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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:20 PM

Why do we offer foreign aid

to countries that actually have better health care systems than our own? If I get hit by a car, or sick in Israel, I receive care. If I get hit by a bomb in Israel, I receive care. Our 9/11 respondents couldn't even get care when they ended up sick from cleaning up a disaster on OUR OWN SOIL.

What the hell is wrong with us? I'm not just picking on Israel, either. Many of the places that we send foreign aid to don't expect their citizens to go homeless to get medical treatment for themselves or a family member. Why do we accept this as US citizens? We are a barbaric country for putting people in the street because they get sick and are either under-insured (and most never know until they need it) for themselves or a family member or don't have insurance.

It is sickening.

Sorry for the rant, it just disgusts me that we can afford to subsidize health care abroad via our foreign aid packages (because money not needed to spend on defense gets spent elsewhere) but we can't even take care of sick, injured and disabled people in our own.

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why do we offer foreign aid (Original post)
Aerows Dec 2012 OP
leveymg Dec 2012 #1
Aerows Dec 2012 #2
leveymg Dec 2012 #3
Aerows Dec 2012 #4
TeamsterDem Dec 2012 #5
Aerows Dec 2012 #6
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #20
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #23
leveymg Dec 2012 #7
Aerows Dec 2012 #8
leveymg Dec 2012 #9
Aerows Dec 2012 #10
Tierra_y_Libertad Dec 2012 #11
Aerows Dec 2012 #12
Tierra_y_Libertad Dec 2012 #13
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #14
TomClash Dec 2012 #16
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #17
LeftInTX Dec 2012 #21
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #22
TomClash Dec 2012 #25
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #26
TomClash Dec 2012 #29
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #30
gravity Dec 2012 #15
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #18
rDigital Dec 2012 #19
Cleita Dec 2012 #24
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #27
Cleita Dec 2012 #28

Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:23 PM

1. A French Maid is a "foreign aide." What do you offer them? Chocolates and Champagne are nice.

To your point, foreign aid is usually given because the recipient is perceived to have some foreign policy or economic interest to the U.S. There are some instances of purely humanitarian aid, such as famine relief, but most of it has to do with other considerations, such as opening up markets for US exports, etc. or to please some domestic constituent group.

I know, the serious response is boring, but accurate.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:24 PM

2. Typo corrected

Now how about addressing the actual content of my post, please?

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Response to Aerows (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:28 PM

3. Please see my response on edit.

Sorry about the quip.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:40 PM

4. What is the difference

between famine relief or humanitarian aid and providing health care for the citizens that pay taxes (even if it is just sales tax)?

At what point does health care now fall under "humanitarian aid"? Do we have to have a cholera epidemic before addressing public health concerns? How many families have to become bankrupt and homeless due to medical costs that it becomes "inhumane"?

I think that is a valid question.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:50 PM

5. In effect we subsidize their healthcare AND in many cases give them a free military for their

troubles. It's crazy. In places like Germany and Japan we're essentially shoring up their national defenses while they have the money that would normally go to that endeavor to spend on healthcare. It's not that easily fungible but in some ways we're doing that almost exactly.

There ain't nothin wrong with helpin people, but we really ought to start with our own folks and move outward from there.

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Response to TeamsterDem (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:52 PM

6. Amen!

That's my point. If we have people in our own nation that die from a lack of proper healthcare or are impoverished to the point of homelessness because of it (thus needing food stamps, etc) then we have problems of our own that need to be dealt with before we are giving away our own precious resources.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:16 PM

20. Foreign aid is a tiny fraction of our resources

And it's often used to support human rights and gain cooperation in areas that serve U.S. goals and secure cooperation in intenational compacts and agreements.

It's not foreign aid that prevents us from solving our own problems, though that's one of the RW arguments.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:52 PM

23. My point bellow

I even made the selcomly made distinction between military aid and foreign aid. The media rarely makes it, hence the wiki does not either.

We should all make a point of making it....

