The Drudge Report is highlighting this address that President Bush gave yesterday. A taste:
Declaring the age of paternalism over, President Bush said Thursday the United States demands clear results for the billions of taxpayer dollars it sends to Africa. He accused other nations of exploiting the continent’s resources or irresponsibly offering aid as charity. “America is serving as an investor, not as a donor,” Bush said in a tone-setting preview of his six-day trip to Africa, which begins Saturday.
Bush’s speech was largely aimed at Congress, which sets the foreign aid budgets that will ultimately shape whether his initiatives outlast his presidency.
The president said the United States has a moral imperative and a vital security interest in helping Africa overcome disease, poverty and instability. His message reflected that foreign aid goes over better with lawmakers and the taxpaying public when it turns up tangible results and lasting change.
“We have also revolutionized the way we approach development,” Bush said. “Too many nations continue to follow either the paternalistic notion that treats African countries as charity cases, or a model of exploitation that seeks only to buy up their resources. America rejects both approaches.”
Instead, Bush said, the U.S. treats African leaders as equal partners who must set clear goals and achieve measurable results.
It reminded me to link to this article—-”Hearts of Darkness: Trendy Paternalism is Keeping Africa in Chains“—-in the current issue of City Journal. Its opening:
Paternalism was supposed to be finished. The belief that grown men and women are childlike creatures who can thrive in the world only if they submit to the guardianship of benevolent mandarins underlay more than a century’s worth of welfare-state social policy, beginning with Otto von Bismarck’s first Wohlfahrtsstaat experiments in nineteenth-century Germany. But paternalism’s centrally directed systems of subsidies failed to raise up submerged classes, and by the end of the twentieth century even many liberals, surveying the cultural wreckage left behind by the Great Society, had abandoned their faith in the welfare state.
Yet in one area, foreign aid, the paternalist spirit is far from dead. A new generation of economists and activists is calling for a “big push” in Africa to expand programs that in practice institutionalize poverty rather than end it. The Africrats’ enthusiasm for the failed policies of the past threatens to turn a struggling continent into a permanent ghetto—and to block the progress of ideas that really can liberate Africa’s oppressed populations.
Give the entire thing a read. And if you’re not familiar with City Journal, check it out online—-it’s the leading journal for urban policy and many of its ideas fueled the Giuliani revolution—-or, better yet, take out a subscription.