadian textbook more of a moral imperative than stopping someone from dying?
 
GreenGreta
#9
I'm not talking about getting the kids the LATEST textbooks, some classrooms have 35 or 40 children in them. This is a problem. We have no teachers, nurses and doctors. We cannot have the surgeries we need. Our transit and our hydro systems are decades old. We don't even have a military to protect us. You expect me to want to send money to some corrupt official so he can have a new building made for himself?

Screw that.
 
Cosmo
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by GreenGreta

Hey, let's fix Canada and then we'll worry about the world! I think the percentage we give to foreign aid is sufficient. Perhaps if they didn't have such corrupt governments, their people wouldn't be starving............

Totally agree, GreenGreta. We do need to look after our own first. I'm big on giving a hand up whenever I can, but I'm not much help to others if I don't first keep myself strong.

Rev, perhaps I don't understand the full implications of foreign aid ... but I do understand what it's like to trip over street people every time I go shopping, to lose a brother to herion addiction and a nephew to an inept system. I tend to personalize things, which makes me bad at politics but good at my own life.

The money could be well spent right here at home. Until the basic problems of many countries change, throwing money at it can never help.
 
no1important
#11
Martin did say our share will double within 3 years to Africa to $2.8 billion by 2008. But that is only .52 gdp.

But when you think of all the people that really is not a lot of money. Hopefully other countries increase their share. As they all should.

We all live on this one planet and there is more than enough food and resources to make sure people in the less fortunate countries have shelter, medical care, food, teachers etc. Man its only money.

Another problem I see with the "reluctence" of some to increase aid, is us in the west and other developed countries is our addiction and brainwashing to believe we need to accumulate material things, money, wealth etc. So many people do not really realize how we, in developed countries have it so good.

Yes there are evil leaders and dictators in Africa and we need to find a way to get them to smarten up or let them live and live in exile. But it will not happen overnight.

But us in the "developed" world can help and give suggestions to them through the UN or another agency how to "run and manage a country",set up political and justice sytems, set up shops and factories so they can produce and sell their assests and resources etc, train them in various trades and skills, so they can re build and build new infrastructure and hopefully one day they can become more self sufficient like us in the developed world. But it takes time and effort but can be done if there is a will to do it.
 
albertzz
#12
but apparently the consensus here is that havign 2 cars to pollute the world with and an extra tv is more important than someone who just happened to be born in a less fortunate part of the world's life. "charity starts at home" is a self-interested argument that I'm not sure they'd be making if they happened to be born somewhere else
 
Reverend Blair
#13
Quote:

Oh, it's a terrible time when we can't bend over to please a rock star. After all, where are our priorities?

That's really what's pissing people off, isn't it? That a rock star happens to using his fame to push for something. The thing is that Bono is better versed in this stuff than most, possibly all, of the current world leaders. That's why he was invited to the G-8 and why he's had the ear of so many politicians for so long.

This is not the same as Keith Richards lending his name and face to Amnesty International. This isn't even the same as the original Live Aid concerts. At some point people should listen to exactly what is being said instead of the 30 second sound-bites on the TV.

Quote:

Any time a celebrity demands the cause du jour, we need to react immediately.

It is not just a celebrity cause du jour. Bono has been working on this, an encouraging other celebrities to help him, for a very long time. He is the most famous of a group of people who have been fighting for this since before the western nations would even admit, at least in public, that there was a debt crisis in the developing world and that we were instrumental in causing it.

Quote:

Pearson died in 1972. Maybe what was a good idea when he was in charge (when our schools had teachers and our hospitals had doctors) is no longer a good idea. I don't think we can afford it and it is inappropriate for a rock star to demand it.

It was a good idea then, and it is a good idea now. If we would have contributed that much then, and done it in a way wasn't both short-sighted and self-serving, we likely wouldn't have to do it now.

Quote:

We have been down this Pearson path for how long now? And we still have all the problems....now we have one more problem, we bicker and fight over it. So far we have (so it would seem) solved nothing. It's time for new ideas in Canada.

We've never been down the Pearson path, Jay. We have taken a cynical route that has caused problems instead of solving them. Now the bill is higher.

Quote:

Especially with Africa's biggest problem being their corrupt politicians and officials. Until that problem is solved, no amount of money is going to help anything, except make the corrupt individuals much much richer.

