17 2 mins 10 yrs

UK Prime Minister, that most cloying of liberals, has decried that those of us who believe his policy of funneling billions of OUR taxes in foreogn aid is wrong, are “hard hearted”. Well, compared to a bleeding heart liberal like Cameron, perhaps. But surely the better question to ask is if it works or not? Does it improve the lives of those unfortunates that it is allegedly directed towards, or not? Have a read of this demolition of the folly that Camerons insists on pursuing and then tell me it is STILL the right thing to do. As I have said before, I disagree with the State using our taxes for this kind of purpose. All civilised people want to help when events like unforeseen natural disasters happen e.g tsunami but the institutionalised theft that Foreign Aid has become is offensive, wanton and destructive. It is time to stop ALL of it.

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17 thoughts on “THE FOREIGN AID CON FROM THE CONS

  1. We have poured billions into Africa and yet even now we are asked by Charities for even more to provide villages with clean water, toilet blocks and similar. What did these countries spend our billions on?

  2. I am astonished that you hear these campaigns for donations, decade after decade after decade.

    The massive foreign cash and other aid is an absolute impediment to development and self sufficiency.

    Put away the begging bowl. Stand up, as the Chinese have done.

    In recent memory, the Chinese were poorer than the Africans. Why have they been able to become their own masters in a relatively short time, while Africa has regressed in every relative measure? A big part of that answer is that the Chinese looked within, while Africa waits for the next check to arrive in the mail.

  3. One of the things that isn’t registering here is the way foreign aid is tied into influence (or at least the attempt for influence). While it has clearly been abused, and often wasted, it isn’t necessarily always done from pristine sentiments. I would say that it would be better to reform and focus on the type of aid, who it actually trickles don to and its effectiveness.

  4. “Hard hearted”?

    How easy it is for a multi-millionaire to insult the looted millions on low wages but rich in worries for how they’ll pay the bills.

  5. Even when it does trickle down, it has long term devastating effects:

    a) food aid completely depresses local agricultural prices, which harms local farmers, and starts a new cycle of dependency

    b) all aid of goods in a lot of these countries means payment of import duties ( ! ) and bribes to get the goods moved, and steering of jobs and trucking contracts to the local rulers’ friends

    Long term the best solution may be to sharply reduce material aid but to sharply reduce import duties for goods made in poor countries. Right now, there’s not enough incentive for them to produce food and other goods , for the above reasons and others.

    Africa basically doesn’t make anything- they’re a mining pit for China and the West. . The current aid regime makes that situation worse. And until they start making something, the situation cannot improve.

  6. Phantom –

    Yes, when you dump food and other material aid in local markets local producers are harmed. Not so long ago a small producer of mosquito nets in Malawi was put out of business when one of our mega-charities turned up with a trailer load of them.

    That prat Cameron is strongly pro-EU. Despite all this talk of common markets the EU is a protectionist block with significant barriers to third world trade. Opening up trade to the third world (otherwise known as letting people trade freely for what they want) would do more than any amount of aid. The US also upholds trade barriers to the third world, but I suspect not as many as the EU.

    It won’t happen of course because industry lobbyists pay politicians to erect and maintain barriers to stiff consumers, outside producers and potential competition within the EU.

  7. The wide availability of cheap Chinese manufactures may mean that Africa can never develop.

    And the Chinese own Africa more and more by the day.

  8. Free trade is generally a good thing – but not always.

    The US might never have developed without protectionist tariffs in the 19th Century. Without those tariffs, the US may never have had an industrial base – it would have been cheaper to buy most things from England.

    But here, the rich club of the EU effectively prevents the poorest countries from selling it the few things they can produce well – agricultural goods –which reinforces every negative cycle yet again.

  9. Phantom –

    Of course the US would have developed an industrial base. The great myth of trade is that we’re in competition. No, the point of trade is to conduct mutually beneficial exchange. You exchange the excess production of what you do best for the excess production of what I do best. Making population poorer with tariffs only constricts this process.

  10. It would not have developed as big an industrial base.

    A lot of the countries that rose to economic prosperity in the 19th / 20th Century or which are reaching it now did so / are doing it partially with the aid of tariffs and other barriers to trade

    The US, Japan, Korea, and now China and India are examples of this. Even as late as 1900 the US had a tariff of 85% on imported goods.

    Even what is a bad thing generally ( tariffs ) has its beneficial side. And the US and its citizens certainly benefited by the large industrial base that rose behind a tariff wall.

  11. Phantom –

    Because trade barriers existed during a time of economic expansion, one does not lead to the other. The US expanded despite trade barriers. Where they were fewest (the South) economic expansion generally exceeded where they were greatest.

    Always and everywhere tariffs exist the people are poorer than otherwise. You having to spend 50 bucks on a widget made in NJ as opposed to a 10 bucks Chinese widget might “keep someone in an American job” as the story goes, but you are poorer because the state has restricted your liberty to trade with someone you might otherwise trade with.

    But what are the other effects of this policy?

    The 40 bucks you would have been left with you might have spent on another product, maybe an American product which would have “kept someone in an American job”. But you can’t now, because the govenrment made you give up that 40 bucks with it’s backward policies.

    Or you might have saved it and added to capital formation, the essential building block of economic growth, which you cannot do now. Because of a government rule, which probably exists to advantage those who have made some politicians rich, capital formation is stymied.

    Effects, dear boy. Government policies always have many effects.

  12. The North won the Civil War since they had a mighty industrial base, built up behind tariffs, and the South at the time did not – and could not produce the stuffs of war that were needed

    And Japan, the supreme master of non tariff impediments, did a lot of the same thing in the 1950s and 1960s

  13. Even well into the modern age, Europe benefited by tariffs. They would attract multinational manufacturers by saying that by setting up shop in Europe that they’d be in a lower tax zone.

    The US essentially played the same game, attracting Japanese car makers – who could then avoid taxes and ” voluntary quotas ”

    I’m not in favor of high tariffs – but like most things they have both benefits and costs associated with them.

    Like other taxes, the question is not whether they should exist, but how high they should be.

  14. Phantom –

    How is attracting industry by lowering taxes an example of benefitting from tariffs and protections?

    They are different things.

  15. Not talking about lowering taxes

    I speak of the advantages of making and selling behind the tariff wall so you don’t have to pay tariffs

  16. Phantom –

    Well that proves my point. In having to expend capital by setting up somewhere because of a tariff wall capital is wasted. What you are saying is that it would be more economic to have no tariff wall in those circumstances but be able to import into a country instead.

    Yes, quite true, and ergo the tariffs destroy wealth.

  17. The Americans of the 19th Century and the Japanese of the 20th Century didn’t care about the economics of the goliaths of their day. They cared about protecting and building and nourishing their own world beaters – as the Chinese are doing now.

    It may not be ” right ” according to theory but it has long been the way the world has worked much of the time.

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