Focus Point - Why Local is BetterCommentary by Pete du Pont
April 21, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. A remarkably candid report from the United Nations development program has admitted what many people have known for a long time: that poverty is often the result of bad central government. And good local government is the best way to fight poverty.
Historically, foreign aid has gone to central governments, not the people who needed it at the local level. It is frequently stolen by corrupt officials. Local governments, often weak in the developing world, ought to be best suited to spend the money to fight poverty. But they don't get the chance.
I don't want to draw too many facile parallels, but we could stand to learn the same lesson here -- although in our case efficiency and fairness, not corruption, is the problem. Local governments know better what to do for their own problems than central ones. So why not decentralize American government spending -- let your state and local government spend the money instead of Washington.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.