May 28, 2004

An ounce of prevention...

We haven't yet heard the last word on Africa policy, but at least Jeffrey Sachs has the first word:
In every aspect of Africa's complex plight an ounce of prevention will be worth a ton of treatment. In recent years America gave a negligible $4m a year to Ethiopia to boost agricultural productivity, but then responded with around $500m in emergency food aid in 2003 when the crops failed. In the 1990s America gave less than $50m a year for Africa to prevent AIDS, so now will spend $3 billion per year to treat the disease after it has spread to more than 50m Africans—20m dead and 30m currently infected.
Well, uh, yeah. Good liberals know that this prevention/treatment discrepancy holds for almost every issue. We can pitch pennies to subsidize nurse visitation programs, or we can spend millions to swell our prisons. We can spend a little on preventive health care, or a lot on treating full-blown diseases. And so on.
-- Brad Plumer 6:27 PM || ||