Thursday, December 30, 2004


Elsewhere at the NY Post, conservatarian Collin Levey uses the disaster, not as an occasion for tears, but as an opportunity to exult -- nay, luxuriate -- in America's awesome wealth-generating power. And because of that mighty dynamism, it doesn't matter to Levey if "America doesn't give as much as a percentage of national income as say... Norway," because we're rich and fuck you and here's some money, bitch.

Levey speaks of our contributions to this disaster relief effort as "foreign aid." Of course, anyone who's been around the block without blinkers made of Ayn Rand books knows that foreign aid is what we use to bribe the rest of the world into compliance with our mighty whims; the tsunami relief is just a public relations expense. But Levey has an similarly optimistic way of looking at other kinds of wealth transfers, too. Take the nannies, gardeners, and guys standing by the highway with bags of peeled oranges. You may think they're being exploited, employed at sub-standard wages by the Bernard Keriks of the world, and driving down the price of American labor. On the contrary -- they are further proof that the system works:

Then, too, our openness lets the world's poor earn money here and then send it home. In many poor countries (e.g., Mexico, India and the Philippines), foreign aid is dwarfed by remittances sent from family members working in America.

That's money -- some roughly $18 billion a year from the United States -- that goes directly to households that need it, from somebody who directly understands their needs. It doesn't flow through government hands, subject to rake-offs and politically inspired diversions to worthless projects.
I hope you were paying careful attention, because this is how Social Security is going to work in a couple of years.


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