Foreign Aid

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Foreign Aid

Cultural Geography

Bret Balanky

The United States of America is a wealthy nation. We are also a nation that reaches out to the poverty-stricken world, lending financial aid in ridiculous amounts to these shambled countries. The burning question of the moment is: how effect is our foreign aid, and what can we do to improve its efficiency? The answer is quite a difficult one, if it even exists at all. Foreign aid has been lent to these broken countries for over half of a century. Billions of dollars has been poured into this defunct outlet, with nothing really to show for it. The thing one must understand about foreign aid and where and how it is spent is that all of these subsidies are given directly to the government. The thing is, this government might not have the purest intentions. More than once, the recipients of this aid have been accused of wasting foreign aid on palaces and their decadent lifestyle, in general. We know foreign aid doesn't work the way it should, yet we make no strides towards improving it at the expense of our own taxpayers. Another reason why foreign aid is ineffective is that it leads the inhabitants of the poor, ran-down country to believe that they simply cannot do it on their own. They have to rely on our money to get anything going, which is a dangerous game. We're not letting these countries stand on their own feet, and that isn't good for them, and it damn sure isn't good for us. What if one of these countries that we're pouring money into becomes powerful and acquires nuclear weaponry? If we cut funding, they might become belligerent towards the United States, and then what? We give them more money, like some kind of hostage with a knife to our throat? As Bauer wrote in his book, The Development Frontier in 1991: "Economic achievement depends on personal, cultural, social, and political factors… and the policies of rulers. It diminishes the people of the Third World to suggest that unlike...
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