There was a note on Page 31 of the most recent Herald on Sunday that caught a reader’s eye (but is not on the NZ Herald web site). Observes K.McK, it’s like an Alice in Wonderland report in which good news is reported as bad news – a scorecard in which we rate bottom of the list for not throwing taxpayers’ money away on farming subsidies:
It is great to see New Zealand winning at something. And I am particularly proud that it is such a Libertarian issue that we are top in the world at – Government Spending on Agriculture!
I am just surprised that they say it like it is a bad thing.
I am saddened that there is an organisation of, I presume, well meaning people that are dedicated to more government involvement in starvation! Something that Government involvement caused in the first place.
The score card itself is here:
Here are some quotes from the release":
- “... Greece, Portugal, Italy, the United States and New Zealand are named as the worst offenders in reducing official aid to agriculture.”
- “Bottom of the developed nation scorecard is New Zealand, with a score of seven out of 100, followed by the United States and Japan which were all given an ‘E’ grade.”
- “The Democratic Republic of Congo, with nine points, is the lowest on the developing state list.”
- “ActionAid called on world leaders to fight hunger by supporting small farmers, protect rights to food, and tackle climate change. ‘It's the role of the state and not the level of wealth, that determines progress on hunger," said Anne Jellema, ActionAid policy director’.”
Well, she sure got that last statement right, though in that Alice in Wonderland way she was right not in the way she intended it. The greatest cause of hunger around the world is not lack of subsidies or lack of aid, but political corruption. What determines progress on poverty and hunger is not taxpayers’ largesse but recognition of property rights, protection of contracts, and the rule of law. In short, freedom. For real progress, that’s worth more than a whole truckload of cash sent to or distributed by a corrupt government.