The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Good show, stupid politics.

Let's focus on the stupid politics. Mahalanobis has an excellent fisking of the Live8 Trade View:

Ah, autarky, the true Garden of Eden. If only Africa had less foreign investment, fewer imports, less private industry, boy, then growth would really hit a Rostowian take off. These guys clearly do not realize that Africa is not one of the more competitive continents, and the government is hardly constrained by competing businesses. They allow big business to the extent they can generate taxes and bribes, and look where this has gotten them. One of the more Western countries is South Africa,and ... no, wait, South Africa has one of the highest GDP per capital in the sub-Sahara.. The problem of Africa is not too many Bechtels and Starbucks, but too few.

and Mark Steyn, in the Telegraph, makes an excellent point:

Africa is a hard place to help. I had a letter from a reader the other day who works with a small Canadian charity in West Africa. They bought a 14-year-old SUV for 1,500 Canadian dollars to ferry food and supplies to the school they run in a rural village. Customs officials are demanding a payment of $8,000 before they'll release it.

There are thousands of incidents like that all over Africa every day of the week. Yet, throughout the weekend's events, Dave Gilmour and Co were too busy Rocking Against Bush to spare a few moments to Boogie Against Bureaucracy or Caterwaul Against Corruption or Ululate Against Usurpation. Instead, Madonna urged the people to "start a revolution". Like Africa hasn't had enough of those these past 40 years?

It was still a good show though.


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