Friday, September 09, 2005

Sad story on BBC...

Apparently not everybody has as good luck with disaster aid as we do. Children actually are still starving in Africa. I don't know how to solve the world's problems, and I don't know how to solve this particular problem, but a little visibility never hurt. I'm sure the three people who read my blog will pass this along, and sooner or later there will be a stampede of aid heading toward Malawi.

Why should we help people who are less fortunate than we? I've heard people flame about how helping poor people encourages them to have more children, and so we're just making the problem worse. I don't really know. That doesn't feel right to me. If someone is in trouble, and you can help them, you help them.

I do know that population growth in places where people by and large are not poor seems to be slower than population growth in places where they are; this could be an effect or a cause. Everything I've seen suggests that wealth breeds negative population growth, though. So I think it's okay to help them. A prosperous world isn't impossible.

That said, it would be nice to identify a systemic solution to this problem - to teach them to fish, metaphorically speaking, rather than just sending them fish. I wish I knew how to do that.


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