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  1. #81
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by professor goodstain View Post
    You could ask all the others including yourself to justify it. Sorry not writing a book doesn't satisfy you. But thats what professors expect. A book. You still haven't "justified" the possatives of the un. Your outstanding thread on Africa aside, you were blind to those posts that persecuted without justifications. Sometimes the shear reality of the plight of Africa just doesn't surface stimulating discourse. But if you look at each post it will present to you a few individuals who give half a shit. Each one on your thread, not any that your mind may tell you i've hand picked. Each one. Pseudo persecution aside, i have a great admiration for each individual who posted. Do you? Tell me there wasn't critical thought or discourse. Or did professors wire you to think opinions besides their own are subject to persecution? The creation of a fun house mirror in your head came from an obvious real fun house mirror existing from your own pseudo persecution of yourself for not thinking that it is possible that someone out there might have an experential understanding of the situation that doesn't corresponde with the title of professor. Believable no. Possible ya.
    Wha...? Come again? I'm saying that the aim of this thread is to give ideas on what *we* can do to help, at a practical, individual level, and mine are not the ONLY way, nor the ONLY organizations (I don't think I've ever claimed that)....so, if I counter all the theoretical talk of needing to help the economy first, etc, because it's all well and good, but, fails in the aim of my thread....i'm a persecutor?

    Well, then, HANG you all. HANG!

    to add, w/ this thread, I also wanted to bring awareness of specific health issues affecting African countries to the forefront. I think I started my OP off with this.......

  2. #82
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    It shouldn't matter what the person does - they all contribute "wealth".
    Actually, that's central to the theory. It's about the rich wanting to leave, not a writer, a waitress, or anyone else that performs actual labor. It's about the rich no longer investing in a society, effectively taking their toys (money) and going home.

    It's better put that what a writer produces is less valued than the services the government would support. There is always some deadweight loss to taxation...
    That's true, but that's not what "going Galt" is about. It's not about regular people, rather, it's about people that have already accumulated wealth.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #83
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Health research at the policy level is beyond the realm of tackle (in a direct sense) by most of us (certainly most of us on this forum, unless we got some ambassadors hiding within us). My aim with this thread wasn't to see, in a theoretical sense, what can be done for those in peril...but, what can we, you, me, within our realistic means, do.
    That's the problem. As individuals, we can do nothing. Even aid we send requires group efforts, group bargaining. It is simply infeasible for each of us to fly over and give help. Policy in and of itself doesn't have to be a government thing - Bill Gates is an example. And I strongly support his approach, because from everything I have heard, he is among the first to do evidence based initiatives.

    Why an either/or?
    I do not believe they can operate together well, or rather, I believe that symptoms cascade from the initial condition, and circle back into the system. In cases where symptoms are worth treating, it's only because they are inherently more damaging and prevent actual cures from being handed out.

    Normally, treating symptoms gets in the way of actual solutions. For instance, we can give money to people to start a business, or we can loan them. To me, giving money is a policy of treating a symptom, while loaning money is based upon a policy of building the economic system. The two cannot work together. The same goes with contraceptives. IMO, if you hand out contraceptives, you cannot create a market for them.

    I ask again, why are we so quick to look at ONLY the macroscopic level of this issue? Why not at the individual level and ask what we can do to help?
    The start of it is the crowding out effect, which is most of the answer of looking at the macroscopic level.

    However, don't take this to mean that I don't believe in individual help. Micro loans may be a policy form of "sending aid". It is a highly individual way of creating a system that allows individuals to selectively(1), personally(2) help others while creating an information market(3) that allows actual capital allocation(4).

    (1) Is critical because help is more readily given when the individual makes the decision. It bypasses the large groups (even if they run the systems) and allows one to filter out aid. This acts like an "investment" system in people, rather than a blanket tax and money return.

    (2) Is equally critical that is be personal, so that when I give aid, I'm giving it to a very specific person, which I now "know" and can identify with.

    (3) The information market is a reaction to (1) and the capital drive. With an information market, such as success rate and so forth, you drive down the cost of capital to its natural cost. It creates a viable capital market, if a micro one. And it also allows the entire system to build naturally - right up to the large scale "companies" that will no doubt form once microloans are no longer the way to go.

    (4) Like (3), capital allocation helps. Eventually the information market will become bloated with "parasites" who want to rip off the system. That's when its success will have tappered out. What it will leave is a system of capital allocation. People who have a record of success will become the new capitalists, essentially what investment dealers do here. They will then pick and choose companies and direct funds based on the trust investors have.

