Even At Christmas It’s Hard Not To Be Contemptuous of the America-bashing New York Times

December 23, 2004

In it’s editorial today, “America, the Indifferent,” the New York Times takes America to task for its failure to adequately support poor countries through the United Nations Millennium Declaration. In this Declaration 189 nations agreed to try to “eradicate extreme poverty, hunger and disease among the one billion people in the world who subsist on barely anything.” But, according to the times, so far we have given a smaller percentage of our national income toward the project than most of the richest countries. The Times says it’s not enough that we give more in actual dollars than any other nation toward foreign aid. We are stingy. The Times says:

Something’s not right here. The United States is the world’s richest nation. Washington is quick to say that it contributes more money to foreign aid than any other country. But no one is impressed when a billionaire writes a $50 check for a needy family. The test is the percentage of national income we give to the poor, and on that basis this country is the stingiest in the Group of Seven industrialized nations.

What’s more, the United States is only generous when it’s own national interests are at stake, such as helping Pakistan when we need their help in the War on Terror. Imagine the magnitude of our calculating evil.

I suppose it doesn’t occur to the misguided Times that our assistance, for example, in help liberate Kuwait and Iraq counts for something. You can be sure it doesn’t because in this piece the Times writes:

Jeffrey Sachs, the economist appointed by Kofi Annan to direct the Millennium Project, puts the gap between what America is capable of doing and what it actually does into stark relief.

The government spends $450 billion annually on the military, and $15 billion on development help for poor countries, a 30-to-1 ratio that, as Mr. Sachs puts it, shows how the nation has become “all war and no peace in our foreign policy.” Next month, he will present his report on how America and the world can actually cut global poverty in half by 2015. He says that if the Millennium Project has any chance of success, America must lead the donors.

Washington has to step up to the plate soon. At the risk of mixing metaphors, it is nowhere even near the table now, and the world knows it.

I’m so glad to know the Times receives moral guidance from one of moral exemplar Kofi Annan’s appointees. And this puts into perspective what the Times thinks of our military expenditures. They set up a clear contrast between military expenditures — as if they are the height of selfishness — and foreign aid.

It would never occur to the Times that if we couldn’t defend ourselves, we wouldn’t be able to preserve the freedom that drives our prosperity. And, as I said, it just doesn’t register with these libs that helping to establish autonomy and democracy for Iraq. Not only is that in our self interest. It is also altruistic.

And just as important, the establishment of a free, democratic Iraq might well lead to a prosperous Iraq. There is no comparison between giving a nation the tools to work its own way out of poverty and giving them scraps of aid here and there. Liberals don’t understand the concept of self-sufficiency, only permanent dependency sustained by transfer payments. At least they’re consistent in applying the principle of confiscating other people’s money to satisfy their failures of generosity in their personal lives both domestically and abroad.