William Easterley reflects on why critics of AIDS vaccine research are applauded for discovering a fraud, but critics of international aid are like unwelcome guests at a party. Easterley argues that those who say we can end poverty through “simple panaceas” unsupported by the facts are not unlike the researchers who faked their vaccine research.
So why does medicine welcome critics and aid hates them? Perhaps us aid critics are just not as good as the medical critics. Or perhaps it is because we care so much more whether medicine really works than whether aid or military intervention really works?
Drug companies sell cures. What is international aid selling, and to who?