Nobel Minded

By Bill Maher

The Nobel Prize for Economics was recently awarded to Princeton professor Angus Deaton for his work in world poverty, mostly by expanding economic data to measure welfare in developing countries. What’s interesting is that Deaton thinks one of the ways we make poverty worse is with foreign aid, especially to countries in Africa, because it keeps those governments from doing their jobs.

Now, these aren’t the reasons Republicans want to end foreign aid. They want to do it because, well, it’s aid to foreigners, and they’re all foreign and such. But imagine the outcry from liberals if you proposed cutting foreign aid to African countries. Because with liberals it’s sometimes not really about helping the poor – it’s about displaying your ability to care for them. Or as Deaton notes, “[T]he donors, under pressure from their own citizens (who rightly want to help the poor), need to disburse money just as much as poor-country governments need to receive it, if not more so.”