William Easterly talks about a problem with our philosophy of foreign aid: We focus only on satisfying the material needs of the people we’re trying to help, but ignore the cultural/political/economic situations in those countries that is causing the abject poverty. He calls for aid organizations to emphasize individual rights before supplying aid.
I thought what he laid out also has bearing on our own domestic politics. He doesn’t talk about this, but when we look at our social programs, this is also what they are doing. They satisfy physical needs, but ignore the fact that the governments in the areas where they supply assistance are infringing on people’s rights, particularly their commercial rights.