Howard confuses trade/aid issues

After offer­ing us the hard­ly nov­el idea that trade plays a more sig­nif­i­cant role than assis­tance fund­ing in devel­op­ment and growth, Howard stum­bles into a cau­tion about the impact of cor­rup­tion on the will­ing­ness of elec­torates in rich coun­tries to sus­tain aid flows. Despite assur­ing us of the dif­fer­ence between trade and aid in his first sen­tence, he mix­es the two in his sec­ond sen­tence and goes on to con­found the issues of cor­rup­tion as an imped­i­ment to the effec­tive use of aid and pro­tec­tion as an imped­i­ment to and trade-led growth. bq. “Trade access is worth far more to under­de­vel­oped coun­tries than devel­op­ment assis­tance,” Howard said. bq. “The devel­oped world can do more to open up trade access but those under­de­vel­oped coun­tries seek­ing assis­tance should under­stand that the stan­dard of gov­er­nance and issues of cor­rup­tion are very, very impor­tant to the atti­tude of elec­torates. bq. “In democ­ra­cies, gov­ern­ments are influ­enced by pub­lic opin­ion and there’s no point kid­ding our­selves oth­er­wise. Pub­lic opin­ion wants to help the less for­tu­nate. Pub­lic opin­ion in my coun­try and the world was extra­or­di­nary in help­ing after the tsuna­mi cri­sis. bq. “There is no absence of gen­uine com­pas­sion but there is a hard-head­ed view that the resources allo­cat­ed should be prop­er­ly used.” (“Syd­ney Morn­ing Herald”:http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/Free-trade-better-than-aid-Howards/2005/01/30/1107020259720.html)

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