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Response to Aerows (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:54 PM

7. I think the US needs a major reordering of priorities to meet basic human needs, inc. health

But, as someone who has worked on foreign aid and development programs, I see no inherent conflict with doing more to help needy people here and continuing to fund foreign aid programs. INHO, both require more resources that will only come with a major reordering of economic and political power in America.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:58 PM

8. As a taxpayer

I care a hell of a lot more about my neighbor, and the residents of my city that could potentially develop a communicable disease but not go to the hospital until they have infected scores of others, more than I care about another nation's people. I also care more about having my tax dollars effectively subsidizing the healthcare insurance complex because they impoverish people to the point of needing food stamps and other assistance because they can't afford medical treatment.

Frankly, I see a huge conflict with helping the neighbor when it takes food out of the mouth of my own starving child, so to speak.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:02 PM

9. I agree. Until we meet basic human needs here, we aren't even close to being a civilized country.

As I said, there has to be a massive reordering of economic and political power in America.

eom.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:05 PM

10. Exactly

That's pretty much the bottom line. We aren't even close to being civilized.

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:10 PM

11. Well, we can safely assume that it's not altruism.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:12 PM

12. Sadly, we can

And that's what makes it disgusting.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:15 PM

13. If it was for altruism I'd be supporting it.

But, it's for influence and control.

We ain't selling/giving arms to various countries to "help the people".

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:18 PM

14. It is an investment in good will actually

and many of those countries have helped us during disasters. I know our media sucks, especially when it comes to foreign teams during oh Katrina, or offers of help, or physical help rejected by the Bush administration. But serious, this is a cheap investment in good will.

For example, did you know the Bush Administration rejected British MREs sent by the plane load? Did you know Mexican and Dutch Navy personnel were on the ground helping to clean up schools in the Gulf Coast, or that the Mexican Army fed refugees at Fort Houston? Or that Canadian teams flew rescue missions?

Also Israel, in-spite of all the propaganda, does not get the lion's share of it. Places, like Africa though US AID do. Not just one country, I am talking the continent.

If we want to cut the budget, let's start talking DOD, serious. Foreign Aid is a popular target, but imo it is a stupid target. I'd rather have Peace Corp volunteers, part of that budget, teaching youth in the Philippines, than the US Army playing games of cat and mouse in the Philippines (which they are) I'd rather have Peace Corp volunteers helping build schools in Colombia than the DEA chasing after drug dealers. both of which are happening. Which one do you think builds good will?

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:42 PM

16. Israel receives more foreign aid from the US than any other nation

Egypt and Israel together receive about 1/3 of all foreign aid.

That said, I would prefer all the money go to health clinics, schools, food and housing in the poorest countries.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:04 PM

17. Somebody posted the actual numbers the other day

and they are not even that close

Now if you said MILITARY AID, which falls under a whole different area of the budget, you would be correct. That also falls under MILITARY SPENDING in the most technical sense of the word.

The military aid we give to countries is not as good will, but comes with way too many strings attached. For example, see the Iron Dome Missile defense system... guess who is looking at the specs as I write this?

Oh and that aid is STILL a minuscule part of the MILITARY BUDGET, right now, doing it intelligently, not hack and slash, we could cut 20% of the DOD budget and still outspend the next ten nations combined.

The problem is that our media, once again, does a terrible job of not telling you what is military aid and what is foreign aid, which falls into schools, clinics and peace corp volunteers. I wish they did, by the way.

For the record military aid to nations and allies is still a minuscule part of the actual spending budget of the US Government.

I know this is not sexy, but these are facts.

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:28 PM

22. Yes, wiki is throwing all of foreign aid into one packet

and not making that distinction I just made.

So should I be shocked or 'thing?

As one of my instructors put it way too many years ago, the media commits malfeasance when they do not make those distinctions. They are like important or something... but hey, will not bother any more with this. Who the fracking cares to make them?

