Does Our Consumption Keep Dictators in Business?

Reading Parade Magazine’s list of The World’s 10 Worst Dictators, I was surprised to see how closely linked many of them were to the United States – and our consumption.  For instance:
#1- On the worst dictator list, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe – U.S. purchases of nickel and ferrochromium to use in stainless steel rose in 2008.
#2 – Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, we purchase millions of dollars of
gum Arabic to use in soft drinks and candy.
#5 – King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, we imported $50 billion in oil on 2008.
#6 – Hu Jintao of China, passed Japan last year as our number one foreign creditor. And in 2008 we imported another $340 billion worth of other goods.
The list continues: our trade skyrocketed with Iran (#7) last year, we imported $100 million in oil from Turkmenistan (#9), and $4 billion in oil from Libya (#10).

Looking at the list, it appears our consumption of oil, consumer goods, and our relentless hunger for more credit is helping finance the worst dictatorships on the globe.  And perhaps the worse question (particularly in the case of China), what happens when they start calling in the loans?   Is a day of reckoning coming for the United States?  Can it be averted?  What do you think?

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  1. The borrower is servent to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7)

    This is true in our personal lives and as a nation. We can negotiate, re-negotiate, or even try to threaten. It still boils down to the golden rule:" He who has and lends the gold, rules"

    It can turn around. However sometimes it takes a little shaking up for us to realize that we need to start thinking differently and being more inovative.

  2. This is an exceptionally good question to ask.   Better still, if it is good enough to spend billions in Iraq & Afghanistan, why not take out Mugabe in Zimbabwe, like they did to Saddam Hussein?

    Two weeks ago I met a humble Christian man who has recently immigrated from Zimbabwe.  18 months ago, while living there, he witnessed the murder of his 17 year old son, while trying to protect his wife from black intruders.   

    This man, his  wife & their remaining son have now moved to our country, where they can live in safety. 

    With this knowledge, I then posed the question to him about "why has nothing has been done about Mugabe by our world leaders, like they did in Iraq & Afghanistan?"

    He said, with pain in his heart:  "It is cheaper for Western Governments to continue giving these countries foreign aid forever, than it is to go in & make these Kleptomaniacs run their countries properly" 

    Work it out…. 






    Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa Dambisa Moyo

    In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Has this assistance improved the lives of Africans? No. In fact, across the continent, the recipients of this aid are not better off as a result of it, but worse—much worse.

    In Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo describes the state of postwar development policy in Africa today and unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth. In fact, poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined—and millions continue to suffer.

    Provocatively drawing a sharp contrast between African countries that have rejected the aid route and prospered and others that have become aid-dependent and seen poverty increase, Moyo illuminates the way in which overreliance on aid has trapped developing nations in a vicious circle of aid dependency, corruption, market distortion, and further poverty, leaving them with nothing but the “need” for more aid.

    Debunking the current model of international aid promoted by both Hollywood celebrities and policy makers, Moyo offers a bold new road map for financing development of the world’s poorest countries that guarantees economic growth and a significant decline in poverty—without reliance on foreign aid or aid-related assistance.
    Dead Aid is an unsettling yet optimistic work, a powerful challenge to the assumptions and arguments that support a profoundly misguided development policy in Africa. And it is a clarion call to a new, more hopeful vision of how to address the desperate poverty that plagues millions.



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