Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

Lunchtime politics...

A new page to my "Why do people hate the USA?" site... following is brief excerpt of the main criticism:

Foreign Aid: USA is stingiest of the 22 most developed countries</a>
The USA claims to be, in absolute terms, the world's biggest giver and this is true. However, as a proportion of it's wealth the USA gives least when compared to all 22 of the worlds' most developed countries.

"[Americans] are regularly told by politicians and the media, that America is the world's most generous nation. This is one of the most conventional pieces of 'knowledgable ignorance'. [...For example Japan gives more even in absolute terms...]

Absolute figures are less significant than the proportion of gross domestic product (GDP, or national wealth) that a country devotes to foreign aid. On that league table, the US ranks twenty-second of the 22 most developed nations. As former President Jimmy Carter commented: 'We are the stingiest nation of all'. Denmark is top of the table, giving 1.01% of GDP, while the US manages just 0.1%. The United Nations has long established the target of 0.7% GDP for development assistance, although only four countries actually achieve this: Denmark, 1.01%; Norway, 0.91%; the Netherlands, 0.79%; Sweden, 0.7%. Apart from being the least generous nation, the US is highly selective in who receives its aid. Over 50% of its aid budget is spent on middle-income countries in the Middle East, with Israel being the recipient of the largest single share."

"Why do people hate America?" by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies, 2002. p79

Not only that, but according to one source cited by Sarder & Davies, 80% of that aid itself actually goes to American companies in those foreign countries.

Full page:

  • http://www.vexen.co.uk/USA/foreign_aid.html
    Tags: ,

  • are you pubbing tonight, dear?

    Ya should be, I at home now so I'll be able to read the list too and find out where the meet is too!

    Though ... did they say Ben Crouch?

    Not Even a Thank You (Anonymous) Expand
    It should be noted that charitable donations are tax-deductable in the US - so American generousity isn't as altruistic as it might at first appear :P

    I second your (implied) recommendation of that book; it's very good.

    "The Clash of Fundamentalisms" by Tariq Ali is also fascinating. "9-11" by Noam Chomsky is more of a pamphlet than a book, and overpriced for what it is, but contains some very incisive analysis of the situation.

    I give the book a tiny mostly critical review at the bottom of http://www.vexen.co.uk/USA/index.html

    The Tariq Ali one is on my mental reading list - but to be honest the subject kind-of been done to death (and not just by the modern flurry of books on the subject!).

    The Naom Chomsky one I didn't know about, I'd love to read that! Tho' some of the reviews of it sound bad. (And it *does* seem overpriced too for 130 pages!) But I still want to read it, now!

    can I just say you are an amazingly intelligent guy, I wish I'd noticed your webpage sooner... well, i know what much lunchtime reading is tomorrow, anyway! cheers!

    Heeeee, thanks! :-)

    Er, but be warned I'm frequently full of crap too and some parts of my sites are plain embarrasing and wrong! (And old...)

    Re: kudos (Anonymous) Expand
    Re: kudos (Anonymous) Expand
    Absolute figures are less significant than the proportion of gross domestic product (GDP, or national wealth) that a country devotes to foreign aid.

    Fascinating. Completely wrongheaded, of course: which would you rather receive, 10% of a thousand pounds, or 50% of a hundred pounds?

    Yer a fuckin' git.

    Clearly, he means significance in reference to the generous nature of a country, not to the actual effect of the money itself. This could be why you don't see the Netherlands bullying people with their foreign policy.

    (no subject) (Anonymous) Expand

    The truth about U.S. aid...

    (Anonymous)
    It is true, European governments give more aid to the 3rd world (close to 31 billion annually!) than the United States, but most of that aid is concentrated on their former colonies wherein until recently, they were causing so much trouble in trying to hang on to them. (For example, the Dutch military actions in Indonesia, and the French actions in Indochina and Algeria.) Still, Europe should be commended for trying to be a more positive force in the world than it was during its colonial past.

    If you only count official government aid to “3rd world nations”, the annual U.S. total is only about 7 billion dollars. This does not take into account the economic foreign aid to countries not counted as "3rd world", like Israel, which pushes the figure up to around 12 billion.