    A policy of raising economic standards, rather than a policy of giving aid.

    Why must help/aid in terms of giving food, medicine, etc, 'band-aid' solutions, if you will, still be not relevant if it can relieve the burden, even of an individual, for x amount of time? Why is this still not relevant?
    I do support a certain amount of intervention, which was my point with markets not being efficient. However, I do not believe that you should be able to simply give aid, not as a policy.

    What I do believe is that aid should be used to buy medicine/etc. that is then sold at heavily discounted prices. Free is scarcity personified. You are going to be helping the same amount of people (all of it is going to get consumed - we cannot even begin to get enough aid and deliver it now), but because of the change in policy, you will also be creating a market that will drive people to improve their situation, as hopeless as it may seem now.

    Only issue is that there has to be generated interest at the governmental level. And, if the govt itself is corrupt/in turmoil, then the only other option is foreign initiative.
    Agreed, it's certainly a difficult situation... the same goes with any aid, unfortunately.

    Value them in comparison to what? How do we realisitically give condoms enough 'value', say, over, using very very limited monetary funds on food or medicine for one's family. How do we place value on such things to a population where even basic human day-to-day survival needs are a luxury to be attained (so forget giving them lessons on the indirect merits of condoms to long-term survival)?
    You don't. A person who needs to eat isn't going to care about contraceptives. Not only because they would rather have food, but because if they don't have food, they will need kids. That's the ultimate catch.

    That's what I mean by creating a market. You cannot simply treat symptoms. Every dollar sunk into a contraceptive is utterly wasted if they value food over contraceptives. Contraceptives being given out over food is virtually suicidal - they will always be dependent on foreigners if you take away their children in exchange for food.

    If you regress medical advancements, how do you think it compares to sanitation for increasing lifespan? Nutrition? Medicine and contraceptives isn't the solution. You could never ever get enough of medical improvements to make a significant difference, not in aggregate. What they need is the foundation to get the nutrition, the sanitation and so forth. Of course, I realise there are situations in which entire villages are so sick and suffer from malnutrition that it makes it impossible for them to ever take advantage of the larger policy. So I agree with your "one or the other" being too simplistic, but I still support an overall economic policy. Inside that economic policy, I believe there is room for direct aid.

    Likewise I do believe in aid iwo infrastructure/capital. Doesn't matter if it's water purification or mosquito nets. Crowding out isn't a concern here, IMO, so long as the international preference is to create local production with aid. That creates jobs locally. And eventually that can be market supported.

    Giving aid at the symptomatic level isn't truly like titling at the windmills. Futile as it may be for long-term sustainability, I still don't understand the reasoning of why these solutions are invalid at an immediate, case to case level?
    The case to case level, to me, is microloans. To the point that I don't see why medical aid is not purchased through the microloan system for entire villages. Aid goes directly to the medical system, reducing the cost of the village purchasing the aid, and the village then borrows the money it needs to "buy" the aid. In return, they get paid helping other villages and the like - distributing money, hosting aid, transporting. Fundamental things.

    And doing so opens the door up for more loans - for nutrition, cultivation, processing. It's all about the bootstrapping up. Does giving aid work? Marginally, very marginally. You list some good examples below - buy a farm animal? Why not! It's capital. You buy one, feed it, and it gives you babies. Which you can sell some off, return the capital to its owner, and so forth. And those villages that buy them can borrow the money in the same way. And soon the cost of having animals is driven down - yet everyone now has animals. Everyone is wealthier.

    Without the system, they have an animal. Yes, they will cherish it, but it is fleeting.

    I can only really target the symtomatic issues, I don't have the power to practically help at the policy level. I can theorize about it, all day and night on a forum...but, I don't know how to give a direct cause-effect action towards this cause. Do you?

    FARM Friends | FARM FRIENDS - Charity Gifts for FARM-Africa (buy a farm animal for a rural village to increase their agricultural productivity)

    Floating Gardens is another good initiative that worked in Bangladesh:
    Floating Gardens in Bangladesh - Agriculture - Cultivation - Practical Answers

    And, as you pointed out the one about microloans:
    Kiva - Loans that change lives
    I tend to agree. But wanting it to be more just isn't helping. The more aid that goes, the worse the crowding out effect becomes.

