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17041: Pierre: Reply to Corbett and Corbett replies to Pierre

From: Sajousp@aol.com

In a message dated 10/24/2003 3:56:35 PM Central Daylight Time,
corbetre@webster.edu writes:
      Corbett replies.  I think this argument is GROSSLY flawed and
      misses so
      much of the real experience.

You rightly stated above that you" think", I believe that you are not
about to categorically claim it is. Do you believe that your mission
experience is the rule for Haiti ? I would rather argue that it is an
exception.To argue that this argument is flawed is to defy all the logic
of economics. Granted the people who are spending their money on a mission
work to Haiti is in their rights, it is their money. The argument by
Hudicourt fits rightly into the economic reality of advanced societies vs
"non advanced ones.  If Hudicourt's argument is flawed then US wouldn't
have had the problems of losing jobs to China.  Recently a project in Iraq
which was to cost millions was achieved by Iraquis for $80,000.This week
referring to the progress made by the US on the war on terrorism Rumsfeld
in his leaked memo mentioned the cost benefit analysis issue "it is
costing the US billions to fight the war while it costs the terrorists
millions".Therefore it is difficult to argue that the money spent by
missionaries in Haiti would not go farther if it was spent by using local



Pierrot, I not sure I disagree with anything you say above.  My position,
as spelled out earlier contains two parts which, however, would lead me to
think the OUTCOME is not what you suggest.

1.  I used my own case to argue that the sum of money spent by the
	folks who go to Haiti on such missionary (or work trips in my
	case -- since mine were non-sectarian trips, not mission trips)
	would not be the sum of money in the real world.  That, what
	I argued, the people on those trips, over a long period of time
	were the source of yet NEW monies to be used for other projects.

	You simply dismiss that argument by saying my experience was, if
	not unique, an unusual experience.

	I can't really speak to that.  I don't know that it is or isn't
	true.  I have a hard time believing that it is so unusual since my
	groups tended to be ordinary folks and had an ordinary experience
	much like what I have seen with other mission and work groups.  I
	don't really know what their experience has been in terms of those
	folks who came on such trips then going back to their home
	countries and become a source of further funds for the NGO.

	But, I'm not much persuaded by the argument that just says:
	pay the argument no mind since it isn't a general experience.

	I'll defer to others with experience of such NGO work and mission
	trips to Haiti to let me know if my experience was indeed so
	atypical or whether or not the mission or work trips were then,
	in fact, stimuli for those folks to find and contribute new
	monies to the pool, which you argument doesn't allow to exist.

2.  However, the brunt of my argument was that the argument you and
	Hudicourt make is an counterfactual IF -- THEN argument.  If
	the money were used differently it would have better consequences.

	As a hypothetical argument of exconomics I don't disagree with it.

	My objection to the orginal argument, and your rehearsal of the
	same argument is that it is falacious to assume the money would
	be there in the first place if it weren't for the TRIP	.

	I have tried to raise money for my organization independent of the
	people who have gone to Haiti with me, and raising money isn't
	easy.  I certain have raised some that way, a good deal actually.

	But, the money that people put up to go on a work trip with me,
	and I strongly suspect, a mission trip with others, would NOT
	LIKELY be donated (isn't in fact donated very often) by people
	who are not going on such a trip.

	Thus the brunt of my argument was not to deny the consequent of
	the if -- then argument, but the PREMISE.  That the money would
	be there to use in the first place.

I was not offering an argument rooted in theoretical economics.  I was
raising a real life argument about the sources and nature of raising money
for doing work in the country of Haiti.

I think you argument simply makes a falacious assumption in the real
world:  there is in fact this pile of money TO DO WITH WHAT ONE WILL.
Rather, I am arguing is that the pile of money that goes into such a trip
to Haiti is money motivated in significant measure by the desire to have
this experience itself.  To the extent that argument is true, the money is
not there for the hypothetical argument you and Hudicourt make.

Bob Corbett