July 18, 2016

Opinion: Foreign aid doesn’t help the needy and should be abolished

Tim BallRebel Columnist

Climate is a vehicle for wealth transfer in the naive liberal belief it fighting “climate change” will help “poor” people.

Ottar Edenhofer, co-chair of WGIII from 2008 to 2015, explained:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

It is another aid program, but, like them all, it doesn’t and can’t work. In fact, it perpetuates the problems, while creating corruption, power plays and political control for an elite few.

I listened to a professional emotional-laden exploiting plea for money for children starving in Ethiopia because of a drought. The problem is there are always droughts in Ethiopia. How did these people manage in the past? The children are dying because of the decisions of their parents and government and the abetting provided by our giving to such appeals for funds or our foreign aid. Why aren’t the adults and government of Ethiopia helping? They always have money for guns and bombs.

Ethiopia spent $5,438,000,000 (yes that is billions) in the 12 years from 2001-2012. They reduced the amount as the civil war ended, but they still spent $329 million in 2012, and it was back up to $404.5 million by 2015.

Yes, the children are the innocent bystanders, but it is pure exploitation of emotions to make it my concern when the parents and people of Ethiopia can’t get their priorities right. Worse, we further the failures and distortions with any aid. 

Ron Paul wasn’t the first to say, "Foreign aid is taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries," but likely the most recent.

It is true, but the Economist, which people think is right wing because of the name, said he was wrong:

The first half of the quip is nonsense.

Foreign aid is funded out of federal taxes. I'm not sure who Ron Paul would consider "poor,” but the lower 40% of households in America pay no net federal income tax.

The proportion of America's foreign-aid budget that comes from poor people, rather than middle-class or rich people (all of whom, on a global scale, are extremely rich), is negligible, and it represents a negligible burden on those poor people's incomes.

The Economist’s argument is false because it is similar to the “priorities” argument of the Ethiopian government. It is true the poor people pay virtually no net federal income tax. However, a significant proportion of the tax dollars that are collected could have been spent to improve their conditions goes overseas as foreign aid.

Canadian government misallocation and inappropriate priorities is a major problem, but as always the misuse of the money at the UN is worse. The only thing you get with bigger government is bigger corruption. How much time and taxpayer’s money is wasted on bureaucrats who do little but perpetuate false needs for their existence?

But it isn’t just government. The entire “aid industry” is unnecessary rife with corruption, exorbitant salaries, and machinery to keep raising funds.

Charity Navigator is a group in the US who monitor major charities. Their job is to offset concerns about such matters:

We know that many donors continue to be concerned by what they believe to be excessive charity CEO pay. Many donors assume that charity leaders work for free or minimal pay and are shocked to see that they earn six figure compensation packages. But well-meaning donors sometimes fail to consider that these CEOs are typically running multi-million dollar operations that endeavor to help change the world. Leading one of these charities requires an individual that possesses an understanding of the issues that are unique to the charity’s mission as well as a high level of fundraising and management expertise. Attracting and retaining that type of talent requires a competitive level of compensation as dictated by the marketplace.

All this confirms is that charity is a business. The problem is it is an unnecessary business that always does more harm than good.

The last word must go to Benjamin Franklin because anybody who can invent bi-focal glasses, design an efficient woodstove, and be on the committee charged with writing the Declaration of Independence demands attention. He wrote from wisdom and empirical evidence in his 1766 publication “Management of the Poor”:

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."


