A Foreign Aid Cooperative

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Swagger, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Swagger
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    Swagger Gold Member

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    I'm fascinated by human nature when it isn't under the microscope of morality, and when it's left to its own selfish devices. And would appreciate your imput into what I've outlined below.

    I oppose what I consider a frivolous and often futile expenditure funded by the taxpayer: foreign aid. Especially that paid to Third World nations. I consider it largely unproductive, as it seems to be getting its recipients absolutely nowhere in terms of improving their societies. As well as being concerned about whose - often dubious and downright criminal - hands it ends up in. I want no part in contributing towards foreign aid drawn from taxes levied against my earnings.

    So I propose this hypothesis: What if the raising of foreign aid (financial or material) was removed from the stewardship of government, and place in the hands of a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO).

    What if any person or entity were given the option of voluntarily contributing to a trust fund whose funds were released whenever necessary, instead of having their earnings contribute towards taxpayer-funded aid that is set aside in every year's national budget?
    Consider this scenario. Government no longer collects and distributes foriegn aid. It's collected and distributed by an organisation that falls under the remit of an official ombudsman, and as such is subject to scrutiny and annual audits. A body of representitives, with no ties to government, is appointed to assess and authorise payments to applicants.

    Now, I'm well aware of the argument that foreign aid give the governments (and bussinesses in their respective countries) leverage in the territories that recieve foreign aid. And I appreciate that the noticeable dip in contributions under my proposed scenario would affect that leverage. But as it stands today, foreign aid seems to perpetuate the problems its meant to be tackling. It's used as a short term fix to a greater problem, and often falls into the hands of corrupt officials and/or regimes.

    I believe that if removed from the stewardship of government and reliant on voluntary donations, there'd be a lot less in the pot to distribute as a result of not being drawn from the public purse. As such, I believe there'd be a greater impetus to pay closer attention to where financial and/or material aid goes once it reaches its intended recipient, as consciencious donors would be more concerned with where their donations are going and what they're being used for. I think that under such a scheme there'd be a more focused attempt at solving a problem that is now subject to a marked decrease in funds, that aren't drawn against the national budget.


    I welcome your opinions and criticisms; and appreciate your patience with such a drawn-out OP.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  2. PaulS1950
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    PaulS1950 Senior Member

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    I think, that after we in the USA get our lives together and fix all the wrongs that are here at home, only then should we move outside our borders to help others. We have children that are going hungry right here to take care of, we have people who need to be educated in order to make a living right here, we have more problems than we can handle right here. There is no way we are qualified to interfere in another country's business.
    How can we feed the world's hungry when there are children in the US that are hungry?
    How can we educate those in other countries when we have folks here that are illiterate?
    How can we offer a better government to others when we have a disfunctional government?
    It is time for us to recognize that we are in no condition to fix the world - we as a nation are sick and it is time for the "physician to heal itself" before we try to right the "wrongs" of different populations.
     
  3. Swagger
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    Swagger Gold Member

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    I agree that every country should secure its own people's interests before any foreign country, however deserving or critical their need is. But I also accept that countries profit from the leverage the aid they provide secures. So I'm not in favour of withdrawing completely.

    I'm interested to know how the reformed arrangement I've outlined in my OP would affect aid and the benefits it promises; which haven't materialised under the current arrangement. I believe that if aid was removed from the stewardship of government, and isn't levied against the taxpayer, more accounatbility would be demanded by volunatry contributers and thus they'd demand more results. It would foster more focus and a greater sense of accountability on behalf of those trusted with assessing the various applications for material or financial assistance in the developing world.
     
  4. Underhill
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    Underhill Active Member

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    I think what you are proposing sounds reasonable on the face of it.

    But it will never happen. You are talking about making foreign aid have no strings attached, which is essentially the entire purpose of governmental foreign aid.

    We the people may like the warm and fuzzy feeling it gives us, but I think governments do it for much less altruistic reasons.
     
  5. Swagger
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    Swagger Gold Member

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    Anyone rooted in reality would agree. But the leverage they hope to gain via the threat of withdrawing support has ruined the reputation of collecting charity for the less fortunate. I would love to see an improvement in the quality of life in the developing world, but I've come to the conclusion that distributing governments' real agendas and interests have hampered what foreign aid should be helping towards: Greater stability and quality of life in the Third World.
     
  6. Underhill
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    Underhill Active Member

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    I'm not arguing with you. There are a great many things I would change if only reality didn't get in the way...
     

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