Over time, this concept has become corrupted. When the populations of First World nations started buying beyond what they had earned and expecting a standard of living beyond what they had produced for themselves, millions of mind-sets shifted from that of self-reliance to that of collective dependence. As the concept of success became socialized, so did the idea of responsibility. If you weren't going to pay your mortgage or your credit card bills, who did you figure would be doing it for you? And how, exactly, is this mentality any different from the mind-set of an entire population dependent on foreign aid for survival?
Africa is dependent on America. America is dependent on the personal viability, wealth-generation and productivity of Americans. But the average Joe in America with an over-mortgaged home is dependent on his neighbor's productivity. The neighbor is dependent on his bank. And the bank is dependent on China. Ergo, Africa is now dependent on China. And what they're doing now is cutting out the middle men: the average Joe, his neighbor, his bank and America.
But just because the First World is in financial trouble doesn't mean it can't still pay everyone's bar tab! Heck, no! Don't even think of taking out your wallet!
It's never hurt to keep pecking at the First World food dish even though everyone can plainly see that it's empty. The noise made by an empty rattling dish is usually reason enough for a refill. The First World may not have the good seed anymore, but they'll throw some kind of grub in there, if only to stop the clanging -- at least until the grub runs out for good.
As the agenda for this week's G20 summit in Mexico suggests, rather than find an effective tourniquet, the First World may in fact find a way to slit its veins lengthwise and bleed out a few more initiatives it can't afford under the guise of a "green" agenda. Maybe the mariachi band in Los Cabos can just play us all right out of our misery.