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International equality through foreign aid. What do we owe other countries, if anything?

As a nation striving to be the best, we often find it hard to love one’s neighbor let alone fellow human thousands of miles away. We have previously discussed the issue if one is entitled to as they say, “help thy brothers” or if simply humans are placed on earth to progress by themselves and for themselves. Especially in the United States we often see the “greed” not wanting to help any other countries when we ourselves are in an incredible amount of debt. While I understand the fears and the concerns of those unwilling to help others in far off nations. Is it too much to ask to spend only .7% of our gross national income on foreign aid? Should we be sending any money at all? Should the government have any involvement in the impoverished nations overseas or is it an issue of out of sight, out of mind?

“In 1970, the world’s rich countries agreed to give 0.7% of their gross national income as official international development aid, annually. Since that time, despite billions given each year, rich nations have rarely met their actual promised targets. For example, the US is often the largest donor in dollar terms, but ranks amongst the lowest in terms of meeting the stated 0.7% target.”

Think about how you would spend your money if you were an adult with a mortgage, and paying for college. As American’s are we wrong in the way we prioritize? Have we lost sight of humanity as a whole and left behind entire continents?

In a well thought out essay gather your thoughts about how money should be allocated, and consider whether or not we as humans should be our brothers keeper.

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    Apr 30 2011: In the dark medieval days of Europe all wealth and power was owned and controlled by the fuedal lords and the church. In recent history driven by the agricultural revolution and the later industrial revolution humankind started to get a bigger slice of the pie, but it was a fight getting this. Now in the technology revolution we see a rise in poverty in most developed nations coupled with a sense of hopelessness. For the rest of the world it is getting worse also food, water and shelter is become less available at the same time the developed nations have taken natural resources and traded these for weapons and puppet governments. Somehow or other the world needs to drive down (not trickle down) more wealth in the form of education, healthcare and opportunity to participate in a free market. This goes against basic human nature and needs real leadership to achieve this. Unfortunately basic human nature counters any ideas of a world full of benefactors. If civilization is to really develop this is the challenge to address.
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      May 1 2011: where is that part of the world that gets less and less food? where does poverty rise?

      for some background material, you can use the TED talks of Hans Rosling
  • Apr 30 2011: Hi Arianna. It would be nice if it was a simple matter of sending more and more aid to developing countries. If that worked, we would have very few developing countries today. The problem is that money sent to developing countries often disappears into a black hole never again to see the light of day in any form of development. It later appears in bank accounts in bank havens, and in general go the opulent lifestyles of government officials and their friends and relatives. Aid donors cannot make an issue of it as they are not allowed to "interfere into the internal operations of other countries". Hence, they cannot ask receiving countries to account for the aid dollars. So, while large sums of money are sent, the vast majority of the population does not benefit.

    While I understand and agree with your concerns about development, corruption is what keeps these countries down, not lack of money. We need to find a way to deal with this first, so that the money that is sent is used to uplift the countries and their population, and not used to add to the personal wealth of a few. Take a look at Transparency International's index of corruption and examine the visual correlation between corruption and level of development.
    http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010/results
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    Apr 29 2011: there's plenty of things your country can do.

    do you have tariffs on international trade with 3rd world countries? do you support local production? i know you do, as a member of the EU. abolish them! those countries need trade!

    do you have any laws that create incentives to increase consumption and reduce savings? like luxury level "free" healthcare? taxation on investments (like stock dividends or interest)? if so, abolish them! developing countries need capital, and who else would provide capital if not the rich?
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      Apr 30 2011: Capital that was earned thanks to the prolétariat.
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        Apr 30 2011: and thanks to virtually everyone in the society. these classes are outdated anyway. how could you define proletarian? a musician fits in? how about a football commentator? HR manager at a bank?
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    Apr 29 2011: Third world countries don't just need aid, they need jobs, education and fair disbursement of wealth.
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      Apr 29 2011: "fair disbursement of wealth" . . . what do you mean by that?
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        Apr 30 2011: There should not be an elite few that control the majority of wealth. Drilling for oil in Nigeria brings plenty of money in for a select few. Third World Countries would do better to distance themselves from an unfair system as soon as possible.