Just asking that Bill Easterly stop blowing over straw men. We’re just trying to unpack broad sweeping generalizations that don’t stand up upon closer scrutiny. Professor Easterly does some great work but unfortunately some of it relies on uninformed audiences, misrepresentations of arguments and oversimplifications of issues to make points. When we see that, we’re going to talk about it.
If Bill isn’t saying anything that we disagree with in Aid Watch or various articles he writes, then we’re going to pick apart the White Man’s Burden. It has a lot of good points, but also a number of things that are demonstrably false, which have never been addressed and deserve a little attention.
Ideally, we would like to see Bill Easterly become an advocate for more smart, effective, accountable aid, and of course, propose ideas on how to make it so instead of just highlighting shortfalls and giving up. Like he said “Put the focus back where it belong: get the poorest people in the world such obvious goods as the vaccines, the antibiotics, the food supplements, the improved seeds, the fertilizer, the roads, the boreholes, the water pipes, the textbooks, and the nurses. This is not making the poor dependent on handouts; it is giving the poorest people the health, nutrition, education, and other inputs that raise the payoff to their own efforts to better their lives.”
Bill Easterly Watch is a project of Students To End Extreme Poverty.