    Most importantly however, it also does not take into account annual foreign aid from private sources, which by conservative estimates is AT LEAST 35 billion. This is a difference in philosophy as much as anything. In the U.S., there is a stronger tradition that individualding significant military aid and military bases. It is long past time for most of these countries (especially given the end of the Soviet Union) to take primary responsibility for their security issues.

    Sources:

    Eurostat comparisons between U.S. and Europe:
    http://www.eurolegal.org/uspoleur.shtml

    Official Congressional Budget Office report on the role foreign aid in development:
    http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=8&sequence=0&from=1

    “The Privatization of Foreign Aid: Reassessing National Largesse” from the journal “Foreign Affairs”:
    http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20031101facomment82602/carole-c-adelman/the-privatization-of-foreign-aid-reassessing-national-largesse.html

    Re: The truth about U.S. aid...

    (Anonymous)
    This is a difference in philosophy as much as anything.........

    Vexen,
    I've found your website interesting. I am a bit concerned that in the two years since this ANONYMOUS posting, I am the first to comment (follows) that this reader is the first poster or responder (Re: U.S. Foreign Aid) to show an inkling of an understanding of the difficulty of making the comparison of all countries' relative generosity ($) in assisting their worldwide brethren.
    If you know of any source for a complete and balanced analysis, please post it. I have only been able to find sub-measurements such as those you found and posted to your site. It's frustrating to have the passion to inform others while being hamstrung by faulty agenda-driven sources, isn't it? I DO share what certainly must be your pain.

    Citing factual sources is a breath of fresh air

    (Anonymous)
    Yeah........got it.......

    USA has been nothing but a negative to the world. We are just all evil and should have simply let Europe fall slave to the Nazis or USSR after the war. We invested nothing in rebuilding the fallen aggressors then, and continue to invest nothing in making the world a more livable (FREE!) place now.

    Without the investment of American Blood, this topic would be moot as you would not be allowed to create it.

    I suppose that your half arse evaluation from which you draw your inane conclusions from is right though. I mean, I must be brain washed right.

    If only we could reverse all the giving in blood and dollars over the years. Then YOU and I could live the right way, your way. In a tiny hut quivering in fear from those that profit from our pain. Read a history book if you don't believe it is true.

    It is a real, real good thing that more like myself are indeed not as enlightened as some of you guys.

    And to the other fellow that flew a plane in order to protect our right to spout off about such topics. I get it.........it didn't come cheap, and it damn sure wasn't FREE.

    Foreign Aid

    (Anonymous)
    The reason the USA gives more in foreign aid than Europe (it does, check the ACTUAL numbers) is because we have more of a successful capitalistic economy than Europe, which has become incumbered with too many socialist programs, killing the golden goose of wealth creation.

    So in order to make Europe look better, you only quote their meager contributions to foreign aid in terms of percent of their wealth creation, and then maintain their contribution to be greater because it is a greater percent of their meager GDP. Lame. In the USA results count, not excuses.

    By the way your numbers are way off, the USA gives 12 to 18 billion in foreign aid every year, not over a 4 year period as your number suggested.

    It's OK, we in the USA are used to being trashed by liberals like you who don't have a clue.


    Re: Foreign Aid

    (Anonymous)
    Bebecause we are more successful.
    can you call catrina a sucsses?
    Because we had about six hundred who are called congressmen and senators, nslaved by fife thousand lobbyist in Washington, to ignore the American peoples need, so we can’t afford national health, but the countries we had to help, had national health with dollars, that is given by our masters in Washington, and if our master are wimps, there is no hope of survival to the next generation. Who pays the lobbyists wages indirectly?

    Re: Foreign Aid (Anonymous) Expand

    not that anyone will reply to this

    (Anonymous)
    So we're the stingiest nation? Big deal. Really. In terms of giving 'charity' to world nations, I'm for not handing out one nickel. We'd generate more positive reaction by pissing on other countries than purchasing their disdain.

    Re: not that anyone will reply to this

    (Anonymous)
    I AM 100% WITH YOU. I would not give any monetary aid to any foreign country....

    usa stingiest foreign aid giver

    (Anonymous)
    Japan, by the way, gives almost entirely to Asian countries with whom it has close economic ties.
    I agree with the notion the the US should just stop supporting all the rest of the world and concentrate on its own. Let the Muslims' fight their inane wars against themselves. I don't care which sect wins. I am just thankful as a woman, that I was born in the USA.
    Who cares about the French? I don't think they even like themselves.

