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

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    i think its because the economy is so unpredictable so its a way of making sure that if the UK was ever in a massive economical crisis then other countries could bail it out. Im not saying the poor countries where aid is given would help out because that wouldn't happen. But other wealthy countries are more likely to get involved if they see us helping ou the less fortunate.

    OR

    it might be because the government genuinely cares about giving aid to poort countries...ye right.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    So... do you not believe in private property at all, or merely a limited form of it? Just curious.
    I believe we ought to respect it so long as it is useful for us to as a society. I don't believe we have an implicit right to own property simply as a consequence of an individual's existence.

    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    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?
    The society decides. We do so through whatever means we have established - in our case it is democracy.

    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    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?
    I don't agree to it in all cases, as I recognise a distinction between taxation (which I agree with) and theft (which I don't agree with). We have implemented the principle that people have a right to own property, but we have also agreed that this is not a universal right, infinite in its extension. We allow that right to extend as far as respecting it is useful to society, i.e., for a private citizen to take from a private citizen for private gain it is theft, and this is not useful to society; for the public to take from the public for public gain, it is taxation, and this is useful to society.

    Because I do not believe that taxation is immoral, but I do believe that helping people, increasing public welfare, etc., is moral, it follows that I believe taxation with those goals is also moral.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    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.
    Just thank God he didn't invade anywhere like Blair did with Iraq
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    (Original post by Beckyweck)
    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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    Lool I'm a scientist/mathematician too but I like learning about economics and politics!
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    Im no expert in this, but judging by the comments, most likely reasons include 1)tiny proportion of expenditure compared to others and 2) gain friendship with other places
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    (Original post by a729)
    Just thank God he didn't invade anywhere like Blair did with Iraq
    He did - he sent planes and special forces to Libya. Next stop Syria!
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    (Original post by miser)
    I believe we ought to respect it so long as it is useful for us to as a society. I don't believe we have an implicit right to own property simply as a consequence of an individual's existence.


    The society decides. We do so through whatever means we have established - in our case it is democracy.


    I don't agree to it in all cases, as I recognise a distinction between taxation (which I agree with) and theft (which I don't agree with). We have implemented the principle that people have a right to own property, but we have also agreed that this is not a universal right, infinite in its extension. We allow that right to extend as far as respecting it is useful to society, i.e., for a private citizen to take from a private citizen for private gain it is theft, and this is not useful to society; for the public to take from the public for public gain, it is taxation, and this is useful to society.

    Because I do not believe that taxation is immoral, but I do believe that helping people, increasing public welfare, etc., is moral, it follows that I believe taxation with those goals is also moral.
    I'm afraid I disagree with your first point, and as such the latter don't follow for me.

    I'm also not terribly fond of the idea of my life, or that of anyone else being thought of as some sort of common property; I would never ask another man to live for me. I think that people are ends in themselves, not a means by which to improve the general welfare. It probably won't be surprising therefore that I'm not terribly enamoured with democracy in the sense we currently have it; I believe in very limited governments with enumerated powers only, with the responsibility of providing police, courts, national defense and preventing negative externalities. The idea that a majority of people can take rights from people (or as you seem to see it, give rights to other people) in a minority doesn't appeal to me; and the smallest minority of all is the individual. I suppose I'm a natural rights type, but not in the sense I think rights are god-given; rather that they arise from our existence as rational, intelligent beings with our own desires, talents, abilities and thoughts - which I believe people should be free to pursue unless they actually harm someone else. If their activities are charitable, that is a matter for them: if they wish to improve the general welfare, I wish them well - but I don't believe anyone owes a duty to the world at large to improve the human condition. So long as they do not kill, rob, assault, defraud, or otherwise infringe upon the natural rights of others, they are acting morally, in my view.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    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?
    You are a very selfish person.
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    (Original post by danny111)
    You are a very selfish person.
    And you're not?

    It's very easy to call other people selfish - but rather hard apparently to recognise yourself as pursuing your own rational self-interest.

    Unless you claim to live some sort of saintly life, I think you'll find you're 'selfish' in the ordinary sense of the word too.

    What's wrong with pursuing your own happiness?

