The United States of Shame


#1

Full Article


#2

“And its allies”? I’d be interested to see comparative statistics on what other nations spent in that effort.

[quote=“Article”]America


#3

Yup. Been a while since a good America bashing on the boards. Ha ha…

I remember reading that the NGO/private sector of America provides more charity/aid than any other place in the world. Unfortunately I don’t remember where I saw that… Does anyone have any statistics on that?

I’d also imagine if the US did increase aid to foreign countries (and required some influence in the way said aid was spent), most countries would see this a further sign of ‘American colonialism.’


#4

I only read some news about poor countries minor being raped by so-called humanitarian workers in exchange for food and medicine.

ax


#5

I read that too. But the criminals were UN forces from Canada and Belgium.


#6

I agree with a fair amount that is in the article.

“Shame” is a bit much, though. And here is why:

The reason the US has been so “miserly” is because it sends countries “off down Pennsylvannia Avenue” (did I quote that right?) to the World Bank to get loans rather than grants.

And the reason that it wants countries to get loans not grants is that only in this way can they exert more control over how the money is used.

Nevertheless, I think the article makes some good points. The US has an interest in trying to promote wealth and stability in poor countries. The problem is “stability” of a regime can often mean enriching some ruling elite as it improperly uses funds. This may be a small price to pay if the corruption is relatively slight, but it is a potential source of unrest and resentment towards the US for the future.

I think the big failing of the article is that it implies that the problem of growth in developing economies is merely one of “not enough money.” It is more clear than ever, now, that this is not the case. The inability to grow is due at least as much to insufficient institutions and laws to facilitate investment and allow for sustainable economic growth.

So, perhaps the US should cough up more money (but it is already the major contributor to the World Bank and IMF). However, that alone will fail unless considerable effort is placed on creating the necessary legal and institutional environment for growth.


#7

IYBF – I know you’ve read Stiglitz’s book on the IMF and the World Bank. So, I’m assuming you’re agreeing with his some of his conclusions, in part anyway, when you say:

“The inability to grow is due at least as much to insufficient institutions and laws to facilitate investment and allow for sustainable economic growth”

and

“unless considerable effort is placed on creating the necessary legal and institutional environment for growth.”

But you also say:

"but it (the U.S) is already the major contributor to the World Bank and IMF.

Doesn’t Stiglitz basically say that IMF and World Bank Funds often end end up as corporate “bail-out” packages that basically go toward refunding foreign creditors and the other suchness?

Do you disagree with his take on that situation? And if not, how are contributions to the World Bank and the IMF any substitute for real aid, given the seemingly self-serving purposes that these funds serve?


#8

Stiglitz says this of the IMF, not the World Bank.

To an extent, yes, I do. I think his criticism of IMF post-crisis monetary policy is too simplistic. I think he makes some excellent overall points about transitioning socialist markets to capitalist ones - but this is not really about crisis management. Foreign Aid and helping promote growth in poor countries is really about World Bank policy rather than IMF-style crisis management. In general, Stiglitz’s book is not overly relevant to this question, apart from his comments on transition economies.

Well, I disagree that these institutions are self-serving. I think they do their best but make mistakes.

“Real aid,” if by that you mean aid that will generate long-term growth, in my opinion, must be aid with some strings attached. It cannot come from simple grants alone but must come from loans or be granted on condition of some kind of reform programme. (This is precisely the kind of stance the World Bank and IMF take. Though the World Bank is the more appropriate body in this case.) I define real aid as entirely different to emergency aid to prevent starvation, which should be given without conditions.

Foreign aid may be a small % of donor country GDP but it can often be a large % of the receiving country’s GDP. Its instructive to look at things this way. Because such large amounts of aid given in the past (in terms of % of poor country GDP) should have had an effect. Too often it hasn’t. The reason, I believe, is that not enough attention has been paid to reforming institutions in the receiving country. I think there is a reason why ex-colonies grew fast in the British empire - they were forced to accept market instituions. Now I AM NOT ARGUING FOR COLONIALISM but I think more attention should be paid to transforming the receptor countries.

By the way, the inspiration for many of these criticisms comes not from Stiglitz’s anti-IMF book but from William Easterly’s book about World Bank policy, “The Elusive Quest for Growth.”


#9


#10

[quote=“Juba”]

We like to help those who help themselves. The Israelis have a democracy and efficiently use the aid they receive from the US.

The same can hardly be said of many of the other nations that receive US aid, only to waste it or have their leaders pocket the funds.

The US would be happy to provide aid to the Palestinians, if they would renounce their vow to exterminate the Israelis, adopt democratic institutions and accept the rule of law as guidance for resolving disputes and regulating transactions. The Palestinians have yet to do these things.

Let’s not forget that it was the US that recently brokered a deal that offered the Palestinians sovereignty over 98 % of the West Bank and Gaza. (Arafat said no and the Palestinians are still living with the consequences.) The US is allegedly waging war against Moslems. But in nearly every recent US intervention - in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan - American soldiers risked their lives, in part or entirely, for Moslems. The US is described as completely pro-Israel. But America gives almost as much foreign aid to Egypt and Jordan, and has attempted to broker a solution for the Palestinians.

Whaddaya want?