    Im glad im not a woman in the US. In a country where one woman is raped every 6 minutes and one battered every 15 seconds.


    Good Lord! You think she'd be sick of it by now!

    (no subject) (Anonymous) Expand

    cultura insensativity against americans?

    (Anonymous)
    The figures appear only to account for government spending. However, American culture puts the burden of charity on individuals not government, like in many socialist countries. Acording to http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp#Sidenoteonprivatecontributions Americans privately give at least $34 billion overseas per year. This is 3 times the amount of the US government.

    I need aid

    (Anonymous)
    I am a boy of about 21 in cameroon looking hepl else where bacause i don't seem to find hepl anywhere around me. I lost my father at the age of 7,since then life has been very difficult. I strugle until i was able to have my advance level having geography and history. I this present moment i don't have any body to sponsor me i can not longer struger. I known you people can hepl me here to suceed and survive in my country. I really like to futher my education.please kindlly look for a way to hepl me. if there is any way you can hepl then any document that needs to be fill in my box .iwill fill in the necessary information. I remain your humble applicaint while waiting for your reply.

    I need aid (Anonymous) Expand
    Interesting... with good points. I agree with your facts for the most part. However, it should be noted that rich countries such as Japan can give more money if they please because they don't have to spend money on a huge military. The United States basically fends off any aggressors for Japan since the last World War. The United States is forced to give an unreasonable amount of it's funding to military because it maintains a vast number of military bases all over the world. And, like some people, you could suggest that the United States could just withdraw. This is unlikely beause they are a stablizing force (i.e. China attacking Taiwan and bullying Korea and Japan). This is not to say that if the United States didn't have to spend as much on defense that they would give more money to charity, no one can know that for sure. However, it is something to consider.

    You also left out other forms of Aid

    (Anonymous)
    Do you have any idea how much money is pumped into economys of countries by the presense of the US military alone? The hundreds of thousands of troops AND their families makes one hell of an impact on the local and national ecomony. Ask the Germans if they think the US pulling their troops out will have an impact. Why didn't you consider these other forms of aid we give? Does Japan and all the Scandanavian countries have troops in other countries pumping in billions of dollars into those ecomonys? How much is a human life worth? Do we get to count all of our war dead as foreign aid? Why did you compare aid given as a percentage of the GNP instead of the actual number? Looking to support an opinion you already had?

    Re: You also left out other forms of Aid

    I compared GNP values because I was measuring generosity, not wealth. It is clear if I measure wealth, USA wins by far. Measuring giving as a proportion of income, though, is an indication of worldly-minded charity.

    The USA military are not in foreign countries with the aim of indirectly supporting charitable goals; it is not a military aim and is not part of what would constitute good military thinking to place camps according to such frivolous factors. Largely USA military camps are on annexed soil or are subsidized by deals with local governments (which historically have themselves been tyrannical - about as far from a charitable contribution as you can get).

    Germany hardly needs charitable USA aid, I hardly consider the USAs base there (or the UKs extensive bases in Germany) to be charitable exercises.

    we have our own problems

    (Anonymous)
    I am really amused that so many people seemingly care what we do and get upset when we don't match their particular agenda.

    I recently explained to a Canadian woman that not only did we not care what the rest of the world thought but that they better start getting it right and follow our lead on more things. If not the gravy train from the USA will end.

    While, we recogonize the horror of the current situation with the tsunami, we believe that only private donations are necessary and that our tax dollars need not be wasted over there. We have enough people in trouble here that we need to take care of 1st.

    Re: we have our own problems

    (Anonymous)
    our tax dollars need not be wasted over there. We have enough people in trouble here that we need to take care of 1st.

    "WASTED!" You think US tax dollars are wasted on tsunami victims!
    That says it all!

    USA

    (Anonymous)
    Why does the US have to give anything at all? How is it that the US has so much money while the rest of the world has so little? The US has only been in existance for a short time. The streets in the US were not and are not paved with gold.

