Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament and one of Great Britain’s rising conservative political stars, reminds us that the fundamental error of the left is its “elevation of motive over outcome.”

This leads to development assistance policies that are at least doomed to fail and may actually increase poverty. There are many reasons: According to Hannan, aid programs typically sever “the link between taxation and representation, shield rotten governments from the consequences of their mismanagement, encourage dependency, reward corruption, and retard development.”

In fact, over the past half-century, the U.S. has donated over $1 trillion in official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries. The need for ongoing ODA is now openly questioned by such groups as the Center for Global Development, especially given that the annual private financial flows that are fueling the economic growth of the developing world now dwarf ODA.

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