Talk Back: Foreign Aid
We spent a lot of time on today’s program talking about international aid to Pakistan. Shadman Bashir who grew up in Pakistan stated his opinion that U.S. aid was misdirected and that if the U.S. wanted to give money, it should pay off Pakistan’s debt so that it could focus its finances at bringing a consistent source of energy to the people. Mr. Bashir noted that he believed President Zardari (nicknamed Mr. 10%) was well known for taking 10 to 25 percent of any money, including foreign aid, which passed through his hands.
Money is a powerful and often dangerous tool. It becomes even more powerful in the world’s poorer nations. I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule that some of you could convince me of, but I am of the opinion that most of our foreign aid is a waste of our money. If foreign aid leads to corruption, the dampening of local markets, and the strengthening of strong arm governments (often through graft, but sometimes directly), I don’t see the costs outweighing the benefits.
If you have a good story about fedral foreign aid money spent well or poorly, please post your stories below and I’ll read the the highlights on the show tomorrow.