Incoherence: The contradiction of subsidies, aid and philanthropy


It’s a natural human trait to focus on celebrating the good while giving less thought to the harmful. Reconciling contradictory behaviours can be difficult, especially when good intentions are challenged by uncomfortable questions about the problems we’re trying to solve.

Two areas where this is especially true relate to foreign aid and philanthropy. The provision of both undoubtedly improve lives and lift many out of poverty. Many problems addressed by these forms of giving are highly complex and difficult to solve. Generosity is vital to developing lasting solutions.

But is it a case of giving with one hand while taking more with the other? Whether it’s through agricultural subsidies, tax regimes that favour multinationals or profiting from low wage workers, it’s useful to reflect on a simple question:

Is it better for me to give more, or take less?

Continue reading “Incoherence: The contradiction of subsidies, aid and philanthropy”

Incoherence: The contradiction of subsidies, aid and philanthropy

Cheap labour + government aid = corporate profits?


Recently published reports in the UK and US highlight how low wage employers are being subsidised by the social welfare system in what is effectively a transfer from taxpayers to shareholders. While this link is clear within developed countries, it is possible to argue that a similar, albeit less direct, effect is also occuring in developing countries.

This blog post will explore whether corporates headquartered in the developed countries effectively receive similar subsidies as a result of paying low wages in developing countries. Is foreign aid actually funding corporate profits?

Continue reading “Cheap labour + government aid = corporate profits?”

Cheap labour + government aid = corporate profits?