As most of you know, the U.S. sends money and goods to many nations around the world. If you know me at all, you know that I'm a compassionate person. I have mixed feelings about foreign aid, however. These are some of my concerns:
1. Can we afford to help other nations now, when so many Americans are suffering?
2. How much of the "aid" actually goes to the people who need it, and how much of it ends up in the hands of corrupt, greedy government officials?
3. Can we turn a blind eye to the abject suffering outside the U.S.?
4. How do we choose which nations to help?
Your feedback is much appreciated!
I think you should add a #5 - how much does America spend on foreign aid?
Most people are off by an order of 100 or even 1000.
I personally would be fairly happy restricting aid to disaster relief and basic development efforts, but most of our money is spent strategically to our allies.
I am all for it...
and I am happy to provide any American government, business or individual a link to my pay pal account should they desire to donate to this particular new-car-deprived Canadian
What is " foreign aid "..?...The average layman likes to think of it as charity and invoke a populist argument, but the bulk of the money we spend on foreign aid is strategic...As such it is an investment, not charity.
What many fail to consider is whether our projection of power helps us in economic terms. Remember that most of our aid is used for projection of power, not emergency humanitarian aid...
I frequently disagree with the recipients of foreign aid, but for different strategic reasons... not because of the insignificant amount of our budget, about 1%, that foreign aid constitutes, but because it's a useful geopolitical tool...
Peter Boone of the London School of Economics and the Center for Economic Performance, after assessing the experience of nearly 100 nations, concluded that foreign transfers had no impact on recipient country investment levels... "Long-term aid is not a means to create growth," reported Boone...
He also reviewed the impact of foreign assistance on recipient regimes and found that it mostly benefited local political elites... As he explained, "Aid does not promote economic development for two reasons: Poverty is not caused by capital shortage, and it is not optimal for politicians to adjust distortionary policies when they receive aid flows."... Sounds like soft bribery to me...
The bottom line for me is this: Projection of power in this ever-changing and violent world assures the safety of Americans which is the foremost responsibility of our government...
For a start there is the suffering in which the US and its allies contributed to. e.g. by drawing up national boundaries after WWII that were bound to cause conflict, or buy selling powerful weapons to warlords. Just walking away from the aftermath would be morally bankrupt.
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