    Please, like pgatsby, provide such information if anyone has. And links to how we can get involved in such initiatives.
    Directly helping... that I don't know. Maybe there is a market for such a charity? Interesting idea, actually. That would be worth exploring, especially in terms of targets and transparency. Unfortunately most aid is done to feel good, not be effective, so I don't know how viable that would be.

    I strongly support the Gates foundation. A list of highlighted items can be seen at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia They have the right blend of medical and supportive aid, IMO (you can see some of the medical policies on the same page as above). Having said that, they aren't terribly involved in "on the ground" aid, but my understanding is that it is coming. It was a matter of getting the foundation set up and running first. I also support them for not being socially conscious investors, ironically enough, because it fully supports an economic approach.

  4. #84
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    That's true, but that's not what "going Galt" is about. It's not about regular people, rather, it's about people that have already accumulated wealth.
    Ahhhh, I didn't realise! Well, then it is pretty ridiculous. Americans are taxed on world income anyway.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    That's the problem. As individuals, we can do nothing. Even aid we send requires group efforts, group bargaining. It is simply infeasible for each of us to fly over and give help. Policy in and of itself doesn't have to be a government thing - Bill Gates is an example. And I strongly support his approach, because from everything I have heard, he is among the first to do evidence based initiatives.
    I don't fully agree that at an individual level, the global community can do nothing. I think we have to be informed of who/what we support and how. I remember when I was in high school, I raised money for World Vision, and then, I actually decided to investigate, and saw the amount of $ that goes into 'logistical costs', and what portion of the donations actually directly reach those in need, and I was quite appalled. And immediately cut my ties.

    One of the biggest thing we can do costs NOTHING. It's education. Educate oneself. Educate another. I.e., awareness (as I stated in my OP, my primary reason for the OP - and more to come on other health issues).

    Secondly,
    Directly helping... that I don't know. Maybe there is a market for such a charity? Interesting idea, actually. That would be worth exploring, especially in terms of targets and transparency. Unfortunately most aid is done to feel good, not be effective, so I don't know how viable that would be.
    I don't want to promote this idea that we should simply just give monetary aid, at random to any organizatin that mentions itself as charity & Africa. However, I do think that there are charities out there that are doing great things, and, we should be informed of them, and support them if we can.

    It all comes out of awareness, again. Be informed.

    Do you know how much money goes into investigating treatments for erectile dysfunction and 'diet pills' by pharmaceutical companies, versus, how much they invest in trying to find cheap alternatives to treatments for Neglected tropical diseases? Why? Simply because the pay-off/monetary demand for the latter is not there. I think if we, at an individual level, can even become aware of these many issues, and champion for change, and start getting others aware and interested, we've started in motion a movement for change.

    I do not believe they can operate together well, or rather, I believe that symptoms cascade from the initial condition, and circle back into the system. In cases where symptoms are worth treating, it's only because they are inherently more damaging and prevent actual cures from being handed out.
    I agree with this, actually. However, most of the issues that I am bringing forth, the symtoms overshadow the cures. It is the reality of the situation in Africa.

    For example, take again Neglected Tropical Diseases. Once they carry the parasite, it's there forever. We can treat hookworms in developed countries with a very high rate of cure, however, such targets to 'curing' hookworms is not very practical in Africa. The cures are expensive drugs. What we can then do is look at the symptoms - one of the 'symptoms' is exposure to infection in others. Thus, giving symtomatic aids such as education about proper sanitation along with lowering the burden of disease on the infected person through drugs is key to vector control and management. Yes, it would be ideal to start this when there was no vector introduced, but, after the fact, management is still key, imo. So even if we cannot treat/cure, we can at least minimize and manage such 'symptoms'.

    Normally, treating symptoms gets in the way of actual solutions.
    If the symtoms exacerbate the situation, then, first step would be management. Only then can we set the framework for tackling the problem through solutions.

    For instance, we can give money to people to start a business, or we can loan them. To me, giving money is a policy of treating a symptom, while loaning money is based upon a policy of building the economic system. The two cannot work together. The same goes with contraceptives. IMO, if you hand out contraceptives, you cannot create a market for them.
    With this example of contraceptives, imo, it is a moot point, with the current situation in Africa, to even hope to create a 'market' for it. It's just not gonna get on the radar. I think we must first manage the situation. Meaning, provide education/awareness of single partner relations, abstinence, family planning, and contraceptives - all, hand in hand. Management at one level, while working on the root issues as well. Multi-level attack is what I keep saying. Don't think linear. At all levels of the issue. I can accept that tackling one level, will have an impact of the power to tackle another level of the issue. There's finite 'aid'. However, I don't think the situation is that clear that we can be confident that the level for which we tackle the issue is the 'right' one.

