The Immorality of Foreign Aid
Sean Gabb, speaking on BBC West Midlands Radio on the 18th September 2012. He makes these points against foreign aid:
- That, as the late Peter Bauer said, it takes money from poor people in rich countries and gives it to rich people in poor countries;
- That it also gives large amounts of money to friends and clients of the British ruling class – see, for example, the revelation that £500m of the aid budget goes to well-paid consultants, including Adam Smith International;
- That is is also largely given with strings attached, so that the recipients buy British goods – this being a roundabout subsidy to well-connected business interests in this country;
- That it enables funds to be diverted in recipient countries to evil or just grandiose ends – for example, every pound spent on feeding the poor in some African countries is another pound he local rulers can spend on bullets; or the fact that British aid to India is about equal to the cost of the Indian space programme;
- That where the money is not spent badly, it is often just stolen;
- That, if we want to help the really poor in other countries, we should trade with them, or assist them to throw off the rulers who have kept them or made them poor.