The Impotence of Money

Michael Maren: It's a myth that you can cure injustice just by spending more:

"...there's a huge division in aid organizations between the people on the ground and the people at headquarters, always. I've been in a hundred situations where I'm in a country and I'm with a bunch of aid workers at night, and we're usually drinking after a hard, hot day, and somebody starts talking about maybe we shouldn't be here, maybe we're just fucking the situation up more than it already is, we're not doing anything good, we're making things worse.

But they get up in the morning and go to work anyway.

That message never gets to the top. The sense of ambiguity and complexity of it -- people in headquarters don't want to hear it. They have other concerns, which are more projects to keep paying salaries at headquarters and let's put a happy face on it for the public.

And they're right in that you can't sit down with the public and have a complicated appeal. You have Sally Struthers with a little baby saying, '65 a day to save this baby's life.' That's pretty direct. It's a lie, but it's direct.

You're not gonna be able to discuss the political situation in Zaire: People in Zaire are suffering because of this, and in another country for another reason -- which is the truth."
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