Emmett White: Remember little things that spread goodwill

  • jacoblund

Published: 7/18/2018 11:49:46 PM
Remember little things that spread goodwill

Although some find much that is discomforting or at fault with American society, it is sometimes valuable to take a step back and reflect on the tremendous material abundance that exists in most of our lives.

Things that are taken absolutely for granted did not always exist, and in many parts of the world clean water, vaccines or having enough food for the day are not guaranteed. While America contributes more total overseas aid than any other country, in per-capita terms it is significantly less than many European countries.

On average, people guess that about 25 percent of the United States budget goes to foreign aid, and would want to reduce it to a level of 10 percent. In reality, it is less than 1 percent.

While there are many purely humanitarian reasons for preserving the foreign aid budget, the large-scale removal of people from the ranks of the global poor also have massively increased the available markets for American goods, and decreased the likelihood of military intervention when fewer regions of the world are filled with desperate people. The three D’s of the Pentagon are defense, development, and diplomacy.

At a time of much partisan rancor, it is good to find issues that can be nonpartisan. It was Ronald Reagan, after all, who raised foreign aid output in the 1980s and ushered in the modern era of large-scale humanitarian assistance.

Even as other issues seem highly pressing, it is sometimes good to remember the little things that spread much goodwill in the world.

Emmett White

Northampton




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