'Foreign Aid' Aids Foreign Dictators

Published: Thu 28 Mar 2002 01:49 PM
Plans to increase New Zealand's foreign aid "are detrimental and destructive to the very people it's meant to help," said Russell Watkins, the new leader of the Libertarianz Party.
Watkins argues that aid "is no panacea. In fact it's likely to cause more problems than it solves." He said: "Third World governments routinely followed destructive economic policies. Instead of changing those policies they look to the West to bail them out. These bail-outs entrench corrupt rulers in power. Mugabe, for example, had aid for decades.
"In fact the worse policies are, the more aid these dictators get," observes watkins. "Since a bad policy harms the economy, and since the worse an economy is the more aid that nation receives, foreign aid in fact encourages corrupt regimes to destroy their own economies."
Even "under the best of conditions" aid increases the size of government in Third World countries. "The government, and not productive work, becomes the main source of wealth. Aid repeatedly ends up being a tool by which thugs like Mugabe enhance their own power."
Watkins noted "that after nearly half a century of aid and billions and billions poured into the Third World, not one aid-receiving nation has weaned itself off the foreign-aid tit. Maybe we should finally realize that no nation can ever developed through aid. Every nation in the world that is prosperous today became so without aid, so why are we assuming that pouring good money after decades of bad money will make a difference now when history shows it never has before."
"President Mbeki of South Africa prepared his New Partnership for Africa's Development" said Watkins. "In it he said that Africa, in exchange for more aid, would collectively take responsibility for "good governance" and "sound policies" on the continent. Yet, even before the ink was dry on that agreement his own party and government rushed to endorse Mugabe's sham election as legitimate."
"But when Western countries start talking about Africa keeping it's end of the bargain the South African Vice President Jacob Zuma comes out attacking the West and crying about collective punishment. It's not collective punishment because it's not their money. These failed nations have been on the international welfare rolls for so long they think they have a god-given right to other people's money with no strings attached," said Watkins. "Well, I've got news for Zuma: Aid money doesn't belong to you, and by the very document your president drafted you took 'collective responsibility.' If you want to endorse monsters like Mugabe then do it with your own money."
Watkins pointed out that at the very time South Africa "is whining about a potential loss of foreign aid they are rushing out with new plans to send money to Mugabe and his regime. If they can financially prop up dictators like Mugabe then why do they need money from the West? They're clearly rich enough to undermine freedom in Zimbabwe, so I suggest they do it without any money from New Zealand. They spent billions on a questionable arms deal and now want more money from the West. Why should New Zealand and other Western nations finance armaments in Africa?"
Watkins also pointed out that on more than one occasion foreign aid was diverted to military purposes. "At the very least it makes it easier for these governments to fund their armament purchases. They show us starving children when they ask for money, but too frequently that money goes to overweight generals or ends up in the Swiss bank accounts of goons like Mugabe. Mugabe grew old, fat and insane while on the international dole. Why don't they show pictures of Mugabe on one of his Harrod's shopping trips instead of pictures of starving children who get the scraps from the tables of dictators."
Watkins said that "foreign aid is just another 'feel-good' program of the brainless Left. It does more harm than good. It's destructive to prosperity around the world, and it undermines freedom in the Third World. And it, and those who want to increase it, should remove themselves from serious debate--before any more harm is done."
It's enough to make you vote Libertarianz!

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