    However, don't take this to mean that I don't believe in individual help. Micro loans may be a policy form of "sending aid". It is a highly individual way of creating a system that allows individuals to selectively(1), personally(2) help others while creating an information market(3) that allows actual capital allocation(4).

    (1) Is critical because help is more readily given when the individual makes the decision. It bypasses the large groups (even if they run the systems) and allows one to filter out aid. This acts like an "investment" system in people, rather than a blanket tax and money return.

    (2) Is equally critical that is be personal, so that when I give aid, I'm giving it to a very specific person, which I now "know" and can identify with.

    (3) The information market is a reaction to (1) and the capital drive. With an information market, such as success rate and so forth, you drive down the cost of capital to its natural cost. It creates a viable capital market, if a micro one. And it also allows the entire system to build naturally - right up to the large scale "companies" that will no doubt form once microloans are no longer the way to go.

    (4) Like (3), capital allocation helps. Eventually the information market will become bloated with "parasites" who want to rip off the system. That's when its success will have tappered out. What it will leave is a system of capital allocation. People who have a record of success will become the new capitalists, essentially what investment dealers do here. They will then pick and choose companies and direct funds based on the trust investors have.

    A policy of raising economic standards, rather than a policy of giving aid.
    Yes! Again, thank you for fleshing this out more, as an option (and one that I quite like). I still think it(your example) is giving 'aid' in a sense, just like, literally giving aids is an assumed investment towards security in Africa. Depends on how you interpret what 'giving aid' means, wouldn't it?

    What I do believe is that aid should be used to buy medicine/etc. that is then sold at heavily discounted prices. Free is scarcity personified. You are going to be helping the same amount of people (all of it is going to get consumed - we cannot even begin to get enough aid and deliver it now), but because of the change in policy, you will also be creating a market that will drive people to improve their situation, as hopeless as it may seem now.
    Again, I think you are jumping quite a few steps here. There is too much assumption of the state of being in many of these impoverished places. Access to health care, medication, their daily living, all create many complex issues that even giving them meds. at a discounted price isn't gonna do all that much.

    Most rural areas don't have medical facilities for miles and miles (taking hours/days to reach). Most operate during the day, when these families need to be working, out in the fields, such that, even a day's lost wages, to take their child to a 'nearby' medical clinic (which takes money for transportation), then, to see it closed because they came too late in the night, so they have to wait for another day (increasing their debt for missing another day's work), while the child gets worse, and then saying, 'well, there's a minimum fee for medication'. It is not merely a 1-to-1 cost of medication for that family. They're paying a whole lot more than the 'heavily subsidized cost' of that medication alone.

    That's what I mean by creating a market. You cannot simply treat symptoms. Every dollar sunk into a contraceptive is utterly wasted if they value food over contraceptives. Contraceptives being given out over food is virtually suicidal - they will always be dependent on foreigners if you take away their children in exchange for food.
    Creating a market will only work when other hurdles are taken care of. Simply starting off creating a market from the start isn't going to be effective, imo. First comes management of the system.

    If you regress medical advancements, how do you think it compares to sanitation for increasing lifespan? Nutrition? Medicine and contraceptives isn't the solution. You could never ever get enough of medical improvements to make a significant difference, not in aggregate. What they need is the foundation to get the nutrition, the sanitation and so forth. Of course, I realise there are situations in which entire villages are so sick and suffer from malnutrition that it makes it impossible for them to ever take advantage of the larger policy. So I agree with your "one or the other" being too simplistic, but I still support an overall economic policy. Inside that economic policy, I believe there is room for direct aid.
    I don't think I'm disagreeing (ever) with a need for an economic policy, but, we must account for the situation where we want to implement such policy. It has to translate. Like your bolded, how do you think an economic policy could be implemented in such situations?

    The case to case level, to me, is microloans. To the point that I don't see why medical aid is not purchased through the microloan system for entire villages. Aid goes directly to the medical system, reducing the cost of the village purchasing the aid, and the village then borrows the money it needs to "buy" the aid. In return, they get paid helping other villages and the like - distributing money, hosting aid, transporting. Fundamental things.
    Because in such areas of instability, putting medicine in a form that can have the possibility to be bartered or exchanged for $, creates an even dangerous implication. The most vulnerable amongst the vulnerable, i.e., the ones needing it the most, will be the last in line.


