The economic news is so frighteningly bad here, it has all but squeezed out reports of the turmoil wrecking the developing world. The news there, if possible, is even more frightening. And in a globalized economy there is no insulation for anyone. [...]
Helping the developing world is within reach, but it will require capital and concessions from rich countries. The United States and Europe should drop their resistance to a vast new issue of special drawing rights — which like newly printed dollars by the Federal Reserve act as the International Monetary Fund’s own currency.
The United States and Europe also must give more voting power to up-and-coming players. China, in particular, has the financial firepower to become an important contributor to the global effort, yet it will expect more say in the fund’s business.
As the credit crunch spreads, the whole world stands in need of economic stimulus. Poor countries, however, have the resources neither to pay for their own fiscal pump-priming nor to recapitalize foundering banks and reignite the lending to their private sectors. They need outside help. For their own sake, developed countries should provide it. Quickly.
This was from the editorial board in today’s New York Times — and it’s wrong, wrong, wrong.
Ignore, for a moment, the inherent hypocrisy displayed by those very same people who argue that America should not be the world’s policemen now advocating the idea that we become the entire world’s benefactor. Think instead about how the welfare system sure didn’t seem to work to temper problems in American inner cities (and, in fact, has made things worse) — what makes you think that similar programs and proposals are going to work for the rest of the world?
Listen, if someone on the government dole is determined not to work, then no amount of financial help will actually change anything. None. Similarly, if a third-world nation continues to refuse to use national resources, or continues to promote infighting and instability, no amount of money from American and British taxpayers will help.
In fact, a global “stimulus” plan as proposed by British PM Gordon Brown could serve to make things a whole lot worse.
America is already the most generous nation on the planet. We’re there when the tsunami hits. We’re there when a government topples. We feed the hungry, we treat the sick, we buy mosquito nets for those vulnerable to malaria. We do so because we can, because we have the altruistic nature and the money to make it work. Taking the wealthiest among us down a peg, discouraging charitable donations through adverse tax implications and forced “contributions,” will do NOTHING to help the developing world, and can only hurt.
That is the problem with Barack Obama’s own Global Poverty Act, with Gordon Brown’s global New Deal, and with the liberal ideology in general. The intent is there. Like all policies, proposals and ideas born from the worldview and perspective of the political left, it sounds great on paper or when kicked around by corduroy-clad, pipe-smoking college professors, but the law of unintended consequences–a force to which the liberal establishment is completely blind–will always prevail.
It’s the same when it comes to global warming, as we see farmers in Brazil make room to plant crops intended for biofuels by clear-cutting carbon-soaking rainforest. It’s the same when it comes to tax policy, as we hear our own Treasury Secretary’s plan to extract more tax revenue by increasing the tax burden on the very people who drive and grow the American economy. It’s the same when it comes to gun control legislation, as the disarming of law-abiding citizens always leads to increases in violent crime.
Ignorance to the concept of “more harm than good” is a hallmark of liberal ideology, and just as we see the effects of such ignorance on our environment, on our economy, in our cities and more, we will see the very same unintended–but entirely foreseeable by those with open eyes–consequences with regard to the economic recovery needed by so many across the globe.