Emily Stanger presents interesting first impressions of an Internship in a Poverty-stricken Country. She asks a very seminal question of her own, by wondering if you can be a good Technocrat without losing your compassion for the Poor. Someone who has not faced the conditions of Poverty cannot understand this dilemma. Poverty always ensures a constraint of resources to apply to any Problem, and any choice will always leave one segment of Applicants in dire circumstance. Priorities must be established, and an efficient Technocrat must learn to harden his heart to the plight of the Losers in any Policy decision. There is no difficulty in understanding why such Interns most often go forward to take Jobs which maximize financial security for themselves and their future families.
Molly Kinder, Stringer’s roommate in Liberia, feels most Depressed by the previous warfare. She has yet to make the transformation that Poverty breeds the Warfare, which spawns the atrocities. She decries the Youth of the Soldiers, not realizing the Young make the best Combat specialists, being more nimble with greater physical recovery capacity; the Young also less afflicted by the moral implications of their actions. The threat of alternate starvation justifies almost any level of violence. This environment easily produces submission of people, especially the Young, to the rhetoric of the Megalomaniac, if he can steal enough food supplies to sustain them.
The story of Liberia’s downfall is best told by Kinder’s first blog entry, and her entries overall place too much faith in President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. This lady lacks the power to get the current Generation educated Today, after a decade without Schooling; this leaving them unprepared for constructive labor. Re-electrification of the Country will likely remain a remote dream, as it cannot be financed in either the Short or Long term by Consumer rates. The Transportation network is actually bound to degrade, as there are no funds for Road or Railway Maintenance. Foreign Aid comes mainly in Food for the Poor, with little Business interest because of lack of Security, and the Above failures which cannot be restored. Economic models will always fail lacking skilled labor on the ground, and neither Profits or Altruism will bring their sufficient placement there.
I must thank Dani Rodrik for the links. lgl