By Dan Beaulieu
One thing is certain of Dr. Ron Paul, he is not a sound-bite candidate. That is, he often speaks over the heads of voters which causes a lack of understanding. It is in my personal opinion that Ron Paul cannot be understood in the 30 seconds allocated to him in debates. His ideas must be studied; however, once one does understand Dr. Paul, they often stick around.
For this reason I present to you my series:
Understanding Ron Paul
$25 billion per year in foreign aid seems like a drop in the bucket to our annual $2.7 trillion dollars national revenue, however, one should put into perspective that our budget is over $3 trillion per year and our national debt is over $15 trillion. A rational person understands that this is simply unsustainable, in its most basic math. However, this is the obvious argument and I don't find it necessary to dwell upon the obvious. I will, however, stay on the argument of economics for the time being as I feel we are missing something that should resonate with American’s and is consistently ignored. That argument is a rudimentary economics lesson written by William Graham Sumner, called the forgotten man.
The Forgotten Man Applied
As we all understand, the $25 billion dollars has to, at some point, come from the productive sector of society; the taxpayers, whom we will call group A. This money is then provided as financial aid to foreign bureaucrats to their benefit alone, we’ll call this party, group B. We, as a species, have a predilection for considering only what we can immediately see in front of us. We can see the charity of group A (albeit a forced charity) and we can see the benefits reaped by group B. However, no one stops to consider that what we cannot see, which is group C; the forgotten man.
Group C is the car manufacturer, the clothing maker, electronics manufacturer, the bread maker, the paper miller, the restaurant owner, the bookseller, the small businessman; the list goes on ad infinitum. Since our government took the money from group A and gave it to group B, group C was never realized. Essentially we are giving charity to the foreign group B at the loss of what group C would have had to offer. Let me stress the magnitude of productive loss and potential unemployment we suffer due to this forced “charity”.
Putting this into a perspective that we all can relate to, let us say that a $1 million a year company employs 75 people, some have more some have less. These 75 people have to care for 75 families, let’s assume families of 3 for this example. So this single $1 million dollar company directly affects 225 people’s lives. Now let’s extrapolate this figure to $25 billion. That’s roughly 1,875,000 workers who take care of a total 5,625,000 family members. Not all of these workers encounter job loss per say, but productivity loss eventually becomes job loss.
Since 1970 we have spent well over a trillion dollars on foreign aid (link). Irrefutably, this money never went to the forgotten man, denying hundreds of thousands of jobs; perhaps entire industries from ever coming into existance.
Immorality of Foreign Aid
Since this document is regarding Ron Paul's views, perhaps its said best in his own words. Please listen to this 8 minute chapter from Ron Paul's audiobook "Liberty Defined" for his personal view on foreign aid.
Back to Understanding Ron Paul Index