Band-Aid for Africa? Kudos to Live-8 organizer Bob Geldoff, write The True-Cost Economists, for using the concert to put "poverty in Africa squarely back on the international political agenda – something that we consider to be a genuine media coup, worthy of everyone’s recognition." But perhaps the benefit distracts from the real problem:
Rather than bickering over how much money we should dole out to the world’s poor, the G8 big-wigs should be wrestling with the fact that economic justice is impossible under the current model. We need a new economic paradigm. One that eliminates subsidies that prevent African farmers from competing fairly with their northern neighbors. One where we stop burdening people in faraway places with the external costs of the goods we consume so voraciously. One that addresses the social and environmental costs of the way we do business. One based on more comprehensive ways of measuring progress. Until we establish economies that are open, holistic and human scale, hand-outs to Africa will merely serve as a band-aid.
Comments anyone?

1 comment:

Jake said...

In some cases, even those "band-aids" from the West help surprisingly little. In Ethiopia, billions have poured in since '85's Live Aid, but constant war and the flight of educated people has meant the biggest problems--hunger, poverty, illiteracy--persist, and most Ethiopians claim to have seen no improvement in their lives in the last 20 years. Are we accomplishing anything with these aid events or just patting ourselves on the back?