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Your Dollars, Feeding Foreigners Who Hate Us?

Where do billions of dollars in foreign aid go every year? “The U.S. Gives the Most Aid to Countries That Hate It the Most”: that is Vocativ’s apt headline summary of a new Pew Research Survey. Have a look at the survey for the full picture, but with the exception of Israel (an ally and a major recipient of aid), many, many people in the countries receiving the most U.S. aid view us as an “enemy.”

The pithy write-up by Ryan Walsh at Vocativ is well worth reading. Walsh points out that in foreign relations, “if you’re trying to turn your enemies into friends, it’s standard practice to throw money at them.” So it is. Should it be? No. Foreign aid is a bad idea, period. Foreign aid typically conjures up images of sacks of rice and flour delivered to hungry people. Some years ago I gave a talk arguing that it’s immoral to “redistribute” wealth from Americans for the sake of welfare programs on a global scale. It’s all the more grotesque when that money is spent to win over people harboring enmity toward us.