The Haves and the Have-Nots

Money is the root of most of the world's problems. Is that true? That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

The haves and the have-nots, we are the haves, most of the rest of the world are the have-nots. In the Middle East today, more killing as Palestinians and Israelis continue to pound each other. This has been going on for more than 50 years, and it's all about land.

Palestinians believe the Jews stole their land. The Jews know many Arabs would kill them if they could, thus they have to defend themselves. The only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli problem is a division of the disputed land, and a United Nations peacekeeping force to patrol the boundaries.

But even if that were agreed upon, a certain segment in the Arab world would continue to terrorize Israel, so peace across the board is just about impossible.

America has poured billions of dollars into the Middle East. Israel has used our money to build a fierce military machine. I'm not exactly sure how the Palestinians have used our money, as most of the people there are desperately poor, while the Palestinian leadership lives very well.

The truth of the haves versus the have-nots is this. Most of the poor country sin the world have corrupt governments that will steal most of the aid that arrives. There is no democracy in the Arab world, very little in Africa, and the poorest Asian countries are dictatorships. The economic difference between China and Taiwan, for example, is enormous. Free markets obviously lead to higher living standards.

The United States gave more than $10 billion to developing countries in the year 2000, yet we are still despised by much of the third world. This year alone, we will give the World Bank, which loans money to poor countries, nearly $900 million.

Yet the USA has to fight worldwide terrorism at a staggering cost.

So my question is this. How much is enough? When are the poor countries going to start helping themselves and stop blaming America? If all the money we send overseas was used wisely back here, America would be a much better place. We would not have a deficit or citizens with no health insurance or seniors going without medicine. We would have better roads, schools, and lower tax rates.

Talking Points believes it is time for some tough love. We should no longer be giving money to countries that refuse to behave responsibly. No more aid for dictators who fill their Swiss bank accounts, even if they do support our policies.

America was built by hard-working individuals who sacrificed much. Giveaways to criminals was not part of the constitutional plan. The USA should adopt strict guidelines for any and all foreign aid and do it now.

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Former Attorney General Janet Reno still going strong, trying to get elected governor of Florida. She's driving around the state, trying to raise money.

But in Duval County, only 15 people showed up at a $100 a plate dinner for Ms. Reno. Her spokesperson says it was a good chance for Janet to meet the people one-on-one.

I'll say.

Might also be ridiculous.

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