Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cultural Imperialism

The guys over at Acton are actin' up again. This time, they've pointed out the fatal flaw in mandatory "reproductive health" funding for third world countries.
...the common perception is that population growth causes poverty, so reducing population should also reduce poverty. But the facts do not bear this out. Neither do basic economics....

Statistics show no real correlation between population and poverty....

Despite the evidence, the World Bank continues lavishing American tax dollars on population control when that money could be put to better use on such things as infrastructure, telecommunications, and fighting corruption....

We know the factors that create economic growth and development: consistent rule of law for all citizens, property rights, sensible regulation, and a culture that encourages and rewards entrepreneurial behavior. These traits have never existed perfectly anywhere on earth, but the degree to which they have been present reflects the degree to which prosperity has been achieved. Conversely, where they remain absent -- as in much of the developing world today -- poverty and misery are found in their stead.

Many of the same people who protest the “cultural imperialism” of multi-national corporations like McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart vigorously support forcing the Western, secular sexual morality of contraception and abortion on women in Latin America, Africa and Asia -- many of whom view them as moral evils and a violation of their dignity.

People can choose whether to eat a Big Mac or shop at Wal-Mart, but when foreign aid is made contingent on reproductive health policies that include abortion -- and there is no choice -- that is real cultural imperialism. It is ironic that Europe, the very continent facing an economic crisis because of population decline, is busily promoting its own disease as a panacea for what ails the developing world.

Read all about it here.

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