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Why are we preserving foreign aid when we're so in debt? watch

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    (Original post by doggyfizzel)
    I'm just pointing out your example was poor. Had you given the same example last month (Jan publication), by your measurement we wouldn't be running a deficit at all.
    Well I disagree, so there you go.

    January would have been an even better example thinking about, it would show how you can run a surplus but still increase national debt, so thanks for helping

    Also when quoting figures make sure you actually get them right, the 2012 budget deficit was not 120 bn, it was 90bn... 120 bn is how much national debt is currently increasing (which is not the same as the deficit figure as it takes into account not only yearly deficit/surplus but also interest on current debt) I'm sure you knew that though

    Off for lunch now, and seeing as it's a half day in the civil service I'll let you enjoy a 4 day silence from myself. OP I hope some of this was helpful for you.
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    (Original post by 321zero)
    I can't really discuss economics with you as I only study politics and my economics knowledge is limited to say the least, however, Taiwan used protectionism and that has done wonders there? As I say though, the bankers themselves don't know what to do, never mind myself.
    The problem is say the US imposed a tariff which encouraged US based manufacturing. That does increase employment but it will also increase consumer prices due to increase costs being passed on.
    In Japan factories which previously made money through selling to the US are now being forced to shut. Japan decide to introduce retaliatory tariffs. US factories are now shut down due to the disappearing export market.
    Fundamentally there is the idea that increased competition and comparative advantage (different region can produces a good in a more efficient manner in a simplified form) drives down prices. Cutting the world up into national regions hurts those processes.

    Taiwan had US investment and support through an open export market.
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    (Original post by NW86)
    Well I disagree, so there you go.

    January would have been an even better example thinking about, it would show how you can run a surplus but still increase national debt, so thanks for helping

    Also when quoting figures make sure you actually get them right, the 2012 budget deficit was not 120 bn, it was 90bn... 120 bn is how much national debt is currently increasing (which is not the same as the deficit figure as it takes into account not only yearly deficit/surplus but also interest on current debt) I'm sure you knew that though

    Off for lunch now, and seeing as it's a half day in the civil service I'll let you enjoy a 4 day silence from myself. OP I hope some of this was helpful for you.
    Well again I disagree.

    A surplus by its definition is you covering all liabilities and still having money to spend. If you ran a surplus, you would cover all spending, and all interest payments. Where exactly would this increase in debt come from?

    Its being measured at years end, how else could you do so without having to make spending or growth predictions? Why on would you not include the cost of servicing your debt in the figure, its part of your yearly spend.
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    'Why are we....", "Why don't we.."

    You and I don't have a choice in the matter. So don't suggest we are anything to do with handing out money we sorely need here.
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    Sorry all, don't mean to spam the thread with links, but below is an interesting animation called 'The Collapse of the American Dream explained'. It's a little silly but I'd argue it is educational, especially if you've not studied economics at school/uni and IMO is well worth your time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&fe...&v=mII9NZ8MMVM
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    (Original post by Gwilym101)
    The UK government spent £683 billion pounds in 2012.

    Foreign spending accounted for £8.5 billion.

    Foreign aid accounts for 1.2% of our our expeniture getting rid of it may make a small dent in the deficit but wouldn't come close to make a dent in the debt.

    Plus for the money we spend some of the people who need help can get it. We can't solve all the worlds problems on our own but we can help.

    It really baffles me why people get so worked up about foreign aid, when it is such a small part of our expenditure.
    Not to mention that quite a large percentage of it comes straight back to UK companies, as they include a lot of things under the heading 'aid' that are actually contracts to build things abroad, paid to British suppliers, or even things like support for the armed forces of some countries. Aid is a strange game, don't believe the headline figures. When Cameron defends the aid budget, he is often as not talking about large private sector contracts held by big companies.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Not to mention that quite a large percentage of it comes straight back to UK companies, as they include a lot of things under the heading 'aid' that are actually contracts to build things abroad, paid to British suppliers, or even things like support for the armed forces of some countries. Aid is a strange game, don't believe the headline figures. When Cameron defends the aid budget, he is often as not talking about large private sector contracts held by big companies.
    Don't be so cynical! I feel a bit sorry for Cameron here; it's a 'damned if he does, damned if he doesn't' scenario.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Life and welfare is more important than money - money is only a means to these things.
    So... is it moral to steal money from people (because that's what taxation plainly is) and give it to other people, purely for the sake of redistribution of wealth?

    If people feel the way you do, wouldn't they give that money to charity of their own accord?

    What I'm really asking is do you think a 'moral' or 'just' end justifies a dubious means?
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    (Original post by FrogInABog)
    Don't be so cynical! I feel a bit sorry for Cameron here; it's a 'damned if he does, damned if he doesn't' scenario.
    It isn't cynical at all, Cameron has made it a feature of his Premiership to attempt to sell weapons to other countries whenever possible. His first response to the crises in both Libya and Syria was to depart on arms-sales tours in the Middle East and elsewhere.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    So... is it moral to steal money from people (because that's what taxation plainly is) and give it to other people, purely for the sake of redistribution of wealth?

