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Charitable superpowers get it wrong

first_imgJeffery Sachs, who spoke at the  Oxford Union on Sunday, is the intellectual guru of the ‘Drop the Debt’ campaign and the world’s most famous development economist. He began his career as a hard-line free marketeer. As an advisor to Boris Yeltsin’s government in the early nineties he was responsible for the introduction of the disastrous “shock-therapy” of instant deregulation and privatisation which sent the Russian economy into freefall. A market Bolshevik no longer, Sachs has since turned his attention to Africa and the elimination of global extreme poverty within twenty years through a combination of debt relief, increased aid, and trade reform. For Sachs, democracy is not a part of this equation. He states bluntly in his new book, The End of Poverty, that “the links from democracy to economic performance are relatively weak” and that “the charge of authoritarian rule as a basic obstacle to good governance in Africa is pass”. Sachs’ fondness for railing against the neo-liberal “Washington Consensus” and the Bush administration might thus be explained by an enthusiasm for an earlier Republican ideologue, Henry Kissinger. Kissinger, who would be brought to the Hague on charges of war crimes if the US ever signed up to the International Criminal Court, did not care about democracy either. For Kissinger, monstrous dictators like Pinochet, Mobutu, Amin, and Papa Doc Duvalier may have been “bastards” but it didn’t matter because they were “our bastards”. Sachs, and his bleeding heart fellow travellers Blair, Bono and Bob Geldof, have their own set of “bastards”: rulers like Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Paul Kagame of Rwanda. None of these have been fairly elected and all are pumped full of praise and aid by Britain and the US. Until recently, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda would have been on this list. His attempts to rid Uganda of condoms no doubt still ingratiate him with the Americans. But now that he has decided to turn twenty years of dictatorial rule into a life presidency, he has been mildly rebuked. At the launch of the Commission for Africa report in Addis Ababa in March, Geldof declared, “Get a grip Museveni – your time is up, go away”. He has since apologised. Sitting alongside Geldof was fellow Commission member, Zenawi, who was returned to office in May courtesy of a rigged election. His security forces mowed down dozens who had the temerity to protest. These men are just the West’s presentable allies. In blatant contradiction with its avowed wish to see democracy flourish the world over, Washington embraces the vile dictator, Obiang Mbasago, of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea. Jacques Chirac, who wants to slap a fiver on every plane ticket to fund poverty reduction, described the brutal Gnassingbe Eyadema, deceased President of Togo, as a “personal friend” when he died in February after 38 years in charge. This may have been related to Eyadema’s generous funding of French political parties and the benevolence shown to individual French politicians who happened to be passing through his palace. Eyadema could afford this because he had amassed a fortune believed to be in the region of $3 billion; that is thrice Togo’s annual GNP.The example illustrates why Sachs’ view that dictatorship is no bar to economic development is false. The reason Africa is so poor is that kleptocratic dictators and elites, often with Western connivance, have looted their own countries. They are also inclined to be incompetent. The simple virtue of democracy is that it allows people to get rid of bad governments peacefully. The number of functioning democracies in Africa can be counted on two hands. Among them are Africa’s most prosperous and stable states: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Senegal, Ghana, Benin and the Cape Verde islands. Sachs regards China as an example of how a ruthless dictatorship can prosper. However, he admits in The End of Poverty that poverty has increased in rural areas there because of the abandonment of the public health system. A democratic government would never have been able to disregard public welfare so heartlessly.        The triumvirate of Sachs, Bono, and Geldof is immensely powerful. Able to influence both governments and public opinion, they are right to attempt to combine high-level lobbying with mass politics. It is thus dismaying that such potential for real change has been squandered on fringe issues in the war on poverty. The only reason debt is a problem is that the money was stolen and dissipated. The torrent of criticism directed against them for endorsing the status quo of Western power is similarly misguided. It is the very Western status quo of democracy and human rights which is lacking in Africa. More than any amount of charity, this is how to make poverty history. ARCHIVE: 1st week MT 2005last_img read more

Barcelona legend Xavi makes €1m COVID-19 donation

first_imgFormer Barcelona midfielder Xavi has donated €1M to a Catalan hospital as part of the ongoing battle against the Covid 19 virus in Spain.Advertisement The pair have released a video via the clinic’s official Twitter account, providing details of what their donation will be used for.“With this donation, the hospital will receive equipment for patients and healthcare staff.“Join the Coronavirus response, enter hospital’s website and make a donation, together we can come out of this ahead.”The ex Spanish international has joined a growing number of La Liga and Spanish footballers to make charitable donations to the fight against the virus in recent weeks.Xavi’s former coach at the Camp Nou, Pep Guardiola, has donated to the Catalan health authorities, with skipper Lionel Messi, Rafinha and Thiago Alcantara also donating money. Xavi, and wife Nuria Cunillera, have made the donation to the Hospital Clinico de Barcelona, following a fundraising campaign launched by the clinic. Read Also: Barcelona ‘promise’ 2020 move for NeymarThe 40-year old, who is currently in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd has also hinted in recent weeks he would like to return as Barcelona manager in the future.The club have also confirmed players will be taking a 70% wage cut to support the payment of wages to non playing club staff.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading…last_img read more