    Re: USA

    (Anonymous)
    The streets in the US are not paved with gold.
    Because we had about six hundred who are called congressmen and senators, enslaved by fife thousand lobbyist in Washington, to ignore the American peoples need, so we can’t afford national health, but the countries we had to help, had national health with dollars, that is given by our masters in Washington, and if our master are wimps, there is no hope of survival to the next generation. Who pays the lobbyists wages indirectly?

    Re: USA (Anonymous) Expand
    Re: USA (Anonymous) Expand

    Aid to the US

    (Anonymous)
    Hey, any chance that we'll be receiving any aid here for hurricane relief?

    America Aids, Europe Fades

    (Anonymous)
    You neglected to mention that America has international responsibilities that dictate the allocation of aid. Europeans are free to sip coffee al fresco because they contribute next to nothing to ensure the international order. Then again, Americans look to waxing countries like China and India rather that waning, moribund chiders such as those infesting Europe. In other words, who cares what Europeans feel? {"Think" is inappropriate for what transpires between European ears.)

    US Aid

    (Anonymous)
    In actuality the United States ranks number 10 according to the 2005 UN Human Development Report:

    http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2005/pdf/HDR05_complete.pdf

    Go to page 294 of 388.

    These figures do not include private US charities and military as we've seen in response to the Tsunami. There are also other forms of US aid in the form of corporate giving and foreign bank aid in the form of loans and loan releif.

    These figures do not reflect a rise in the amount of federal US aid which was set to rise to 20 billion this year.

    Or as others have stated:

    "In fact, in 2004, personal remittances, net private investment, and NGO grants, all of which are considered non-trade financial flows, totaled $48 billion, over twice the size of the U.S. official development assistance."

    This is a fact and it would change our ranking in the world not hampered by official results from European Kingdoms. However, for the sake of arguement that number can stand at number 10 according to this UN report which is far better than the distorted information presented here.

    Re: US Aid

    (Anonymous)
    I'm an Egyptian citizen.I fully agree to what the US does to the welfare of the world. But I need your support as well.
    Thank you for what you do now and in the future.

    Re: US Aid (Anonymous) Expand
    As a US citizen I'm tired of the complaining done by many around the world I wish US would cut off all funding and see how you would like that. There is an old saying "beggers don't b!tch", what we give is out of kindness and to be slapped in the face at every turn is getting to be a bit to much.

    US aid

    (Anonymous)
    Well, I view your position on US aid to somehow be simplistic yet rambling, naive yet condescending. It certainly makes me wonder how much actual time on the ground you have spent yourself implementing aid.

    As for me, an American, I have devoted the last eight years of my life, working on establishing electoral systems in Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro, implementing a peace plan in Macedonia and then working on UN-administered Afghan election projects, so my perspective is distinctly direct.

    What I have found from this direct experience is that the issue of aid is complex. The US government does give a lower amount per capita than many other OECD countries, but one point you miss is most of the countries ahead of it are socialist countries that tax their people quite heavily, thereby leaving them little to donate directly. Or in other words, their governments are expected to make greater expenditures per capita in every aspect of their lives, including foreign assistance.

    Conversely, the US public is actually on a per capita basis one of the more generous in terms of donating money for foreign assistance. It seems disengenous, or perhaps just lazy, to not compare total per capita giving between countries. Yes, my country has a different economic structure, with advantages and disadvantages, but the essential point is the total quantity and quality of the aid. The issue has little to do with the sins of capitalism, as you seem to believe.

    In fact, I found your site looking for some information following Warren Buffet's decision to donate 85% of his personal fortune (that's $38,000,000,000, yes, billion) largely to charities working on foreign assistance. $38 billion is more than the entire amount of foreign aid donated by the governments of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands combined FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS.

    That's one American private individual outgiving the governments of the four countries listed repeatedly as the best per capita givers. Shame on Warren Buffet, that bad capitalist, for developing a reputation for living frugally and investing wisely all his life. He still drives an old car and lives in a three-bedroom house in Nebraska. Okay, maybe he's crazy, but he certainly does not fit the stereotype of the greedy capitalist.