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commented 2016-07-23 10:49:09 -0400
Just blame it all on colonialism. 500 years from the now the LEFT will continue to blame colonialism for everything. I recall about 40 years ago carrying a UNICEF box on Halloween. 40 F-IN YEARS AGO!!!! So, typically of the LEFT, no one has challenged what is being done wrong. They are not looking into it, because these people get their wages from it and other corruption exists. 40 YEARS !!!! They still don’t have sanitary plumbing and clean water in most places. The problem is NOT charity, the problem is propping up corrupt African governments and using Colonialism as an excuse. While Colonialism was not pretty, it actually provided many of these countries with the ONLY infrastructure they have! It brought education and work to exploding populations. Note: Unlike responsible people in the west who have less kids in economic trouble, in Africa births explode in drought, poverty etc. etc. The only way to help Africa is to change their culture and way of thinking. Regime change wont work as, like Muslim nations, they just replace one corrupt dink with another. In other words if you cant fix it, just leave it. The problem is cultural and institutional much like the idiots on the LEFT. Only a bullet to the brain will stop their way of thinking and violence never solves anything. So just leave it and what happens, happens. Put the money to use here helping our poor and all the worthless immigrants Trudeau is bringing in. Our future mall monkey and gang population will need a help up into their life of crime because they cant afford to live here.
commented 2016-07-19 02:24:45 -0400
BRAVO ZULU… And I’m sure the Swiss banks or those in the Cayman Islands are not complaining…
commented 2016-07-18 21:47:47 -0400
Africa has received trillions of dollars in aid and it is still schitte hole.

If that is not proof then what is?
commented 2016-07-18 17:45:17 -0400
Foreign aid is giving money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
commented 2016-07-18 16:40:02 -0400
PAUL MAURICE… Thanks for pointing out again that the only sure way to get charitable donations to the poor of Africa is through direct action on the ground via such entities as church groups rather than through “governments” or major “foreign aid factories”… The wife of very good friends of ours spent a month doing just such aid work in Uganda this past February.. She went with two other women from a church based charity that sends children’s toys and school supplies each year… The charity also sponsors a school… This Uganda – once called the “crown jewel” of the British Empire in Africa – is the same Uganda that the despot Idi Amin Dada ruled until his ouster in 1979… These days the despot running it is Yoweri Museveni who was “re-elected” this spring in rigged elections when he jailed his chief opponent.. The most telling fact about the corruption is that Museveni’s true wealth is unknown but many financial sources say he may be one of the 10 richest men in Africa; certainly a multi-billionaire, yet the children in his country walk to school in bare feet…
commented 2016-07-18 15:45:17 -0400
Yes,monetary foreign aid is appropriated by corrupt governments and bureaucrats in Africa and other “third world” areas. The African people need to own their own land and have the know how to create and operate businesses, service skills, cottage industries, farms, and so on. Some Christian charitable groups, such as World Vision, go right into the African and other areas themselves, setting up teams of workers to teach and build and grow and cultivate…businesses, schools, medical centres, shops, farms, raising livestock, wells, etc. The Christian charities are right there controlling the funds to guarantee that they are used to help the poor help themselves. And the churches that are established support democratic and honest government and teach the appropriate values to help establish such. This is good. It works. Foreign aid does not work.
By the way, how much of their own millions do these “humanitarian” entertainment industry celebrities give to help the world’s poor? How much of their time? How much of their resources? How much of their honest care, aside from creating an ultimately hypocritical “saintly” public image?
commented 2016-07-18 14:41:31 -0400
The fact that the bags of food and supplies sent from our government to help the needy and starving ends up in the mouths of the army or is sold on the street should tell you something. The fact that the governments are so restrictive that a naturally industrious people can’t build onto their businesses or own the land their businesses are on and face being bulldozed, should tell you something. That’s if they are allowed to open in the first place. The fact that the government is pocketing aid money for personal use should tell you something. The fact that the African continent is resource rich and the people are poor and starving should tell us……to quit what ain’t working. We are definitely part of the problem.
commented 2016-07-18 14:34:56 -0400
Lets see how we could get out of the aid business.
2…Stop all tax deductions for foreign aid
3…Then stop all foreign aid
4…Since Canada is a multi cultural country with people from all over the world let them send aid to their former countries.
5…Put a transfer tax on all aid money leaving Canada
6…With this transfer tax reduce our income tax
7…Once we have paid off our federal, provincial and city debts and a have saved enough for a rainy day then we can loan aid money to the countries which should be paid back or we take a portion of their country .
commented 2016-07-18 14:34:48 -0400
Lets see how we could get out of the aid business.
2…Stop all tax deductions for foreign aid
3…Then stop all foreign aid
4…Since Canada is a multi cultural country with people from all over the world let them send aid to their former countries.
5…Put a transfer tax on all aid money leaving Canada
6…With this transfer tax reduce our income tax
7…Once we have paid off our federal, provincial and city debts and a have saved enough for a rainy day then we can loan aid money to the countries which should be paid back or we take a portion of their country .
commented 2016-07-18 14:03:54 -0400
Thank you TIM BALL , we always knew this, but now we have more convincing testimony
commented 2016-07-18 13:58:23 -0400
We need to quit sending money to third world countries in the guise of foreign aid.
After all, we need that money here in Canada so that more mosques (temples if evil, murder and sedition) can be built!

commented 2016-07-18 13:37:20 -0400
Its up to these people to help themselves. Not the rest of the world.