    I strongly support the Gates foundation. A list of highlighted items can be seen at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia They have the right blend of medical and supportive aid, IMO (you can see some of the medical policies on the same page as above). Having said that, they aren't terribly involved in "on the ground" aid, but my understanding is that it is coming. It was a matter of getting the foundation set up and running first. I also support them for not being socially conscious investors, ironically enough, because it fully supports an economic approach.
    Yes, thanks again for repping this foundation (I linked it as well in my OP). I also like that they are geared toward evidence-based solutions. I do agree that blindly giving, just for the sake of giving, cuz we have money and they don't, so I guess I can share, is quite ineffective. However, to become aware of the issues, their depth, their breadth, and get informed of all the different orgs that are working towards this, so we make informed decisions on who to support, and how one can get involved (monetarily or otherwise), that I'm all for.

  6. #86
    Senior Member Noel's Avatar
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    The failures of Western Aid to Africa must cease; it's a form of rebranded colonialism or rather neocolonialism.

    Ethopia's population has increased from 33.5 Million twenty-five years ago to 78 million presently. Feeding a nation catastrophically outstripping their own resources and ecological degradation defies logic.

    If the West actually considers assisting Africa, first, the west must recognize that government corruption and mass poverty is not our problem and second, the west needs to help Africa reduce its overpopulation.
    I may be bested in battle, but I shall never be defeated.

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    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    The failures of Western Aid to Africa must cease; it's a form of rebranded colonialism or rather neocolonialism.

    Ethopia's population has increased from 33.5 Million twenty-five years ago to 78 million presently. Feeding a nation catastrophically outstripping their own resources and ecological degradation defies logic.

    If the West actually considers assisting Africa, first, the west must recognize that government corruption and mass poverty is not our problem and second, the west needs to help Africa reduce its overpopulation.
    Imagine if America was Africa and versa visa, do you have kids?
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

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    Senior Member Noel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by professor goodstain View Post
    Imagine if America was Africa and versa visa, do you have kids?
    My thoughts would remain unchanged.

    I don't plan on having children until I'm at least thirty years old; one child maximum.
    I may be bested in battle, but I shall never be defeated.

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    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    My thoughts would remain unchanged.

    I don't plan on having children until I'm at least thirty years old; one child maximum.
    Imagine if America was Africa and visa versa, when you are 30, will you still have that one child?
    If America completely ignored Africa would that mindset carry over to starting to ignore America itself?
    China almost completely ignores Africa with the exception of supplying arms to whoever over there, and they have a one child philosophy
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  10. #90
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    I don't fully agree that at an individual level, the global community can do nothing. I think we have to be informed of who/what we support and how. I remember when I was in high school, I raised money for World Vision, and then, I actually decided to investigate, and saw the amount of $ that goes into 'logistical costs', and what portion of the donations actually directly reach those in need, and I was quite appalled. And immediately cut my ties.
    Good point - while we can only act with groups, your point about contributing (and creating a market for!) to certain organisations is something individuals should do.

    Of course, aid isn't exactly bountiful, which is sad in and of itself. I wish I could come up with a coherent way to make it beneficial for the '1st' world to help the '3rd' world countries. Unfortunately, it's simply not beneficial for me to do so.

    Do you know how much money goes into investigating treatments for erectile dysfunction and 'diet pills' by pharmaceutical companies, versus, how much they invest in trying to find cheap alternatives to treatments for Neglected tropical diseases? Why? Simply because the pay-off/monetary demand for the latter is not there. I think if we, at an individual level, can even become aware of these many issues, and champion for change, and start getting others aware and interested, we've started in motion a movement for change.
    I know of this issue - it's why I want to create a market for it. Right now the only market there is comes through aid organizations, which is highly inefficient. By creating a market, you create competition, and it quickly becomes necessary for existing companies to slash prices... it's already happening as the demand for them in poorly controlled (read: patent weak) countries increases. Drug prices in these areas are being slashed a great deal now.

    Change doesn't come from social pressure... at least, not easily. It's almost always driven by economic pressure. Even where they intersect, it's mostly the realization of the company that they are distancing themselves from customers that motivates them to change.

