Changing USAID

Globe of Flags of NationsAs I’ve said before, America’s foreign aid philosophy and policies are and have been a hideous failure. They do very little but perpetuate problems and foster dependence, seeming more a perverse combination of “feel good” easy actions and animal husbandry than true aid to those in dire need.

As shockingly odd as it seems to me, it appears that the Obama Regime agrees with this premise.

Below is an excerpt from President Obama’s address to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals Summit on September 22, 2010.

And today, Iím announcing our new U.S. Global Development Policy – the first of its kind by an American administration. Itís rooted in Americaís enduring commitment to the dignity and potential of every human being. And it outlines our new approach and the new thinking that will guide our overall development efforts, including the plan that I promised last year and that my administration has delivered to pursue the Millennium Development Goals. Put simply, the United States is changing the way we do business.

First, weíre changing how we define development. For too long, weíve measured our efforts by the dollars we spent and the food and medicines that we delivered. But aid alone is not development. Development is helping nations to actually develop – moving from poverty to prosperity. And we need more than just aid to unleash that change. We need to harness all the tools at our disposal – from our diplomacy to our trade policies to our investment policies.

Second, we are changing how we view the ultimate goal of development. Our focus on assistance has saved lives in the short term, but it hasnít always improved those societies over the long term. Consider the millions of people who have relied on food assistance for decades. Thatís not development, thatís dependence, and itís a cycle we need to break. Instead of just managing poverty, we have to offer nations and peoples a path out of poverty.

These are somewhat encouraging words coming from President Obama. It’s past time that the government of the US admitted that and either changed the policies and methodologies or scrapped the various programs of foreign aid entirely.

A Very Grim Caveat

I must sadly add one grim caveat to this post. I just can’t manage to raise my level of credulity – my suspension of disbelief really – far enough to lend any credence to Obama’s words. I don’t completely reject his words and intentions, but there’s little reason for I or anyone else to believe him.

President Obama’s promise to shift US foreign aid to a model that gets people in the Third Word “moving from poverty to prosperity” is just too far removed from – seemingly diametrically opposed – his domestic economic policies and those of his entire Liberal base for any sane individual to easily believe.

Related Reading:

Teaching With Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics: How Conservatism and Liberalism Evolved Within Humans, Third Edition
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time
Wealth: Grow It and Protect It, Updated and Revised (paperback)

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2 Responses to “Changing USAID”

  1. ichabod Says:

    Hi jonolan;

    I too have no issue with Obama’s words, but I agree with your caveat.

    By the time congress is finished with the intent, it will be as black changing to white.

    Not only that, Obama and the rest of those in governance were never poor like the people Obama is referring to. He has no idea of the ignorance, corruption, cultural and religious issues he is facing. Seeing is not the same as experiencing.

    Prosperity has to come from within a regime and it is possible. We see it happening in our generation, former communist countries have abandoned their choke hold on free enterprise, realizing that in order to excel, there must be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or at least an opportunity to achieve for the prosperity of the individual as well as a nation.

    Castro has admitted as much.

    Obama best focus on Americans, they need help too.

  2. jonolan Says:

    Not only do I have no issue with Obama’s words on this matter, ichabod, I actually like them. It saddens me a great deal that I’ve been given no reason to believe them and very many reasons to disbelieve.

    Also, given the track record of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, I’m not sure how much I want them focusing on Americans. We’re bad enough off as it is.

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