How About That!

first_imgIn a recent baseball game, 3 Oakland Athletic rookies hit a home run in their first-ever major league game.  To show how rare this is, you have to go back to April of 1914 to find when it had been done before.The 3 rookies who accomplished this feat for the A’s were Matt Olson, Jaycob Brugman, and Franklin Barreto.  This led the A’s to a 10-2 win.  Oakland has traded almost all of their older players to contending teams in the last month.  Nice to see these young players get a chance.last_img read more

chiliZ raises $65 million from Binance, other organisations

first_imgBinance, an international cryptocurrency exchange, has invested in blockchain esports and traditional sports voting platform, chiliZ.The amount invested by Binance is undisclosed, but it will “work hand-in-hand” with chiliZ to “engage with the sports industry and develop a fan-driven token ecosystem for traditional sports teams.”Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of chiliZ discussed this investment: “Binance’s significant investment in chiliZ will boost our current private placement offering and help us to move faster. Their support will help us deliver our vision globally, increase our visibility in the blockchain ecosystem and empower our technical vision. I’m also excited that Binance is setting-up in Malta, where we will be able to share resources, enabling a more strategic partnership.”Another announcement from the platform has revealed that it has reached its goal of raising $65m (£48.6m) through a global private placement place for chiliZ tokens.Dreyfus also touched on the amount of money chiliZ has raised: “We have been overwhelmed by the demand for chiliZ tokens in the last few days. It has been a combination of hard work from the team, but also our strategic partners who invested and believe in our long-term vision. This gives us a great runaway to develop and deploy our vision, and to start looking at acquisitions.”Alongside Binance, organisations such as OK Blockchain Capital, FBG Capital, Ceyuan Ventures, and Bancor all invested. chiliZ will begin its promotion run at Gamescom in Cologne on August 1st-25th. From there, it will be exhibiting at ESI London, a three-day esports business conference on September 18-20th – tickets are available now!In late May, chiliZ announced plans to invest $10m (£7.4m), at least, into organisations who compete in Battle Royale titles. There main three titles in this genre are Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and H1Z1. chiliZ has a strong advisory board with well-known people from the esports industry, such as Fnatic’s CEO Wouter Sleijffers and Team Vitality’s CEO Nicolas Maurer.Esports Insider says: chiliZ is just one many of many companies involved in esports with a blockchain offering, but as this investment suggests, it’s doing things a little differently. We’re interested to see exactly what’s unveiled later in the year.Sign up to our newsletter!last_img read more

Shortcut blog reading

first_imgI read a lot of blogs, and if it weren’t for Google Reader, it would be labor-intensive. But I also wanted to call your attention to two other time-savers, if you like reading blogs from our sector:1.) A blog roundup from the Chronicle of Philanthropy — Give and Take. It’s been around a few weeks now, and it provides a nice sampling from dozens of blogs. Check out the blogroll on the right of the page–I discovered some new blogs on there.2.) The Nonprofit Blog Exchange — news and links for nonprofit blogs, with a lot of good stuff on technology and nonprofits.last_img read more

Don’t Wait Up Honey — I’m Going to the Benefit!

first_imgTonight we’re welcoming friends, partners, and members to Housing Works Bookstore Cafe for our Annual Benefit. This year we’ll be celebrating a new age of work and our vision for continued building of protections for independent workers. By coming together, partnering with existing social enterprises, and building new entrepreneurial ventures, we can support this crucial community – and our country’s economic growth. We’re especially excited to be honoring New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Loosecubes founder and CEO Campbell McKellar, and to hear from our keynote speaker, Cheryl Dorsey. Cheryl, a longtime Freelancers Union partner and the current President of Echoing Green, will speak about social entrepreneurship and mutualism – topics as dear to her as they are to us. Extra special thanks are due to all the sponsors of this year’s benefit. Check them out after the jump, and send some good vibes their way. **Visionary ** HealthPlan Services **Leader ** Empire BlueCross BlueShield **Trailblazer ** Amalgamated Life Insurance Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP Milliman, Inc. Trendsetter City National Bank HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Partner AllianceBernstein American Federation of Teachers BDO USA, LLP Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. Michael J. Hirschhorn and Jimena P. Martinez Dubraski & Associates Insurance Services, LLC Echoing Green Jill and Ken Iscol QualCare, Inc. The Segal Company **Supporter ** Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP BerlinRosen Ltd. David Landis, FIC Board Member Down-to-Earth Finance Hildy J. Simmons Medwise Partners, Inc. Nathanson+Hauck Preston Pinkett III Richard Koven Tom Dwyer Tom Okonek, TJO Associates **Friend ** Daniel A. Ross ERM3 Solutions Marketing Mentor Public Ink Strohm Ballweg, LLPlast_img read more