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:07 PM

25. Of course because aid is mostly fungible

If you get a dollar in military aid that is dollar less you have to spend on your military and a dollar more to spend on nonmilitary expenditures.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:30 PM

26. It s not fungible to the kid getting a mosquito net

And a glass of clean water.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:21 PM

29. You misunderstand

Other money than was allocated to military spending could be redirected elsewhere.

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Response to TomClash (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:43 PM

30. Read what I wrote about the budget

We could easily cut, intelligently mind you, DOD by 20% and we'd still spend more than the next 10 countries combines.

The three large ticket items in the budget are defense, social security and Medicare. We can cut defense with almost no sweat we can remove the cap in social security, and a few reforms to Medicare, preferred would be single payor...foreign ad (even when you add the military component) is a minuscule part of the budget.

The problem is that cutting foreign aid is a favorite RW talking point. But one detached from reality.

Oh and I forgot SS adds zero to the deficit since it is in theory a separate account.

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:38 PM

15. The countries that receive money are far worst off

Some might have better access to healthcare, but you can't really compare poverty in a developing country to the US.

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Response to gravity (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:08 PM

18. Oh yes I can... there are areas of the US

that are just as bad off as many areas in the developing world.

And just because people own a cheap microwave does not mean they are not poor or hungry, in a few cases even starving.

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:09 PM

19. Think: reverse mob protection racket. nt

 

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:25 PM

24. The official reason is to help third world countries build their infrastructure and

improve the lives of the nation's people through education and access to health care. After WWII, it was to rebuild the bombed out and war torn countries involved. However, I lived in South America after WWII and up to 1958. I saw that the real reason was to prop up corrupt governments and dictators so that they would be friendly to us and the American corporate interests operating in those countries like mining, fishing, oil etc.. The money went into the Swiss bank accounts of the power elite who lived like kings and whose wives shopped in the Haute Couture houses of Paris. The poor got nothing and truthfully the only roads I saw built were by American or British companies who had an interest in moving stuff, or by the local people themselves and they were very primitive, more like paths.

I have been openly hostile towards foreign aid ever since then. It's part of the military/industrial complex even way back then. Also, our hegemony in foreign countries stems from the Monroe Doctrine, which IMHO should be scrapped. It gives us permission to do what we need to do in the world in the interests of America, no matter how it destroys other nations. The industrial, global companies, who do business overseas have seized on this as bribery for their own purposes and have used both the Monroe Doctrine and foreign aid to protect their interests. Although Israel is a somewhat different problem, the purpose operates the same.

Trust me as an individual American traveling in a foreign country, the US consulate or embassy will do very little for you although as an American they should have an interest in your welfare according to the MD, if you get into trouble. However, if you are some big American Oil, mining, shipping or whatever company, they will move mountains and our formidable military to protect their interests.

Yep, Aerows, I'm with you. However, there seems to have been no way to stop this since the end of WWII.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:34 PM

27. My god...I have seen those foreign service workers

Do a lot for individual citizens stranded in foreign countries. I guess I have a very good imagination.

Yes, it took a few calls at times, but you think that is limited to the us, I got a bridge and ocean front property.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #27)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:47 PM

28. My dear, the workers do their best.

They just don't have the back up they need to do a job that needs to be done, like get people on trumped up drug charges out of the jails they are dumped in. The best they can do is contact family and hope they are rich enough to buy lawyers and bribes. I'm not talking about stranded tourists.

Yet, if an American company is threatened, our military starts moving in and the ambassador is at the capital and presidency of those countries making threats for them to back off. When such said company is accused of say worker abuse, the local police move in to squelch the dissenters. It's because the company has called in their aces for the foreign aid bribed politicos to do the job they have been paid for. This is why Allende was removed in Chile and why we are supposed to hate Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. They refused to be bought by the USA.

Yes, the diplomatic corp that are not in the loop of the corporate Game of Thrones, do the best they can. Also, a little of the aid does trickle down to public works, very little. I have seen this corruption close up and heard of it even bragged about at dinner parties where VIP people from both sides are present.

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