    Now, you didn't ask, and as such I assume you didn't realise, but I actually do give money to charity regularly. I don't claim that doesn't make me selfish - of course I am - but then, so is everyone. But I'm not beyond helping other people - I just think I should be free to choose who I help, how I help them, when I help them and to what extent I help them. I would probably give more if I could afford to - but my point remains that I should be free to choose, and that there is nothing moral about 'compelled charity' - that is oxymoronic.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    And you're not?

    It's very easy to call other people selfish - but rather hard apparently to recognise yourself as pursuing your own rational self-interest.

    Unless you claim to live some sort of saintly life, I think you'll find you're 'selfish' in the ordinary sense of the word too.

    What's wrong with pursuing your own happiness?

    Now, you didn't ask, and as such I assume you didn't realise, but I actually do give money to charity regularly. I don't claim that doesn't make me selfish - of course I am - but then, so is everyone. But I'm not beyond helping other people - I just think I should be free to choose who I help, how I help them, when I help them and to what extent I help them. I would probably give more if I could afford to - but my point remains that I should be free to choose, and that there is nothing moral about 'compelled charity' - that is oxymoronic.
    No. I don't mind a certain level of taxation in order to provide for those less well-off.
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    (Original post by danny111)
    No. I don't mind a certain level of taxation in order to provide for those less well-off.
    So you don't believe people should be free to make their own choices about how, when and how much they help others?
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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.
    Agree with the second point. I am speaking as a foreigner because i truly do not think some countries majority even want our help but they have no say in what happens in their country. the kerry lugar bill in pakistan is one example. By the way, i think in today's time this argument applies more to america than this country
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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.
    ... why's that then? Do you think the government doesn't have to pay for things?
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    Because foreign aid is a load of bull. It doesn't make any difference to the wider populous of the countries it goes to. Plus, the money is paid back to the government via taxes from big western companies operating in the regions that the 'foreign aid' go to.

    The behavious of glencore in Zambia is a perfect example of this.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    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.
    I do agree with many libertarian principles as it seems you do from your "political compass" sig. However I think taxation is necessary to provide a basic (more basic than currently, as I said I'd rather it goes to more severe global issues) safety net and public goods such as healthcare for example. Look up the number of US bankruptcy caused by health costs each year. People just aren't nice enough for charity alone to work.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    So you don't believe people should be free to make their own choices about how, when and how much they help others?
    If everyone just looked out for themselves we might as well have anarchy.
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    (Original post by ForensicShoe)
    This (and it perhaps allows British companies to get their 'feet' in the door?)

    I do think our aid budget could be better used/proportioned. Why were we still sending money to India up until a year ago for example? :confused:
    You've got it
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    (Original post by Dmon1Unlimited)
    Im no expert in this, but judging by the comments, most likely reasons include 1)tiny proportion of expenditure compared to others and 2) gain friendship with other places
    And the moral argument.
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    (Original post by mucgoo)
    I do agree with many libertarian principles as it seems you do from your "political compass" sig. However I think taxation is necessary to provide a basic (more basic than currently, as I said I'd rather it goes to more severe global issues) safety net and public goods such as healthcare for example. Look up the number of US bankruptcy caused by health costs each year. People just aren't nice enough for charity alone to work.
    You do realise that the US government is bankrupt, don't you? They spend about $1tn annually on healthcare alone through Medicare and Medicaid; they, along with social security, are completely destroying the US economy.

    Also, I should probably point out that healthcare isn't a 'public good'; a public good, in the economic sense, has to be both non-rivalrous and non-excludable. Now, even if you accept the (dubious) argument that it's non-excludable on the basis that the population may be healthier on average and therefore everyone would benefit in some way, you certainly cannot make the case that it's non-rivalrous unless you believe that unlimited healthcare can be provided - which plainly isn't the case, because there's only a certain amount of hospital beds, of doctors, nurses, drugs etc that can go around - you can't provide every single person in the country with unlimited healthcare because the resources required are limited.

    In any case, you should take a look at this video, which briefly explains how much the US Government spends - and the outcome isn't so good for programs like Medicare and Medicaid.


    In 2011, medicare spending was $554.3 billion, and medicaid spending was $407.7 billion - it's rising all the time, and now the PPaACA passed, it's going to skyrocket.

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    The quantity of aid is minuscule compared to the amount of debt we have. Even so, many people seem to believe we are in a debt crisis. We are not.


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