Sunday, December 9

Is aid to Africa doing more harm than good?

That's the topic of an Intelligence Squared public radio debate in New York last week (via Real Clear Politics). On the 'yes' side, journalist David Rieff who wrote A Bed for the Night; NYU economist Bill Easterly of The White Man's Burden fame; and American U economist and African George Ayittey. On the 'no' side, Gayle Smith, Africa director for Clinton's National Security Council; John MacArthur of UNDP and Columbia; and C. Payne Lucas, former president of Africare.

As many of the panelists point out, it's kind of a stupid way to frame the question, but there's some interesting discussion. I probably found the aid skeptics a little more engaging, but everyone has valid points and probably agrees on many, maybe most, aid issues. Worth a read, or I'm sure you can listen to it on the internets somewhere.

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