How to spread poverty 112

Foreign aid has kept Africa poor. Global redistribution is likely to keep the whole world poor. 

 Let’s consider this (from an article in the Wall Street Journal) –  

Dambisa Moyo, a native of Zambia and a former World Bank consultant, believes that it is time to stop proceeding as if foreign aid does the good that it is supposed to do. The problem, she says in "Dead Aid," is not that foreign money is poorly spent (though much of it is) or that development programs are badly managed (though many of them are). No, the problem is more fundamental: Aid, she writes, is "no longer part of the potential solution, it’s part of the problem – in fact, aid is the problem."

In a tightly argued brief, Ms. Moyo spells out how attempts to help Africa actually hurt it. The aid money pouring into Africa, she says, underwrites brutal and corrupt regimes; it stifles investment; and it leads to higher rates of poverty – all of which, in turn, creates a demand for yet more aid. Africa, Ms. Moyo notes, seems hopelessly trapped in this spiral, and she wants to see it break free. Over the past 30 years, she says, the most aid-dependent countries in Africa have experienced economic contraction averaging 0.2% a year.

And bear it in mind as we read these extracts from an account (by Joseph Klein, find it here) of  a proposed global redistribution of wealth by the United Nations, which will help to transform that nefarious institution into a world governing body.  

The UN Commission of Experts issued a preliminary report on March 20 outlining its views on the causes of the current global economic crisis, the impacts on all countries and recommendations to avoid its recurrence and restore global economic stability. The report contemplates a massive reordering of the world economy involving trillions of dollars of wealth transfers, global regulation, and global taxes, all under the supervision of the United Nations. 

The report blends the socialist and Islamic economic perspectives as an alternative to our present capitalistic system.  It has four basic themes.  Western-style free market capitalism is the villain.  Redistributive justice is mandatory.  New global governance authorities are required. Global taxes are also needed. 

The only institution that the UN experts believe has broad enough political legitimacy to serve as the global decision making forum and eliminate the abuses of free market capitalism is, unsurprisingly, the body that gave them the platform to air their views on a global stage in the first place – the United Nations.  Standing UN bureaucracies such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Secretariat have been pressing this same message in order to justify their own permanent existence.  They want major re-regulation of the market by governments working in unison through the global decision-making arms of the UN…   

Every polemic text has to have its target to attack.  In this case, the Commission of Experts preliminary report goes after “the previously fashionable economic doctrines” of free market economies in the “rich countries” as the cause of the global crisis. 

The rich developed countries foisted their rotten system on the poor developing countries, which are suffering much of the fall-out through no fault of their own, according to the UN experts.  Without citing a single example, the report claimed that “developing countries that have developed good regulatory frameworks, created effective monetary institutions, and succeeded in implementing sound fiscal policies” have been brought to their knees by “defects in one economic system” – i.e., Western-style capitalism…     

Of course, it goes without saying that the villain must pay.  This means even more redistribution of wealth to the developing countries than the hundreds of billions of dollars already set to be transferred from the United States and other developed countries under the UN’s Millennium Development Goals assistance program. 

The commission report calls for the rich industrialized countries to dig deeper into their pockets and take at least one percent of the stimulus packages meant to get their own economies moving again and send that money to the developing countries instead.  In effect, the UN experts want to take nearly $8 billion dollars off the top from the $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress and send it directly to the developing countries with no questions asked.  Also, any banks that receive bailout money from American taxpayers should not focus so much on making domestic loans that would help American businesses to stay alive and help Americans to stay in their homes and jobs.  Instead, the UN experts want some of that bailout money to go toward making shaky loans that are unlikely to be paid back in order to “finance additional support to developing countries.”

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is already starting to put these ideas into motion.  He sent a letter to the leaders attending the Group of 20 economic summit in London suggesting that they establish a $1 trillion global stimulus package for the poorest countries over the nexttwo years.  That would be $50 billion per donor if divided equally among the Group of 20 countries.  Since the United States is usually asked by the UN to put up at least 20% of whatever money it is raising, that would mean U.S. taxpayers would be expected to fork over $200 billion extra over the next two years. 

Would we at least be able to impose some reasonable conditions on the massive grants and loans for development and other support (or ““conditionalities” as the Commission of Experts calls them)?  The UN experts say absolutely not! 

After all, it would be politically incorrect to expect each recipient of our taxpayers’ money to actually have to demonstrate that the money won’t end up in a corrupt dictator’s Swiss bank account because, according to the UN experts’ circular reasoning, such “conditionalities” would “disadvantage developing countries relative to the developed, and undermine incentives for developing countries to seek support funding…” 

By the way, we are being asked to entrust some of our money for this support funding to the United Nations Development Programme (“UNDP”), the main UN agency in charge of spending for development projects around the world.  The current president of UNDP’s executive board is Iran’s UN representative… 

The UN experts recommend a new global economic order that must “encompass more than the G-7 or G-8 or G-20, but the representatives of the entire planet, from the G-192 (number of member states in the General Assembly).”   

