Saturday, July 29, 2006

Foreign Aid Is Corporate Welfare

Most foreign aid money does not actually help the people it is intended to. It is a transfer from our treasury department to the governments of those countries. Unfortunately, many of the governments of those countries are corrupt and lead by dictators, who then use that money on other things if not to enrich themselves. It also goes to american contractors who work in those foreign countries. So, in effect, it ends up literally being corporate welfare under the guise of helping the poor in other countries. Doubly unethical. Furthermore, a significant portion of this foreign aid money also comes in the form of military arms, in effect arming other countries. This policy has us literally in direct support of the tyrannical military actions of such countries. Triply unethical.

So long as the governments of those countries continue to be corrupt, the extreme poverty will continue, as those governments are the main culprit in much of that poverty. So it surely makes zero sense to give out billions of tax dollars to the very governments that keep their people in poverty. It's like giving a robber money in the name of helping his victim. Of course, the robber is most likely to not use that money to help his victim(s) and will use it for his own benefit. The same works with foreign aid. You're giving tyrannical governments billions of dollars that is supposed to go to relieve poverty, but it doesn't, because they are tyrannical governments that persue their self interest.

The conclusion that I draw from this is that best and most realistic way to help these poor people in other countries would be to majorly limit/overhaul their governments if not institute new governments altogether, for the heart of the problem lies in their corrupt systems of governance and the economic policies persued by them. That could entail anything from revolt of its people against their government to mild economic reform to "regime change" conducted unilaterally (conservatives like it that way) or multi-laterally (liberals like it that way). Out of these kind of options, what I am immediately 100% against "regime change".

I do not like that kind of foreign intervention, because I strongly believe that freedom and "good government" (a questionable term in the first place) is not something that can be imposed through military might or political power. The hypocrisy of sending billions of tax dollars to support tyrannical governments and military actions, and then using those very things that the government supported as reason to "fix" what we already started by starting wars and engaging in special military operations should be obvious. Yet this seems to be the endless cycle of the post-WWII foreign policy of the United States. Financial support of corrupt foreign governments, regime change, imposed economic planning and guerilla war in a jungle or desert. Rinse and Repeat.

Furthermore, while such countries need to "liberalize" (in the classical sense of the word) their economic policies, it also is something that cannot be imposed on other countries, and trying to do so through foreign intervention will only do exactly the opposite and end up as central planning of a foreign economy. If the political history of the 20th century teaches us anything, it should be that central planning of an economy always fails and is detrimental to the individuals that make that economy up. True economic "reform" must start in those countries themselves, as initiated by the individuals that make up those nations.

As a constitutional matter, it should be a cut and dry case that foreign aid is not constitutional. Eitherway you cut it (double entendre), foreign aid needs to be stopped. Abolished. "Kaput". It only functions to impoverish our own country while making governments and special interests richer, especially with the domestic economic interventions that are "required" to sustain it (taxation, big deficit spending, inflation, protectionism, etc.). It may come off as twisted to the misinformed or egalitarian mind, but reality dictates that foreign aid must be stopped for the well-being of both our own country and other nations of the world.

No comments: