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What percentage of the US federal budget do you think is foreign aid?

<1%
1-5%
5%-10%
10-20%
20-30%
30-40%
40-50%
50%+

Author Topic: US foreign aid  (Read 2656 times)

mainiac

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US foreign aid
« on: December 03, 2010, 10:54:22 am »

Here's what other people thought: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/nov10/ForeignAid_Nov10_quaire.pdf
Spoiler: "actual answer" (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 02:05:05 pm by mainiac »
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Ancient Babylonian god of RAEG
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"Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I will tell you what you value"
Last Edit: February 10, 1988, 03:27:23 pm by UR MOM
mainiac is always a little sarcastic, at least.

Earthquake Damage

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Re: US foreign aid
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2010, 12:25:40 pm »

About 10% of that goes to Egypt and Isreal, 2 countries without any need for foreign aid.

As I understand it, we give money to Egypt and Israel to promote stability in the region.  Think of it as paying them not to fight.

Only about a quarter of that goes to Africa, where the money would do the most good.

Foreign aid to Africa (esp. sub-Saharan Africa) doesn't always do what it's meant to do.  In some cases, it leads to a bloated bureaucracy and serves as a disincentive for productive investment (IIRC this lecture is relevant).  In other cases, that money doesn't add to spending on X (where X is e.g. infrastructure, health care, education).  Instead the government stops spending its own money on X and lets the aid money foot the bill.  The savings are not necessarily spent wisely (e.g. higher salaries for government officials and such).  I'm not saying that all aid to Africa is unproductive, let alone counterproductive, but some of it is.  How much?  Hell if I know.
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mainiac

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Re: US foreign aid
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2010, 12:45:16 pm »

Yes aid to Africa is difficult.  But on the other hand some aid programs to Africa blow everything else out of the water in terms of cost effectiveness.  AIDS programs, vaccination and malaria programs help enormous numbers of people for trifling sums of money.  It's just the simple logic, even if four out of five dollars was stolen or wasted (which isn't the case), getting that last dollar to a family that's living on a dollar a day makes a huge difference.
As I understand it, we give money to Egypt and Israel to promote stability in the region.  Think of it as paying them not to fight.
Yes, that's exactly my point.  It's not even really foreign aid, it's bribe money to nations that aren't in need.  True humanitarian aid is even less then the figure in my spoiler.
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Ancient Babylonian god of RAEG
--------------
[CAN_INTERNET]
[PREFSTRING:google]
"Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I will tell you what you value"
Last Edit: February 10, 1988, 03:27:23 pm by UR MOM
mainiac is always a little sarcastic, at least.

Earthquake Damage

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Re: US foreign aid
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2010, 02:36:44 pm »

...Africa...

The foreign aid has only treated symptoms, but it'll have to do until the various problems are solved.  Meanwhile, the waste is a shame.

Note, also, that in some cases the aid contributes to the problem (as noted in the video).

Yes, that's exactly my point.  It's not even really foreign aid, it's bribe money to nations that aren't in need.

Then we're on the same page.  It seems easy to focus on humanitarian reasons and overlook political ones, hence my comment.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 02:39:22 pm by Earthquake Damage »
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