Ever since I was a little kid I’ve had a problem with the United Nations. If the USA was sovereign, and our laws were our laws and other countries’ laws were other countries’ laws why did we have this entity which looked way too much like an effort at world government to me?
Now, I’m not going to go all nutbar on you here, but seriously, the UN isn’t such a good organization. It is deeply crony. It’s expensive. (We pay by far the most for the UN.) And it’s always trying to overstep its bounds. Proclamations and declarations from the institution really should be of no concern to us in the United States. (And thankfully, Americans have never been terribly concerned.) So why do we still have it in New York?
Switzerland is nice.
While the UN does manage to carry out some humanitarian aid missions, these too are plagued with expected problems of a vast international bureaucracy. The organization’s own estimates place the rate of fraud at 30%, but even those numbers understate the bleak reality that the biggest winners of the UN’s programs tend to be government officials who are the most to blame for international poverty.
William Easterly, co-director of New York University’s Development Research Institute, has written on how the United Nation’s humanitarian model gets everything wrong:
[The UN swoops] into third-world countries and offer purely technical assistance to dictatorships like Uganda or Ethiopia on how to solve poverty.
Unfortunately, dictators’ sole motivation is to stay in power. So the development experts may get some roads built, but they are not maintained. Experts may sink boreholes for clean water, but the wells break down. Individuals do not have the political rights to protest disastrous public services, so they never improve. Meanwhile, dictators are left with cash and services to prop themselves up–while punishing their enemies.