From a poster in our building advertising an upcoming talk on on attitudes towards development aid.

From a poster in our building advertising an upcoming talk on attitudes toward development aid.

What’s your take on the political cartoon above? I think it’s illustrating either:

1. that there’s a ton of money flowing into foreign aid but it’s being mismanaged or otherwise inappropriately controlled, such that very little is reaching its intended recipients; or

2. the top-down/trickle-down effect of development economics theory results in the people at the bottom really getting only, as illustrated, a trickle of the wealth; or

3. foreign aid is extremely bureaucratic – money must be directed through various levels of governments and organizations, and by the time all those employee and operational costs have been paid there isn’t very much money left over.

Development is complicated, no? Fortunately, my roommate is a development expert! He has just one more exam left to go, incidentally on ‘Aid and Development.’ His penultimate exam today went well (high-five!), and as he was leaving he ran into a classmate from Italy who has been having a rough year keeping up with lectures and readings in what is his fourth(!)-best language. Allan suggested going for a drink after the exam tomorrow and, looking a little wild-eyed, his friend replied, “We will go for many drinks.”