Does the New York Times offer a German-language edition? Well, Der Spiegel runs an English-language edition, and it carried an intriguing report on radical aid to Africa. The idea is to simply give every man, woman, and child 9 euros a month, no strings attached. Everybody gets it — rich or poor, black or white — so it’s not welfare. Hillary Clinton proposed something along these lines for the US when she said that every newborn US child should start with a $5000 government contribution to its college fund, left to swell untouched until age 18.
Some German churches and aid groups have funded a trial village in Namibia, and 9 euros a month has been enough to create a game-changing stimulus package. Nobody was told how to spend their money, but for the most part people fed their families, sent the kids to school, and invested the precious leftovers. By “invest” I mean buying chickens to breed, flour to start a bakery, or a bus ticket to town to buy scraps of fabric for dressmaking. It’s like micro-finance for all (and consequently much easier to administer). My only skeptical eyebrow on this glowing report is that all the case studies are, predictably, about women doing the right thing. Read more here.
At Der Spiegel, you can also see the weirdly normal watercolors of Adolf Hitler. So. Quaint.