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Comments about ‘Saving Africa? New book casts harsh light on prominent poverty program’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4 2013 3:20 p.m. MST

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samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

"....how we need to try harder and be more humble and honest with ourselves about what works and what doesn't."

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These are very important words of wisdom for us all, particularly those who believe that larger organizations are better organizations, as in, government mandated control of the health insurance industry, to cite one of many possible examples.

As alluded to in the article, the fundamental question is whether it is best to lean toward the Stalin-like central planning model or a more organic and decentralized market-controlled model, as espoused by Friedrich Hayek and others.

I think just a cursory examination of the results from the two philosophies gives a pretty convincing testimony in favor of the later. Consequently, I wish Obama and his supporters were more observant of the historical record.

KJR
Alpine, UT

This article epitomizes the expression "sad but true." One of the greatest of all fallacies is that whatever sounds good, noble, fair, and just MUST work. Can you say "Washington DC?" And if it doesn't work, the arrogant answer is generally that we didn't do enough and need more of the same. These days I often think of this remarkable quote from CS Lewis: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

According to the Peruvian Hernando de Soto considered by some the foremost economist in the world and winner of the Milton Friedman award discusses this at length in his books. The cure of poverty are property rights. This means the following: limited red tape, taxes that are simple and not overbearing, the rule of law. People have to own property that cannot be taken from them willy nilly. A free enterprise free economy is essential. I am amazed our government is driving us downhill. Trillions are wasted on these countries and no improvement. The solution to the problems of the poor is in the poor. Take an example Haiti, if they allowed property rights a country like this hardly 300 miles from the US could have many assembly plants and the like. Instead they have nothing.

conservative scientist
Lindon, UT

Reading this article led me to think about some of our own "good intentions" and consequent national failures - even with infrastructure.

"Human beings are unpredictable and irrational. It turns out that ending poverty is a lot more complicated than some people think. It sounds obvious, but it's not."

"Ruhiira is a perfect example of what goes wrong with well-intentioned ideas."

Many of the problems in our own Nation could be described by the same quotes from the article. Republicans and Democrats are both guilty although I feel Democrats have generally tried more ambitious projects and generally are more likely to feel they can solve any problem with enough money from "the rich". Republicans' (recent) problems are primarily with nation building abroad and Democrats' with social programs at home. Both well intended but incredibly complex - more so than those who dream them up would like to think - and thus likely doomed to fail in the end. Please see article on Detroit in today's paper for exhibit #1.

KJR - Excellent quote by CS Lewis - thanks.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

Thanks, all of you! Spread the word and stand for the truth. I doubt our progressive thinkers will even visit this article because it doesn't fit into their preconceived notions about how things should be. When will people learn. Over and over and over people will gravitate to socialism thinking that the result will be different this time. Liberal progressives lack respect for others and their aspirations. Liberty and freedom isn't pretty at times, but it is the only system that will work. The best thing we can do is put into office men of integrity and honesty that aren't swooned by power and the philosophies of men, including Socialism.

t702
Las Vegas, NV

"In the quest to end poverty it is important to understand that theories that we develop in academic environments can't anticipate the chaos of the real world." Amen!Amen!Amen! This is exactly what is wrong with the Obama Administration - too much classroom smart but little to no "real world" experience.

Heart and Mind
BUENA VISTA, VA

As an observer of African humanitarian efforts since 2004, I have found no better anti-poverty approach than that of Care For Life. Go to their website and read how their well-documented and audited program assists people and villages in becoming self-reliant. You will exclaim, "Thank goodness, someone is doing it the right way!"

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