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Lucrius

Foreign Aid to Starving Children

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http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/08/08/us-set-to-announce-100m-in-somalia-famine-funding/

" Hundreds of thousands of Somali children could die in East Africa's famine unless more help arrives, a top U.S. official warned Monday in the starkest death toll prediction yet. 'One of the reasons to be here is just to ask Americans and people worldwide, the global community, the human family, if they could just reach a little deeper into their pockets and give money to help these poor people, these poor mothers and children,' said Biden, who met with two Somali mothers and their eight children."

The Objectivist opinion on giving foreign aid?

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Jill Biden is the highest-profile U.S. visitor to East Africa since the number of refugees coming across the Somali border dramatically increased in July. Biden, who traveled to the camp in a C-130 military transport plane, said she wants to raise awareness and persuade donors to give more.

"One of the reasons to be here is just to ask Americans and people worldwide, the global community, the human family, if they could just reach a little deeper into their pockets and give money to help these poor people, these poor mothers and children," said Biden, who met with two Somali mothers and their eight children.

Later Monday in Washington, President Barack Obama approved $105 million for humanitarian efforts in the Horn of Africa to combat worsening drought and famine

*bold my emphasis*

It's quite easy to guilt others into charity when you are an old-money member of the social elite whose financial future is secure whether the economy is surging or double-dipping into recession. I don't see them enacting pay-cuts to all congressman to send the rest to the starving kids of Africa. The money spent on a single flight with their private jets to visit these wretched villages would probably be enough to feed this village for months. If their primary goal was feeding children and not publicity stunts then Mrs. Biden would have stayed at home and sent food instead of wealthy socialites (they don't taste as good!).

There's nothing wrong with charity when done under your own choice and when the target is deserving, but there's nothing quite as sanctimonious as Leftists of the wealthy elite who've never balanced a check-book in their life or had to cut back on amenities to keep family budgets balanced and hence have no understanding of what it feels like to part with one's money in a way that is financially sacrificial. These are the new overlords, the new Barons to our serfs of a coming feudal age, where they are permitted everything and we must obey and sacrifice everything to everyone.

With as cruel as it may sound, there are probably better places to spend your money for charity. Africa is a hell-hole because of the anarchy and dictatorships and vicious primitive tribal violence there, and no amount of charity can undo these problems for good until there is substantial political and cultural change. You should never be guilted into sacrifice towards a hopeless cause by people so financially secure they couldn't even conceive of what sacrifice would mean though they advocate it as an ideal.

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The Objectivist opinion on giving foreign aid?

There is only one person qualified to give an "Objectivist opinion" and that was Miss Rand herself. Otherwise you must settle for the opinions of individuals who happen to be Objectivists (which isn't that bad!).

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To paraphrase Miss Rand: if you want to help starving children or, for that matter, anyone else -- if this is what YOU want to do -- then YOU are free to do so. What YOU are not free to do is to compel me, with the threat of government force, to help those starving children, etc., as well. Irrespective of how high-minded its objectives may sound, Government foreign aid necessarily entails the initiation of force or the threat of it against an otherwise law-abiding citizen. It is, therefore, an entirely immoral betrayal of Government's legitimate function.

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To paraphrase Miss Rand: if you want to help starving children or, for that matter, anyone else -- if this is what YOU want to do -- then YOU are free to do so. What YOU are not free to do is to compel me, with the threat of government force, to help those starving children, etc., as well. Irrespective of how high-minded its objectives may sound, Government foreign aid necessarily entails the initiation of force or the threat of it against an otherwise law-abiding citizen. It is, therefore, an entirely immoral betrayal of Government's legitimate function.

Therefore, I must deem this charity to be wrong. I am not choosing to throw my money into the hell hole known as Africa. The government is taking my money (all of our money) and is then choosing where it wants to give it as charity. These African nations are not necessary even deserving. If anything this money being spend on these nations should be put on the chopping block and labeled "spending cuts." I don't understand why America has to feed the world and everyone else gets to criticize us for our debt. If you ask me this is all poor economic and political policy on part of the American government.

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Therefore, I must deem this charity to be wrong. I am not choosing to throw my money into the hell hole known as Africa. The government is taking my money (all of our money) and is then choosing where it wants to give it as charity. These African nations are not necessary even deserving. If anything this money being spend on these nations should be put on the chopping block and labeled "spending cuts." I don't understand why America has to feed the world and everyone else gets to criticize us for our debt. If you ask me this is all poor economic and political policy on part of the American government.

Check your definitions. Charity is the voluntary, rational choice by an individual to help another person; it is an act of genuine benevolence. Conversely, a government's forceful expropriation of funds and/or materiel from one individual and transfer of same to itself or to another individual is not charity; it is theft, "legalized" to be sure but theft all the same.

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Therefore, I must deem this charity to be wrong. I am not choosing to throw my money into the hell hole known as Africa. The government is taking my money (all of our money) and is then choosing where it wants to give it as charity. These African nations are not necessary even deserving. If anything this money being spend on these nations should be put on the chopping block and labeled "spending cuts." I don't understand why America has to feed the world and everyone else gets to criticize us for our debt. If you ask me this is all poor economic and political policy on part of the American government.

Check your definitions. Charity is the voluntary, rational choice by an individual to help another person; it is an act of genuine benevolence. Conversely, a government's forceful expropriation of funds and/or materiel from one individual and transfer of same to itself or to another individual is not charity; it is theft, "legalized" to be sure but theft all the same.

You make an incredibly valuable point. It has been called charity by Government officials so often that it has become second nature to use their terminology. It is theft and it is morally wrong.

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