    So even if we cannot treat/cure, we can at least minimize and manage such 'symptoms'.
    Those are good points, and one thing we haven't talked about is education. So as far as that goes, I agree - I don't view education needs as treating any symptom, but rather about increasing human capital.

    If the symtoms exacerbate the situation, then, first step would be management. Only then can we set the framework for tackling the problem through solutions.
    I disagree - or rather, I think that for the most part, causes need to be treated first. Using an example of disease - what is going to cause the greatest impact, money directed towards a round of 'cures' (even vaccines), or money directed towards sewage and/or water purification.

    I would not make that statement absolute. There are lots of times when you need to get things under control first, but I think they are in the minority... or at least, don't interfere with the overall plan. I still want the medical aid to go through, but I don't want it to be the policy (ie: "Help people"). On the other hand, I am a strong believer in evidence based helping, and that's where I draw that conclusion. I'm more than willing to adopt a different strategy if it proves ineffective.

    Don't think linear. At all levels of the issue. I can accept that tackling one level, will have an impact of the power to tackle another level of the issue. There's finite 'aid'. However, I don't think the situation is that clear that we can be confident that the level for which we tackle the issue is the 'right' one.
    All agreed. Although what I say may sound linear, it's because I dividing up the different effects inside an economic policy. In reality, it would be messy and complex, with tons of gaps... no different than any other policy, really. The difference is that it biases solutions towards (still IMO) long term solutions. It creates institutions that stack and spread. Health, in and of itself, does not.

    If we could create the industry to create vaccines locally, it would be different... but we can't.

    Depends on how you interpret what 'giving aid' means, wouldn't it?
    It does! I mean, aid in and of itself is typically negative. Very few people respond to aid outside of the incentive - to get more. But we are all human, and all feel human obligations. I feel microloans are the best way I know of.

    Having said that, I sort of envision a three step plan - stabilize (direct aid), establish (water purification), obligate (create economy). All of it requires, essentially, a team to operate in a geographic area to treat and educate, create some infrastructure and make it conditional upon them spreading the help. It's not as simple as it seems, I know.

    That last step makes people cringe, but to really conquer the issue, I think it required. The economy is about interwoven obligations... we bring money to the village, and then they pay it back. The way they pack it back generates wealth, for them and for others. I'm not talking about putting the severely in debt, or all of the exploitive things that do go on... just about a system of obligations that would cause them to help others after they would be helped.

    Most rural areas don't have medical facilities for miles and miles (taking hours/days to reach). Most operate during the day, when these families need to be working, out in the fields, such that, even a day's lost wages, to take their child to a 'nearby' medical clinic (which takes money for transportation), then, to see it closed because they came too late in the night, so they have to wait for another day (increasing their debt for missing another day's work), while the child gets worse, and then saying, 'well, there's a minimum fee for medication'. It is not merely a 1-to-1 cost of medication for that family. They're paying a whole lot more than the 'heavily subsidized cost' of that medication alone.
    That's what I remember from my friend in Africa... when you are barely at the survival level, you don't have a lot of flexibility. But that's really my argument for the economic solution. The aid simply cannot compete with the fundamentals.

    Creating a market will only work when other hurdles are taken care of. Simply starting off creating a market from the start isn't going to be effective, imo. First comes management of the system.
    But how? As you say, the fundamentals themselves prevent it. Going around treating children isn't a viable solution... but I would argue that improving the crop yield, even marginally, would allow a vast number to seek aid. Both need to be present, yes, but I would say the systemic issues help the most.

    Like your bolded, how do you think an economic policy could be implemented in such situations?
    I think it falls under the "stabilize" part in my description above... the economic policy really only involves a certain mindset - that resources are resources, and if you spend them, they need to have a return. It sounds wrong to many because of the concept of aid, but the point here is that they still get the aid, no matter what, but it comes with the grains of a more modern economy.

    Because in such areas of instability, putting medicine in a form that can have the possibility to be bartered or exchanged for $, creates an even dangerous implication. The most vulnerable amongst the vulnerable, i.e., the ones needing it the most, will be the last in line.
    Which is an issue, I agree. There is no perfect solution - put another way, giving aid to the weakest first does the least to help the group pull above minimal sustenance. And as awful as it sounds, it means another mouth to feed. When things are so bad that there isn't enough food to go around... welll... There is always a trade off, I fear, and no good solution. Nature is brutal - and so I approach it from the point of view to let people conquer nature first.

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