Foreign Aid


There are two words that many politicians like to shy away , and those
two words are, "foreign aid." Taking a firm stand on either side of this topic
is usually side stepped by decision makers. Their opinions are usually based
on a case by case analysis. This extremely controversial topic involves whether
or not to support the policy of foreign aid to needy or sometimes not so needy
countries. What benefits does foreign aid have for the countries that receive
it, and does it have any benefits for the countries who give? Some may say that
instead of spending money on foreign aid, money should be spent on domestic aid.
Those who argue in favor of foreign aid say that it is an investment in the
future of both countries that will eventually pay off. There is also another
factor to consider when discussing foreign aid: what kind of foreign aid is
being offered. There are three different types of foreign aid: first, there is
military foreign aid; second, there is foreign aid for the advancement
of business; third, there is emergency foreign aid for food and medicine.
Foreign aid to countries can help in many ways. It can be used as a
tool in bargaining. For instance a country that has just received foreign aid
or is expecting to get their regular installment of foreign aid will be more
likely to listen to new ideas. Because some countries are so dependent on their
regular installments of foreign aid, they are willing to appease countries such
as the U.S who are giving it. When looked at closely, foreign aid may be
considered an elaborate system of legal bribery. This becomes evident when
countries do what they would normally not consider doing in order to continue
receiving foreign aid. The U.S supplies financial foreign aid to many different
countries; sometimes this foreign aid is in a form of a loan. For example,
recently the U.S. supplied Mexico with a loan in order to save the falling value
of the Peso. This loan was denigrated by much of the U.S. population because
many people don\'t understand why the U.S. should care about the falling value of
the Mexican Peso. First of all, deflation of the Peso means a loss of jobs in
Mexico which would in turn send an influx of illeagal immigrants from Mexico to
the United States. In addition, Mexico is a large economy that imports
American goods. If the Peso\'s value were to drop, it would mean less buying
power for the Mexican public, and that in itself would hurt American business.
Some people would still be against this type of aid, and their argument would be
that if money that goes to Mexico was invested in helping small business get
started, America would be less dependent on other countries for their goods or
services. In this case the nay-sayers were proven wrong because Mexico recently
repaid the United States in full, plus interest, and a year in advance.
Another form of foreign aid is a certain amount of credit is given to
the receiving country in order to buy American made goods only. This form of
aid not only helps the country in need, but it also pumps money into the US
economy. Still some may wonder why should we care about a country such as
Russia, to whom the U.S. has recently given aid to recently. The U.S. can\'t
afford to have an ex-superpower unstable economically because of their nuclear
capabilities. Because Russia is in the unstable beginnings of a democracy the
U.S. wants to keep Russia on the right track. If that includes giving them aid
in order to help feed their people, then that is what the U.S must do. Because
reinstatement of the old regime would result in turmoil throughout the world.
After communism was overthrown in the former Soviet Union the world went through
big changes. There was no longer two world super powers, and all of a sudden a
40 year cold war ended. As stated the U.S. uses foreign aid as a tool to
implement their political views in other countries. In January of 1996 Robert
Dole, the speaker of the House, commented that if Russia didn\'t pull out of
Chechnya the U.S. would rethink the up coming aid package to Russia. In 1997
the U.S. has over 800 million budgeted for aid to Russia and other former Soviet
republics. This is an excellent example of how the U.S. uses its economic
prowess to influence the politics of other