Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Making The Pledge

Jeffery Simpson wrote an interesting article in today's Globe and Mail (I will try to scan it and post later). He spoke about the famed 0.7 pledge , and how reaching it is not so simple. That the aid target for the western world is a significant sum of money and that to reach will need to be done by cutting spending or raising taxes. He is correct and it made me look back on my utter laughter yesterday during question period when Paul Martin escaped an NDP question about making the commitment with some nonsensical response about promising something when you do not have a plan to accomplish it. Now my laughter was not without merit since Mr. Martin has been promising the world to everyone lately without much thought.

This all being said we must strike a balance between our foreign aid and creating a pro-business environment and yet having strong social programs we so cherish. But it is time to make the pledge, and it is time to create a plan to follow through. We are spending billions of dollars trying to meet our Kyoto target and stop the effects of global warming. Should we not put that money towards saving lives today. As I write this I am reading through Bill C-48 the NDP-Liberal budget and of the 4.5 billion committed only 500 million is towards foreign aid. Yet we are spending 1.5 billion more on post-secondary education. Granted I am all for putting money in helping students afford university, I am a student myself and I know the problems and its worthwhile results. At the end of the day though the 1.5 billion more would help relieve the massive debts of graduating students but what is more important to us, less debt for students or less debt for countries who cannot feed their citizens.

Yes we need to strike a balance, but we need to make that a balance fairer for those with no voice.

2 Comments:

  • At 1:10 PM, Blogger Jason Cherniak said…

    I would rather see agricultural subsidies and trade barriers broken down. Instead of giving a man a fish, give him a fishing rod and teach him how to use it.

     
  • At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry Mr. Commentary, but you are not right. Having the west give 0.7% to the developing world will certainly save a few lives, and that is good, no doubt about it, but it is largely a waste of money and resources. Aid will not help sub-Sahara Africa for example, until the corruption disappears. Until then, the people who really need the money, or the people who know how to put it to good use, will not receive most of it. The real long-term answer is political reform, the creation of real democracies, the end to corruption, and the end to tribal values. Without those things going away, the 0.7% will not help anyone other than the corrupt who buy palaces, private planes and the like.

     

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