    If the other side of this argument wanted to be as disengenous as you are, it could make a big deal of the shame European private individuals should feel for not being more personally generous, instead of relying relatively more on their governments to do the lifting.

    Just to lay all of the facts out there for you, below is the link for:

    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp

    This site lists many of the facts you state, but also lists many that you conveniently overlooked in showing only one side of a complex issue. Total aid vs per capita giving, private giving vs government giving, religious giving vs secular giving, efficiency of giving, politically-motivated giving: all are issues that should be addressed instead of diving in for simplistic jingoisms.

    Cheers

    JH Brinker


    Cheers,

    Joe Brinker

    need fanancial assistance

    (Anonymous)
    farm to market road is very vital in the lives of the hinter land in the philippines. good roads means greater ease in transporting of our farm products to the city. it is in this light that i would like to request some funds for the concreting of our road in sto.tomas, tobias fornier, antique, philippines consisting of 7 kilometers with the amount of 25 million pesos. we strongly believe this could help alleviate the plight of our people from this country.
    we have faith that you not regret our request.
    More power !!!!!!

    jose t. magallon
    sto.tomas, tobias fornier, antique, philippines

    Foreign aid

    (Anonymous)
    Though the percentage of GNP the U.S. gives to foreign countries is small the total dollar amount is second only to Japan. The money given by the U.S. should go further in purchasing power, in those countries, since the dollar is worth more.
    Many countries around the world produce and export people more than anything else. They contribute very little to raise the standard of living in theri own countries and the tyrants in power tend to hide their incmpetence by blaming forces outside their country for their own failures and/or indifference.
    As the world population continues to increase there will also be an increase in frustration, anxiety, hunger, poverty and political and economic unrest. The situation is out of control. If any foreign aid is given by the U.S. and other civilized countries it should be in the way of weapons to those chronically uncivilized, barbaric, undemocratic countries so they may blow each other up and reduce their numbers and maybe at least save their local environment if not the whole world.

    It's Articles/Pages/Blogs Like This...

    (Anonymous)
    It's articles, pages, and/or blogs like this that make me want to pull back all aid from everyone except Israel; the only nation (along with the US) that is attacked because of who they are (or because they exist). Screw 'em all. What an ungrateful SOB. If there is any reader who thinks we are "richer" because we donate (like we benefit from our aid), is crazy! This article makes it sound like we gain something by having our aid "tied" in some way. LOL! Lets be clear, the recipient is far better off than we are through the transaction! Maybe we need a decade of isolationism, and then lets see where the world stands? That would drop this world to it's knees. I, quite frankly, can't believe I read such garbage, or that there are people who actually believe this crap. Good day to each of you, and I hope it's still sunny in whatever world you're in.

    Re: It's Articles/Pages/Blogs Like This...

    (Anonymous)
    I went to a church today that is closing after 28 years. Same old stingy America stuff from the Pulpit. I wanted to ask the Rector how much HE gave to the poor. Probably as much as all the Dems who talk compassion but give next to NOTHING themselves. Hey, send money to southeast India where 100 villages were destroyed by rain. Wire to TALLURI, INDIA and it will help the poor.
    The problem is that Europeans spend almost nothing on the military or their defense, spend little on churches and ministries, and think they are great because they exceed the US in one area. The US USED to spend a lot on Foreign Aid. All it got us was hate and much was funneled into dictators, much as money is being funneled to America's dictator.

    When people abroad are in need, they write Americans first, because we DO give, again and again.

    Stingy USA

    (Anonymous)
    I find it disconcerting that there needs to be an article about why the world hates America. I could live a more comfortable life without helping, through tax dollars, the poor, indigent and oppressed of the world or defending nations not willing or able to develop their own armed forces. In short, I would rather see American tax dollars spent in America, and allow those with their hands out find their own way. If the world doesn't appreciate the contributions of America, we should keep it.

    Re: Stingy USA

    (Anonymous)
    Exactly right. We don't owe anyone anything. Why are we responsible for other countries? This is ridiculous. You should be grateful that we give anything at all. Instead you take what we do give, and demand for more. Wow so who's the asshole after all?

    Re: Stingy USA (Anonymous) Expand
    Re: Stingy USA (Anonymous) Expand
    ?

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