Kristof: Coca-Cola Trumps Charity
4:00 PM, Jan 6, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Nicholas Kristof, generally a standard-fare liberal columnist, devotes his New York Times column today to defending a more capitalist approach to aiding Haiti:
As Kristof points out, trade is beneficial to all parties. By providing jobs instead of welfare, corporations can in fact provide, in the long run, a higher standard of living.
There’s another angle here, too, which Kristof (understandably) doesn’t touch on: The implications this line of thought has on domestic policy, as well.
It’s a reasonable reaction to the less fortunate to want to give some sort of welfare. But that doesn’t mean, no matter one’s intention, that it’s actually a benefit to the recipient. Indeed, trade can often times be more lasting, more sustainable, and more beneficial than aid.
Kristof himself comes down in favor of the corporations rather than state-given aid:
As the new Congress comes in, promising to slash spending and perhaps reform welfare and entitlement programs, precisely how to assist the less fortunate – in a way that actually helps – is an important debate to begin to have.