The first step would be to dump the dollar as the standard international reserve currency and instrument for international payments for products traded on the global market, such as oil.  In its place would be a new Global Reserve System controlled by an international financial institution under UN oversight.  The three leading countries singing a similar refrain are Iran, China and Russia…  

The value of the dollar will crash, causing the current recession to move into a depression of the magnitude of the 1930s.  We may well find ourselves giving away dollar devalued hard assets at ridiculously low prices, in order to accumulate the new global reserve currency, to countries in the Middle East that are hostile to our democratic values.  At the same time Uncle Sam will still be expected to pay the lion’s share of global foreign aid, the UN budget and defense of the free world.   

In addition to the idea of a new Global Reserve Currency, the UN Commission of Experts says that international economic institutions, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, must be significantly altered and supplemented with new global governance bodies to make the whole process more “democratic” and accountable to the developing countries.  This would be accomplished in two ways, say the experts.  First, the internal governance structures of existing international economic institutions would be fundamentally revamped to give more power to the developing countries.  Second, they would be made accountable to a new “globally representative forum” known as the Global Economic Coordination Council, which would be created as part of the UN system at “a level equivalent with the General Assembly and the Security Council”.    

That’s not all.  The UN experts want to create still more global institutional arrangements for governing the global economy, including a new Global Financial Regulatory Authority, a new Global Competition Authority and a new International Bankruptcy Court.  They think it is just too “difficult to rely on national regulatory authorities”.   The focus of this enhanced global regulation, they say, should be on the most systematically important countries – i.e., the United States and other major industrial nations.  In the Commission of Experts’ view, our sovereignty as a self-governing people to regulate our own economy must give way to global government for the sake of “the broad interest of the international community”… 

Islamists and socialists have a common agenda – to bring down Western capitalism.  They are exploiting the perfect storm that has arisen from the current economic crisis, which they blame on the United States.  Their revenge is to position the United Nations as the only global membership institution that can ensure the legitimacy of decisions to govern a global economy and push free market economics aside.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, April 4, 2009

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Our UNiverse 16

The chair of the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, has been taken over by – – Iran.

Claudia Rosett, who writes often and incisively to expose the evils of the self-disgraced UN, asks in a Forbes article: 

In what universe does Iran’s oil-based tyranny qualify to chair this board?

In the rest of her article, she gives reasons why Iran is not qualified to occupy this powerful position.  But in fact these are the very reasons why Iran ‘qualifies’ for it, in the world as it is today. 

Iran’s ascent to the chairmanship of the UNDP’s 36-member executive board took place last Friday, over the protests of the U.S., which broke with the U.N. custom of consensus decision-making to call for a vote. Iran won, 22 to four, with five abstentions and several board members apparently absent.

In response to my queries about this, a U.S. delegate to the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council, Ambassador T. Vance McMahan, said in an e-mailed statement: "The U.S. called for a vote on the chairmanship of UNDP because we believe that Iran is not a responsible member of the international community, and should not be given a leadership role at a major UN program, even if the position is a largely ceremonial one."

But this is no purely cosmetic post. The UNDP’s own Web site includes an "Information Note," detailing the substantial responsibilities of its executive board, which oversees not only the UNDP, but also the U.N. Population Fund, or UNFPA.

The board is tasked to receive information and give guidance to the heads of these agencies, monitor performance, approve programs, decide on administrative and financial plans and budgets, recommend new initiatives and submit yearly reports to the General Assembly’s Economic and Social Council…

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran’s main entrepreneurial growth industry has been terrorism–witness Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and a bloody trail of bombings, mayhem, infiltration and subversion, from Beirut to Argentina to today’s Iraq.

At home, along with forcibly veiling its women and jailing and torturing its opposition, Iran–according to New York-based Freedom House–"is a world leader in juvenile executions."

Iran’s "development" goals include the avowed desire of its president to wipe Israel off the map and Tehran’s evident plan to develop the nuclear weapons to do it–even if that means violating five U.N. Security Council resolutions to date and seeking ways around U.N. and U.S. sanctions.

Iran takes up the UNDP gavel at a sensitive time, both for a tumultuous world and for the UNDP itself. At its first regular board session next week–while most eyes are on Obama’s inauguration in Washington–the UNDP plans to forge ahead with re-opening its office in North Korea.

That office was shut down in March 2007, as a result of the so-called Cash-for-Kim scandal, which flared up after the U.S. Mission to the U.N. raised persistent questions about UNDP misconduct in Kim Jong Il’s North Korea.

It turned out the UNDP’s Pyongyang office, in violation of its own rules, had been funneling hard cash to Kim Jong Il’s regime, storing counterfeit $100 banknotes in its office safe and, with North Korea then on the UNDP board, was using development funds to buy business class tickets for North Korean officials to attend board meetings in New York.

A report last June from a panel authorized by the UNDP itself finally confirmed–well after the fact–that the UNDP had provided North Korea with scores of dual-use technologies, meaning that equipment shipped in under the U.N. label of "development" could also be turned to military use.

A Senate subcommittee investigation, led by Sens. Norm Coleman and Carl Levin, further discovered, as disclosed in aJanuary 2008 report, that the UNDP in North Korea had transferred funds to North Korean front entities involved in arms and nuclear proliferation networks…


Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Sunday, January 18, 2009

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