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Foreign Aid

Return to Common Sense

September 18, 2013

Section: Foreign – Aid

Foreign aid should be stopped, due to government mismanagement and corruption, and let monies flow directly from business and individuals directly to those who can most benefit

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.” Douglas Casey.

 

Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):

USAID is an independent government agency that receives foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State.

Over the past four decades the U.S. has given over $480 billion in development assistance.

In 1996, the UN declared that 70 countries, aid recipients all, were poorer than in 1990.

o   Ruling elite make personal fortunes, distribute funds based on nepotism and favoritism.

Vast majority of the foreign aid recipients routinely vote against the U.S. in the U.N at an average rate of 74%.

o   According to an old UN report, in 1991 alone, $200 billion of AID ended up in foreign private bank accounts of African politicians and government officials.

o   Aid kills democracy because it makes being in power enormously lucrative.

o   Refusal to relinquish or share power in African countries that leads to insurgencies.

U.S. is the leading giver of charitable contributions in the world.

o   Estimates place percentage of American households that make monetary contributions each year as 70-80%.

o   In 2006 Americans contributed privately $34.8 billion to individuals and organizations in developing countries.

§  8.8 billion was contributed from religious organizations.

o   Individuals gave $61.7 billion.

o   Foundations contributed $2.2 billion and corporations donated $5.1 billion.

o   Private and voluntary organizations (including volunteer time) gave $16.2 billion.

o   Universities and colleges gave $4.6 billion.

o   Religious organizations donated $5.4 billion.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals

o   Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

o   Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

o   Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

o   Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality Rate

o   Goal 5: Improve maternal health

o   Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

o   Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

o   Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

·         Progress towards reaching the goals has been uneven.

o   Some countries have achieved many of the goals, while others are not on track to realize any.

·         The UN believes that donors should commit to reaching the long-standing target of 0.7 percent of GNI by 2015.

o   The U.S. never agreed in Monterrey to spending 0.7% of GDP on development assistance

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign aid agency, created by Congress in January 2004, that is helping lead the fight against global poverty.

·         Money provided through this program flows solely to developing countries that prove they’re dedicated to transparent governance, eco­nomic freedom and empowering their people.

·         Developing countries must meet a maximum per capita income requirement.

·         Countries are evaluated on a battery of publicly disclosed third party indicators designed to measure performance.

·         If the country outperforms a majority of its peers, it is eligible to submit a proposal for funds.

·         Acceptance based on: performance, opportunity to reduce poverty, and availability of funds.

Free Cities have been proposed as a revolutionary alternative incentive-based system to replace block grants.

·         “Good institutions” are key to resisting the corruption and racial strife that hobble so many third world economies ie:

o   Rule of law, democracy, merit based civil service, limits on government’s ability to expropriate property, independent central banking system.

·         Establishment of “private sectors” inside impoverished countries will harness market forces.

·         In 1984 Hong Kong was designated a free city, under the protection of the PRC.

 

Principles:

Help our allies.

Shared characteristics and principles of foreign aid projects that work:

·         Local  ownership and initiative (Successful programs and projects reflect actual needs of the recipient countries as expressed by local actors, rather than simply reflecting instructions of what projects and programs may be available for local recipients from USAID.).

·         Partnership (Successful projects and programs demonstrate collaboration between American and developing-country institutions, especially private institutions.).

·         Leverage (The U.S. government can take advantage of the myriad new sources and techniques of global support for developing countries, including foundations, private voluntary organizations, corporations, universities, and remittances.).

·         Flexibility (Efforts by today's aid projects to tackle new problems are often hampered by decades-old legislative mandates.).

·         Peer-to-Peer Approaches (Long after USAID's financial role has ended, U.S. foreign assistance can allow America's professionals and institutions to build relationships with their developing country counterparts on the basis of perceived professional self-interest.).

·         Technology Adaptation and Adoption (Some of the most widely acknowledged foreign assistance successes, such as the Green Revolution, have at their core the application of technology to improve the human condition.).

·         Self-Reliance (The most important steps taken to improve the long-term success of developing nations will come from within those countries.).

·         Continuous Information Feedback (The best evaluation systems are not simply tasks that result in reports.).

·         Risk (A partnership and venture-funding culture implies a tolerance for risk and a frank willingness to recognize failures.).

 

Recommendations:

Short Term, Integrate all agency opinions (State, Intelligence, Defense, UN, USAID) into a coherent unified foreign policy.

Promote free trade and investment accords as an alternative to aid.

Long Term, Establish strong oversight over use of taxpayer funds to finance foreign aid.

o   Eliminate the Development Assistance Program.

o   Eliminate Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

o   Eliminate Trade and Development Agency.

o   Explicitly link disbursement of U.S. development assistance to support for U.S. policy priorities in the U.N.

o   Require the State Department to include information on foreign assistance in its annual report to Congress on voting practices in the United Nations.

o   Engage directly with Washington embassies on U.S. priorities in the U.N.

o   Utilize a scorecard to rate economic, social, and political behavior as input to aid calculation.

