Why aren’t we doing more to help global poverty? Americans tend to believe that 25 percent of the federal budget is dedicated to foreign aid. In reality, it is less than 1 percent. The United States is typically at the bottom of the list of wealthy countries in terms of how much money is given to foreign aid. Some may say that the money is better used elsewhere but ask yourself why we are spending $663 billion on military spending compared to the $30 billion that goes to programs that assist the world’s needy.
Helping reduce global poverty should be a moral obligation for a wealthy country to save millions of lives but if that hasn’t convinced you let’s consider the ways that investing in the world’s poor will come back to help the United States. The fewer people in poverty, the more consumers we will have and considering that one in five U.S. jobs are export-based, the more consumers there are the better. Additionally, if more money was given to poverty reduction, there would be less of a need for military spending. Poverty stricken countries are breeding grounds for terrorism and countless former U.S. soldiers, Generals, Secretary of Defense’s and Joint Chiefs of Staff agree that funding for foreign aid should be increased. Decreasing poverty also decreases overpopulation.
The higher the death rate in a region, the higher the birthrate and addressing poverty and keeping children alive dramatically decreases overpopulation. Understanding this simple knowledge is understanding the need for increased governmental support for poverty reduction.
Foreign aid should be thought of as an investment. The more we help, the more the United States gets back in return. The Global Fragility Act recently passed in the House of Representatives and I would like to thank Representative Gerry Connolly for supporting this legislation. I urge him, Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine to continue to support increased funding for foreign aid and poverty reduction legislation. I encourage every constituent to contact their congressional leaders and ask for their support as well. A simple phone call can go a long way to helping those in need.
Allgaier is a third year student at Dickinson College.