Who was paying the bribes to those corrupt politicians? Who was lending them money when it was clear that the money was not going to help the people? Who was propping them up with military aid and "advisors".

The corruption is at least as much our fault as it is Africa's.

You might wasnt to check out the concept of odioyus debt.

Quote:

Rev, perhaps I don't understand the full implications of foreign aid ... but I do understand what it's like to trip over street people every time I go shopping, to lose a brother to herion addiction and a nephew to an inept system. I tend to personalize things, which makes me bad at politics but good at my own life.

And all those things deserve money as well. If we cancelled all foreign aid tomorrow, the money wouldn't go to any of those things though. It would go to tax cuts for corporations. They used to carry half the tax burden, now they carry less than a quarter...that's if they don't refuse to pay at all.

Many of those same corporations have profitted massively through contracts (by our governments, paid with our aid money) in the developing world, btw. Back to wondering who it is that's corrupt.

Quote:

The money could be well spent right here at home. Until the basic problems of many countries change, throwing money at it can never help.

It isn't just throwing money though. If you guys were really listening to what Bono has been saying for the last decade or so, you'd know that the money is just a part of it.

There is debt relief. That's a major step in getting these countries back on their feet and able to pay for their own programs. Most of this debt shouldn't have been loaned in the first place, so they don't have to pay it back anyway.

There is targetted aid. We have put requirements on the aid that we send, such as forcing developing nations to grow GM crops or have completely open trade policies (which no developed country has), or to support "us" instead of "them" in whatever geo-political mess we've started this time. It has massively screwed these countries up.

There is democracy. The developed world, mostly members of the G-8, haver a long and ugly record of installing governments in the developing world. You complain about corrupt dictators? Well maybe we shouldn't have helped pay to put them in office.

There is trade. We protect our markets while insisting that theirs be fully open. Now we are forcing them to buy terminator seeds so they can't even save seeds from one year to another. They have to buy them from us.

This shit goes all the way back to the slave trade. It weaves through colonialism, into neo-colonialism, and right up into the modern imperialism of globalisation. When you want to know how the developing world got to be such a mess, just go look in the mirror. It was us. And it's a large part of why we are rich.
 
TenPenny
#14
"There is democracy. The developed world, mostly members of the G-8, haver a long and ugly record of installing governments in the developing world. You complain about corrupt dictators? Well maybe we shouldn't have helped pay to put them in office. "

Maybe we should just leave politics out of it. Perhaps, like the middle east, trying to force democracy on people isn't quite such a good idea. At some point, someone in power has to understand that politics is part of culture. And maybe, just maybe, "we" should understand "their" culture, before we decide to force our politics on "them".

Maybe they don't want it.

An awful lot of the whole Africa thing hinges on the idea that we need to help "develop" Africa. Develop them into part of western society? That's maybe not so good.
 
Reverend Blair
#15
Developing into part of the western world is indeed one of the problems. If you look at the whole deal...everything that's being suggested...the goal of Bono and Sir Bob and most of the others is to help Africa develop into Africa, mostly by mitigating the effects of our previous actions there.

The tendency to just look at the money aspect tends to derail things. That doesn't mean that money shouldn't be there, but we have to quit making it contingent on things that benefit us. We've already benefitted enough from the problems of the developing world.
 
Jay
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Rev

Who was paying the bribes to those corrupt politicians? Who was lending them money when it was clear that the money was not going to help the people? Who was propping them up with military aid and "advisors".

The corruption is at least as much our fault as it is Africa's.


So all that money we have already thrown at them was for nothing, and made the situation worse?
 
PoisonPete2
#17
put much more reasonable limitations on drug patent protection and plug the loopholes allowing for privatized healthcare at public expense. You would have more than enough money to fix our health system and match 0.007% toward the fight for human dignity.
 
Reverend Blair
#18
Quote:

So all that money we have already thrown at them was for nothing, and made the situation worse?

The money wasn't thrown, Jay. It was carefully targeted to benefit us politically and/or economically. Much of the aid money for development projects comes right back to the west through corporate profits. It isn't really aid money at all, it's corporate welfare for our already wealthy companies.

I likely would have done more good with no strings at all because more of it would have stayed in Africa.
 

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