#11

It has been fifty years or more since Israel was founded. If they cannot support themselves now, they probably will never be able to.

I am in favor of cutting off all foreign aid to Israel.


#12

[quote=“marky”]It has been fifty years or more since Israel was founded. If they cannot support themselves now, they probably will never be able to.

I am in favor of cutting off all foreign aid to Israel.[/quote]

And so, should we cut off all aid to any nation established 50 years ago, or is there some other year mark, or are there any other qualifications for receiving US aid?

How would this work?


#13

[quote=“Vincent”]

Come to think of it, perhaps the United States is only a democracy for its Jews.[/quote]

Should I laugh? Cry?


#14

That is simply ridiculously incorrect. The only Arabs in the middle east that have democracy are those who live in Israel. I take it you missed the recent Israeli Supreme Court decision (last week) that affirmed that those Arab political parties in the Israeli government, which reject the notion that Israel has the right to exist, themselves (those Arab parties) are legitimate political parties and are entitled to exist in Israel. Yes?

Speculation. Why?

I’m an “ordinary” American, if by that you mean a non-Jew. And while I wish there wasn’t a need to provide aide to foreign states, there apparently is some need to do so. BTW, for approximately 20 years, a while back, Taiwan and Israel were the recipients of the largest amounts of US aide. Was there a similarly large Taiwanese-American lobby that secured that aide for Taiwan?

Huh?


#15

Vincent: come clean. You dislike them Jews and your entire mindset is filled with this dislike. That’s okay, and it’s a free world. Many people dislike the Jews, although many people also like them.

But you, dear sir, what’s your beef? From all your posts re Jews in America and Jews in the Middle East, you seem like an angry young man who dislikes Jews for some weird reason. What is that reason? Come clean and explain yourself, and then we can read your comments in a better context.

No, you are not an anti-semite, anyone can see that. But you do have some strong issues with them Jews. Explain. Those of us who find the Jews to be no different from any other peoples would love to hear your explanations…


#16

We like to help those who help themselves. The Israelis have a democracy and efficiently use the aid they receive from the US.

If they are so efficient and rich, yet such a small population - why do the need aid and what do they need such a large amount of money for?


#17

[quote=“Rascal”]We like to help those who help themselves. The Israelis have a democracy and efficiently use the aid they receive from the US.

If they are so efficient and rich, yet such a small population - why do the need aid and what do they need such a large amount of money for?[/quote]

Gee, Rascal… could it be due to the fact that Israel has a unique security situation? Could it be that Israel is surrounded by overwhelming numbers of peoples who consider the extermination of Israel their sacred vow?

In 1948, US President Harry Truman stated:

Would you characterize Israel, subject to constant Palestinian suicide bombers and the history of and currently continued and constant threat of war from its Arab neighbors, a “secure” state?

And “efficient” is a relative term, no?. Sure, Israel has received LOTS of aid, in different packages, from the US… But the Arab states have received aid too… LOTS, from other sources… Israel received more direct aid from the US since World War II than any other country. Between 1949 and 1973, US aid to Israel averaged about US$ 122 million per year, a total of 3.1 billion (and in excess of US 1 billion of that was in the form of loans for military equipment in 1971-73). Prior to 1971, Israel’s total US aid package amounted to only US$ 277 million in military aid, all in the form of loans as credit sales. The bulk of the economic aid was also lent to Israel. In contrast, Arab states received nearly three times as much aid before 1971, $4.4 billion, or $170 million per year. Israel receives virtually all its aid from the US, while Arab nations have received aid from Asia, Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and the European Community.

Who do you think has used its aid more efficiently?


#18

`She’s my prisoner, you know!’ the Red Knight said.

`Yes, but then I came and rescued her!’ the White Knight replied.

`Well, we must fight for her, then,’ said the Red Knight, as he took up his helmet (which hung from the saddle, and was something the shape of a horse’s head) and put it on.

`You will observe the Rules of Battle, of course?’ the White Knight remarked, putting on his helmet too.

`I always do,’ said the Red Knight, and they began banging away at each other with such fury that Alice got behind a tree to be out of the way of the blows.

I wonder, now, what the Rules of Battle are,' she said to herself, as she watched the fight, timidly peeping out from her hiding-place.One Rule seems to be, that if one Knight hits the other, he knocks him off his horse; and, if he misses, he tumbles off himself – and another Rule seems to be that they hold their clubs with their arms, as if they were Punch and Judy – What a noise they make when they tumble! Just like a whole set of fire-irons falling into the fender! And how quiet the horses are! They let them get on and off them just as if they were tables!’

Another Rule of Battle, that Alice had not noticed, seemed to be that they always fell on their heads; and the battle ended with their both falling off in this way, side by side. When they got up again, they shook hands, and then the Red Knight mounted and galloped off.

`It was a glorious victory, wasn’t it?’ said the White Knight, as he came up panting.


#19

Seig Heil!

:unamused:

Vincent always does add a splash of humor to these forums. I guess.


#20

So, you are against any group that would act similarly? Banding together within a “foreign” land, trying to protect their own values and way of life via the well-known nefarious practices of VOTING, FUND-RAISING, and NETWORKING.

I take it then that you will be speaking out against similar “enclaves” such as San Francisco’s Chinatown and Taipei’s Tien mu?