May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
Jan. 10, 2005
/ 29 Teves, 5765
American penny pinching the facts
According to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, America is a land of "penny pinchers" who are not sufficiently generous to the needy in the rest of the world. Citing our relatively low level of per-capita official governmental foreign aid, he refuses to take issue with the recent charge by a U.N. official that we are "stingy."
Mr. Kristof has his facts wrong.
Government-to-government foreign-development assistance, usually called "foreign aid" is only a tiny part of the massive American generosity to the peoples of the Third World. Kristof claims that our per-capita daily contribution of only 15 cents in foreign aid is lower than that of 22 other nations. He dismisses private philanthropy as only generating an additional six cents per day, per capita, still leaving us in last place.
But Americans are, in fact, very generous. Last year, we donated more than $240 billion to charity about $800 per person, or in Mr. Kristof's terms, almost $2.19 per day, per person. Kristof only counts the 2 percent of that sum that goes directly for earmarked donations for foreign philanthropy. He disregards the vast amount of money spent to help the Third World by American charitable, religious and philanthropic organizations that are not exclusively dedicated to foreign activity. Nor does he include any mention of the altruistic volunteer work by Americans that benefits the needy throughout the world.
For example, 60 percent of all charitable private donations in the U.S. go to churches and religious groups. A large part of this money goes overseas, much of it to the Third World. In addition, much of the money Americans give to educational charities (7 percent of total contributions) winds up funding scholarships for foreign students. Funds given to promote health care (7 percent), human resources (9 percent) and the environment (3 percent) also find their way overseas. No other nation comes close to our total private-sector philanthropic giving.
But our government itself is far from deserving the appellation "stingy." We have catalyzed $150 billion in private investment overseas, largely in Third World nations, through the efforts of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a public agency whose board is appointed by the president.
Our trade deficit with the rest of the world of $500 billion, a fifth of it with China, creates jobs and fights poverty throughout the world. By opening our markets to Third World trade more than any other nation, we create far, far more wealth in poor countries than all the governmental foreign aid in the world put together. The U.S. grants free-trade status to Mexico, one of the largest Third World nations, and is extending the same status to the Caribbean, Central America and Chile. Eventually, we plan to open our markets to imports from all of South America. We even passed a special exemption from our import quotas for textiles from Africa to foster jobs in that beleaguered nation. And we have led the way in granting hundreds of billions of debt relief to the world's poorest nations, much of it lent by American banks and the U.S. government.
Governmental foreign aid is not the sole locus of American generosity, although it certainly reflects the taxes paid by individual Americans. Investment, trade and private philanthropy are its epicenters. Indeed, about one third of the governmental foreign aid we do send abroad is for Israel and Egypt, a payoff for the Camp David peace accords of 1979.
Should we do more to help Third World nations? Yes. But increasing government-to-government foreign aid is not the way to go about it. We need to open our markets further to imports. With 4 percent of the world's population, we still have one-quarter of its wealth. Those supposedly compassionate liberals who advocate protectionism seem to think we should make a profit in our dealings with the other 96 percent of the world.
They're wrong. We need to lower or eliminate our sugar, beef, clothing and other import quotas and to repeal our farm subsidies. We can afford to widen our trade deficit and to subject our farmers to fair foreign competition. But these private-sector, capitalist solutions to the problems of Third World poverty do little to get a liberal's juices flowing. If the aid doesn't come from the government, extracted by taxes from American families, it doesn't count.
With Eileen McGann
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Dick Morris is author, most recently, of "Because He Could". (ClickHERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.
Dick Morris Archives
© 2005, Dick Morris