Monday, October 09, 2006

Making poverty history and such

It's possible I'm just being a little dense, but you know how we're all meant to donate money to MAKE POVERTY HISTORY? Well, what exactly are they going to do with the money? I'm too lazy to do more than a scant flick through Google results, but is there a concrete plan to MAKE POVERTY HISTORY, and all they need is the money to achieve said plan?

It appears that debt relief is a big part of it, which I understand to be asking wealthier nations to forgive the debt of poorer countries. Not that there's anything wrong with providing a clear slate, but what does that mean in the long term? Is it like paying off the balance of your credit card only to max it out again when Christmas rolls around? Will this simply give carte blanche to rack up huge sums of debt again? Or are the G8 and cronies supposed to cancel the debt collection but slap wrists and vow never to loan money again?

It all seems rather vague. I suppose when you let pop stars take the lead rather than say, economists, then it's more good intention than pragmatism. I don't disagree with the fundamental goodness (though I do want each case to be examined as to exactly how this crippling debt was run up) and that responsible leadership in these countries should be a criteria for the continual flinging of money at them.

I suppose that makes me hard-hearted?