Climate is a vehicle for wealth transfer in the naive liberal belief it fighting “climate change” will help “poor” people.
Ottar Edenhofer, co-chair of WGIII from 2008 to 2015, explained:
“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”
It is another aid program, but, like them all, it doesn’t and can’t work. In fact, it perpetuates the problems, while creating corruption, power plays and political control for an elite few.
I listened to a professional emotional-laden exploiting plea for money for children starving in Ethiopia because of a drought. The problem is there are always droughts in Ethiopia. How did these people manage in the past? The children are dying because of the decisions of their parents and government and the abetting provided by our giving to such appeals for funds or our foreign aid. Why aren’t the adults and government of Ethiopia helping? They always have money for guns and bombs.
Ethiopia spent $5,438,000,000 (yes that is billions) in the 12 years from 2001-2012. They reduced the amount as the civil war ended, but they still spent $329 million in 2012, and it was back up to $404.5 million by 2015.
Yes, the children are the innocent bystanders, but it is pure exploitation of emotions to make it my concern when the parents and people of Ethiopia can’t get their priorities right. Worse, we further the failures and distortions with any aid.
Ron Paul wasn’t the first to say, "Foreign aid is taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries," but likely the most recent.
It is true, but the Economist, which people think is right wing because of the name, said he was wrong:
The first half of the quip is nonsense.
Foreign aid is funded out of federal taxes. I'm not sure who Ron Paul would consider "poor,” but the lower 40% of households in America pay no net federal income tax.
The proportion of America's foreign-aid budget that comes from poor people, rather than middle-class or rich people (all of whom, on a global scale, are extremely rich), is negligible, and it represents a negligible burden on those poor people's incomes.
The Economist’s argument is false because it is similar to the “priorities” argument of the Ethiopian government. It is true the poor people pay virtually no net federal income tax. However, a significant proportion of the tax dollars that are collected could have been spent to improve their conditions goes overseas as foreign aid.
Canadian government misallocation and inappropriate priorities is a major problem, but as always the misuse of the money at the UN is worse. The only thing you get with bigger government is bigger corruption. How much time and taxpayer’s money is wasted on bureaucrats who do little but perpetuate false needs for their existence?
But it isn’t just government. The entire “aid industry” is unnecessary rife with corruption, exorbitant salaries, and machinery to keep raising funds.
Charity Navigator is a group in the US who monitor major charities. Their job is to offset concerns about such matters:
We know that many donors continue to be concerned by what they believe to be excessive charity CEO pay. Many donors assume that charity leaders work for free or minimal pay and are shocked to see that they earn six figure compensation packages. But well-meaning donors sometimes fail to consider that these CEOs are typically running multi-million dollar operations that endeavor to help change the world. Leading one of these charities requires an individual that possesses an understanding of the issues that are unique to the charity’s mission as well as a high level of fundraising and management expertise. Attracting and retaining that type of talent requires a competitive level of compensation as dictated by the marketplace.
All this confirms is that charity is a business. The problem is it is an unnecessary business that always does more harm than good.
The last word must go to Benjamin Franklin because anybody who can invent bi-focal glasses, design an efficient woodstove, and be on the committee charged with writing the Declaration of Independence demands attention. He wrote from wisdom and empirical evidence in his 1766 publication “Management of the Poor”:
"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."