Friday, October 16, 2015

Nobel Prize Winner Gets It...and you, gentle aid agents?

"Mr. Deaton is a strong critic of foreign aid. He believes that the approximately $5 trillion given by governments of rich countries to poor countries over the past 50 years has undercut good governance by making poor countries’ leaders less accountable to their own citizens." --excerpt from piece by David Henderson, The Wall Street Journal

Angus Deaton, 2015 Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences, gets it. How about you gentle aid agents? With all due respect, please be sensible and awaken to the reality of the stifling effects of aid despite decades of good intentions.

Unfortunately, aid tends to endow (knowingly and most often unknowingly) dysfunctional elements of the status quo including ruling gangs with unearned status and leverage. That perpetuates and prolongs the very problems that aid is endeavoring to solve and dis-empowers people. Despite the best of intentions (which are not in doubt), the people endure chronic poverty and its lethal effects.

For once, will the aid industry at least consider that they might be doing some harm? This question is not unreasonable, especially when hundreds of millions of people are suffering every day and have been suffering for decades upon decades for want of progress, health and opportunity. Might intervention be causing harm? Should not that be the first question of all before an aid entrepreneur packs his/her bags to effect change in a distant foreign land?

Until then, until we see clear, transparent, and objective proof worthy of trillions of dollars and years and years of critical time gone--lost time and lost opportunity borne by an impoverished people--people without a defender, without an advocate, without a champion, without representation--then, I will continue to believe the aid machine is generally misguided and tends to abet the very people keeping the poor undeveloped and paralyzed in failed governance and failed aid folly.

If foreigners truly want to assist and cannot resist trying; if they believe that they can effect change in a far-flung land (typically, enjoying high salaries that put them in the 1% of the very people that they aim to ‘aid’), then the best thing imaginable for development and progress would be to free the people from oppressive and corrupt governance including unethical bureaucrats from top to bottom and entitled gangs with unearned privileges. Without state and foreign interference, then the people could pursue their own dreams and ambitions with their own talents and capabilities.

Wall Street Journal - VIDEO (most interesting from 2:30)

Structural representation of the folly of aid? photo © Alonzo Lyons, all rights reserved 
#Angus, #Deaton, #NobelPrize, #Economics, #AidRiddenNepal, #DonorDarlings, #FreeNepal, #DambisaMoyo, #AidBully, #AidEntrepreneur, #Corruption, #DeadAid, #HowtToRobAfrica, #LetMyPeopleGo, #Nepal, #YellFire, #UNDPNepal, #SNVNepal, #USAIDNepal, #DFIDNepal, #WorldBankAsia


  1. Wow! Great post with excellent information, questions, quotes, and video.

  2. Cheers for tuning in and taking the time to comment on this important issue.

    Indefinite aid to has severely crippled societies politically and economically and even damaged their cultural ethos.

    Unfortunately, foreign agents have been operating for decades in emerging economies with little oversight beyond toothless internal reviews that often overlook and reinforce mistakes. Has economic growth increased and poverty been reduced? In nearly all cases the answer is no.

    People deserve better. If foreign agents and the dysfunctional political establishment would simply get out of their way for once after a half a century of stifling interference that has dis-empowered the people, then the people could do what needs to be done with their own talents and capabilities.