    If people feel the way you do, wouldn't they give that money to charity of their own accord?

    What I'm really asking is do you think a 'moral' or 'just' end justifies a dubious means?
    That is ironic, because the UK is one of the most charitable countries in Europe. You know all those people at tube stations collecting, in other countries people would laugh at them. Comic relief and other TV programmes make a lot more money than in Germany even, who has a bigger population.
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    (Original post by danny111)
    That is ironic, because the UK is one of the most charitable countries in Europe. You know all those people at tube stations collecting, in other countries people would laugh at them. Comic relief and other TV programmes make a lot more money than in Germany even, who has a bigger population.
    That's my whole point. If people are charitable on their own, why do people feel the need to take their money by force through taxation? If they weren't taxed quite so heavily, wouldn't charities get even more money?
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    That's my whole point. If people are charitable on their own, why do people feel the need to take their money by force through taxation? If they weren't taxed quite so heavily, wouldn't charities get even more money?
    Well to reduce taxation they'd be bigger targets than the aid budget.

    I'd rather some money was going toward helping prevent absolute poverty in parts of the world rather than relative poverty in the UK. Its currently defined in the UK as 60% of median income which is just an insane method.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    That's my whole point. If people are charitable on their own, why do people feel the need to take their money by force through taxation? If they weren't taxed quite so heavily, wouldn't charities get even more money?
    Some interventions require a lot of money, say building infrastructure or rolling out vaccinations. A charity can't go out and fundraise saying "we need £100m, we have nothing to show as of yet for the £50m we've raised". So government intervention is needed in these cases, if we want them to happen.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    1. There is actually no reason to reduce the debt, it is an ideology wheeled out to defend the indefensible like welfare cuts and attrition of workers' rights.
    2. We give foreign aid as a bribe to dictators so they will give us more of their oil or allow our companies to set up in their countries to exploit their workers, resources and lack of regulation.
    The first point is ludicrous-Look what happened to Greece!

    Your 2nd point is interesting-in some cases that might even be true!
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    So... is it moral to steal money from people (because that's what taxation plainly is) and give it to other people, purely for the sake of redistribution of wealth?

    If people feel the way you do, wouldn't they give that money to charity of their own accord?

    What I'm really asking is do you think a 'moral' or 'just' end justifies a dubious means?
    I don't believe the right to property is an inherent one - it is merely that we collectively agree that we should respect it insofar as doing so is beneficial to society as a whole. Taxation is a part of that.

    Generally speaking, I don't believe that 'the ends justify the means'.
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    (Original post by mucgoo)
    Well to reduce taxation they'd be bigger targets than the aid budget.

    I'd rather some money was going toward helping prevent absolute poverty in parts of the world rather than relative poverty in the UK. Its currently defined in the UK as 60% of median income which is just an insane method.
    Sure... but what I'm really talking about is the method by which that money is raised.

    Why can't private charity be the answer? Why is taxation required for what would in a sense be 'enforced charity', which doesn't sound very charitable at all - after all, it's charitable to reach into your own pocket to help out someone in a time of need - but it's not so compassionate to reach into someone else's pocket.
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    (Original post by miser)
    I don't believe the right to property is an inherent one - it is merely that we collectively agree that we should respect it insofar as doing so is beneficial to society as a whole. Taxation is a part of that.

    Generally speaking, I don't believe that 'the ends justify the means'.
    So... do you not believe in private property at all, or merely a limited form of it? Just curious.

    And as to the idea that 'we collectively agree that we should respect it insofar as doing so is beneficial to society as a whole'; firstly, who decides what is beneficial to society as a whole? Secondly, if you don't generally agree with the idea that the end justifies the means, why do you think that it's appropriate, moral, acceptable etc to deprive one man of something involunarily so that another might have something he would not have otherwise?
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    That's my whole point. If people are charitable on their own, why do people feel the need to take their money by force through taxation? If they weren't taxed quite so heavily, wouldn't charities get even more money?
    No. Look at the US. They do a lot more work for those less well off through "charity", and yet the European welfare system is a lot, lot better.
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    (Original post by NW86)
    I was merely trying to help someone who didn't have much understanding to begin with
    And I now understand. Kind of.
    However after this crash course in economics I can safely say I will stick to my science. :P A career change won't be on the cards. xD


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    (Original post by danny111)
    No. Look at the US. They do a lot more work for those less well off through "charity", and yet the European welfare system is a lot, lot better.
    Better in what sense?

    At any rate, I don't think that's really addressing what I'm saying; I'm asking why people think it's moral to rob Peter to pay Paul.

    Is Paul made better off by being given more money? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I'm willing to assume for the sake of argument that he is; but what of Peter?
 
 
 
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