foreign assistance solved short-term famine and poverty but did nothing to enable the poor countries to become self-reliant. Basically, the poor countries used up the aid and then demanded more, or they spent the loans and then asked for new loans to repay the old ones.
For decades progressives have advocated anti-poverty programs in poor countries. The main mechanisms for this were foreign aid and loans. These did little good, while technological capitalism has proven to be the greatest anti-poverty scheme ever invented.
As one Indian entrepreneur put it, globalization and technological capitalism are finally helping to achieve Gandhi’s dream of wiping a tear off every Indian face.
Mahbubani writes that $5,000 a year may be a scandalously low wage in America, but it is a small fortune to someone in Jakarta, Manila, or Kolkata. The people who take those jobs used to make $500 a year or less working in rural agriculture.
Michael Moore’s film Roger and Me, in which Moore chases around the head of General Motors to find out why he closed the Flint, Michigan, plant in which Moore’s father used to work. Moore thinks that the plant was closed because greedy bosses like Roger Smith wanted to keep more profits. He fails to mention that unions, like the one his dad belonged to, pressured GM to raise wages so high that GM cars just cost too much. Hardly anyone wanted to buy mediocre cars that were so expensive. Either GM had to keep losing market share, or figure out how to make cars more cheaply. So if Moore wanted to find the greedy fellows who caused the Flint plant to close, he should have started by interviewing his dad.
while globalization penalizes inefficient American workers, it benefits cost-conscious American consumers.
If reparations are due on the basis of conquest or domination, then the list of people needing to pay reparations is virtually endless: Should Normans—or Romans—pay reparations to the English? Should the Persians, Macedonians, Muslims, Mongols, Arabs, Chinese, Aztecs, Mayans, and innumerable others pay reparations to all the peoples they conquered or enslaved?
Instead of taking what it could from a defeated opponent, a victorious America instead helped Germany become a postwar economic powerhouse.
the central principle of foreign policy—the principle of the lesser evil. This principle says it is legitimate to ally with the bad guy to avoid the worse guy.
The classic example of this was in World War II. The United States allied with Stalin—a very bad guy—because another bad guy, Hitler, posed a greater threat at the time.
Here’s the formula for Obama’s success: “They work, and you eat.”