A few of my thoughts on Foreign Aid, originally published in Doc, What’s Up? with the tag line:
Don’t despair, our foreign aid policy is working in more ways than one.
It is unheard of for a poppy or a cocoa farmer to cheat his local drug lord, delivering a poor product or adding a little more weight to it. At least we never hear of it in the American press. Assuredly, the system works. The farmer performs ethically and, for his efforts, he is well paid. After all, if this wasn’t the case, he could grow coffee or sugar cane or some other legal food crop.
The farmer’s illegal crop is eventually sold to end-users in America. Thus Americans ultimately pay him for his industriousness. Isn’t this a form of foreign aid?
In the past, foreign aid was typically described as large U.S. government grants to foreign military dictators, especially those in Africa and South America—payment for loyalty to the U.S., as opposed to the USSR and communism. The elite in these countries were the ones who took the aid and got rich. Very little of this aid was used to improve the lives of the countries impoverished.
This is not the case with illegal drug money that does trickle down to the poor farmer, fostering industriousness and entrepreneurialism. Fortunately drug enforcement efforts are futile and thus no threat to foreign aid via the illegal drug trade.
Isn’t this an upgrading of our foreign aid policy?