 

References:

Are We Throwing U.S. Foreign Aid $ Down the Toilet?” dated October 13, 2003 published by StrangeCosmos.Com at http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/24974.html .

Foreign Aid from USA - How Those Countries Vote” dated June 4, 2004 published by StrangeCosmos.Com at http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/100384.html .

How Will Greater Foreign Aid Help the Poor This Time?” by William Easterly dated March 28, 2006 published by The Heritage Foundation on http://www.heritage.org/Research/TradeandForeignAid/hl950.cfm .

Why Doesn’t Aid Work?” by William Easterly dated April 3, 2006 published by The Cato Institute on http://www.cato-unbound.org/2006/04/03/william-easterly/why-doesnt-aid-work/ .

How Will the Poor Trade Up?” by Jim Kolbe dated August 8. 2006 published by Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/07/AR2006080701234.html .

America’s image” by Helle Dale dated October 25, 2006 published by Washington Times at http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/hdale.htm .

U.S. aid ship cures public opinion” by Anju S. Bawa dated November 17, 2006 by Washington Times at http://www.washtimes.com/world/20061116-111328-7422r.htm .

The Challenge of Global Health” by Laurie Garrett dated January 13, 2007 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/01/the_challenge_of_global_health.html .

“A Second Look at Microfinance” by Thomas Dichter dated February 15, 2007 published by Cato Institute at http://www.cato.org/pubs/dbp/dbp1.pdf .

Privately Generous” by Shawn Macomber dated March 1, 2007 published by The American Spectator at http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=11072 .

Americans are ‘Cheapskates’ over Lack of Foreign Aid Spending?” by Warner Todd Huston dated May 5, 2007 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/nucleus/plugins/print/print.php?itemid=18675 .

Americans are ‘Suckers’ When it Comes to Giving” by Gordon Bishop dated July 11, 2007 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/19546 .

Please Stop the Aid” by Nancy Salvato dated September 17, 2007 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/20298 .

Pay for Performance” by Karen Porter dated January 30, 2008 published by The American Magazine at http://www.american.com/archive/2008/january-01-08/pay-for-performance .

A Nation of Givers” by Arthur C. Brooks dated March/April 2008 published by The American Magazine at http://www.american.com/archive/2008/march-april-magazine-contents/a-nation-of-givers .

Free Cities” by Ken Hagerty dated April 8, 2008 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/957snnwz.asp .

America’s Generosity is Unmatched” by Star Parker dated June 3, 2008 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/americas_generosity_is_unmatch.html .

Getting More Out of Foreign Aid” by Ed Fuelner dated September 4, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/EdFeulner/2008/09/04/getting_more_out_of_foreign_aid .

Foreign Aid: What Works and What Doesn’t” by Nicholas Eberstadt and Carol C. Adelman dated October 27, 2008 published by American Enterprise Institute at http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.28842/pub_detail.asp .

How Foreign Aid Destroyed Africa” by Jamie Glazov dated December 3, 2008 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=D1ED8113-B52B-4674-9959-AD7902604D8B .

The Welfare State Writ Large and Small” by Steven D. Laib dated March 26, 2009 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2009/03/25/the-welfare-state-writ-large-and-small/ .

Foreign Aid: Congress Should Shift USAID Funds to the Millennium Challenge Account” by James M. Roberts dated August 4, 2009 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/ForeignAid/wm2574.cfm .

Welfare World” by Joseph Klein dated July 1, 2010 published by Front Page Magazine at http://frontpagemag.com/2010/07/01/welfare-world/ .

“Sen. Paul Proposes Serious Cuts” by Chris Edwards dated January 31, 2011 published by Cato Institute at http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/sen-rand-paul-proposes-serious-cuts .

The U/S. Should Link Foreign Aid and U.N. General Assembly Voting” by Brett D. Schaefer and Anthony B. Kim dated August 8, 2011 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/08/The-US-Should-Link-Foreign-Aid-and-UN-General-Assembly-Voting .

Is Bill Gates the World’s Richest Useful Idiot?” by Tom Deweese dated January 4, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/43673 .

More ‘Conservative’ Foreign Aid?” by Brett Schaeffer dated March 5, 2012 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/292548/more-conservative-foreign-aid-brett-schaefer .

Foreign Aid Recipients Vote Against the U.S.” by Brett D. Schaefer and Anthony B. Kim dated February 25, 2013 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/02/un-general-assembly-foreign-aid-recipients-vote-against-the-us .

Thirty Years of Voting in the U.N. General Assembly: The U.S. Is Nearly Always in the Minority” by Brett D. Schaefer and Anthony B. Kim dated September 17, 2013 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/09/the-united-states-30-years-of-voting-in-the-united-nations-general-assembly .

 

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