Foreign aide should be abolished… especially when we have our own problems here in Canada that are only growing under the socialist dictators like Trudeau, Wynne and Notley.
commented 2016-07-18 12:31:50 -0400
I’ll go you one better on this issue Dr. Tim. I would not stop at “foreign aid” – I will take ethical nationalism into Immigration as well. In my thinking as long as there are homeless and poor in Canada spending money on this externally is immoral. Similarly to import unskilled or even skilled immigrants as long as there is not 100% of Canadians employed is a breech of public trust.

But this is essentially what we are talking about Dr. Ball – this is nationalism versus globalism. Political leaders who are globalists extend more responsibility to non Canadians than Citizens – in pith and substance their loyalties are in conflict with the demands of their office. We need leaders who represent our interests and needs, not the globe’s – this divided loyalty is the poison that is undermining our culture, national sovereignty and social cohesion.
commented 2016-07-18 12:00:48 -0400
This is entirely true and sadly has been known for some time . A study done a few years ago looked at the African countries in 1960 when a lot of foreign aid programs began and compared them to today. It found that the standard of living had decreased and level of poverty had increased in every single country . They were better off in 1960 then they are today. Two uncontrollable factors are war and population growth that also influence the downgrade. Wars have raged all over the continent and most are tribal origin masking as political. The population growth can be properly labelled as ‘explosive’ . Foreign aid allows children to stay alive long enough until they are biologically able to have children themselves.
The year Bob Geldolf had his ‘BandAid’ world wide concerts for Ethiopia , the Marxist Ethiopian government bought six Mirage jet fighters for its fight against Eritrea.
When my brother traveled through Africa, India , Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 70’s he brought back a number of pictures of Care aid packages that said " Gift from U.S.A" or Canada or a European country that were being sold in stores. A large number of the aid packages fed armies or were sold in stores.
There are other reasons for failure today but they require more time and discussion . Unfortunately with the Liberals and Trudeau Jr. in power the willingness to see the light will not be there. Anyone who suggests a stop or change to foreign aid will be skewered by the SJW’s and the weak minded media. As it is now , we don’t need to feed the worlds poor overseas, they’re coming here to be fed.
commented 2016-07-18 11:59:45 -0400
I remember just after the 1967 Middle East war that India gave Egypt $10,000,000 to help it (rearm). $10,000,000 was also the amount of funds Canada gave India that year to help feed its people.

Time and time again we give “aid” to nations that squander the support, or its leadership redirects the money or lines its own pockets.

A simple process should be begun: see what nations could or would use the funding and if that funding would improve that nation. If it would be sending funds that does nothing then stop. And to the nations we actually give funding, give less at first. See if it will make a difference.

With what do don’t send, start helping Canadians,
commented 2016-07-18 11:57:39 -0400
This will surely rub the do gooders the wrong way. The logic will be lost. Good article, good vid. UN official Jeffery Sacks really shows his colours in that interview with Stossel.
Good post Karan Singh
commented 2016-07-18 11:48:42 -0400
25 years ago on my trip to couple of African countries I came to this conclusion; If these people can’t help themselves no amount of foreign aid could ever help them. Same goes for the adoption racket, it’s not hard to see some people will just breed to get their children to western countries or at least get some share of aid money through some western ‘charity’. Actually this aid money instead of helping them makes them more dependent on charity and never gives them a chance to become self-reliant. That’s why even after spending trillions of dollars on these countries they still are in the same condition they were 60 years ago.
All these countries have more natural resources & manpower than any western country but still they are impoverished, one has to ask, why?