I’ve written many times about foreign aid, and how it seems wrong for our country to give away billions overseas while many of our own citizens suffer.
As I’ve thought more about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that foreign aid is not only a bad policy, but that it is immoral at a very deep level.
Citizenship is supposed to mean something. And part of that meaning is the idea that our government exists to serve citizens. There is a reason our government is called the “Canadian government,” not the “foreign government,” or the “UN government.” The government – by definition – exists to serve Canadians.
When discussing foreign aid, we also need to consider the nature of taxation. The idea that “taxation is theft” is true at its core. If you don’t pay your taxes, you end up getting punished. While it is rare, it is possible for people to go to prison for not paying taxes. The ability to send people to prison depends upon a monopoly on force – a monopoly the government possesses. As a result, taxation is based upon force. It is also not voluntary. We don’t get to choose.
Therefore, behind taxation lies the threat of force and coercion.
Now, let’s put these two points together. The justification for forcing people pay to taxes is that the money goes towards serving them and their fellow citizens. While most of us hate paying taxes – justifiably so given how much of our money gets wasted – people generally accept taxes so long as they are helping Canadians.
As a result, helping “our fellow citizens” is literally the key moral justification for taxes: Canadians are forced to pay taxes so the Canadian government can help Canadians.
And here lies the moral problem with foreign aid: Foreign aid doesn’t help Canadian citizens.
Like all other government programs that operate within our country, foreign aid is paid for with tax dollars. Those tax dollars are paid by Canadians, and collected under the threat of force and coercion. Unlike other programs however, with foreign aid the money gets sent out of the country, instead of helping Canadians.
This breaks down whatever moral justification exists for taxation when used for foreign aid. Foreign aid explicitly means people are forced to give up their money without it benefiting either themselves or fellow citizens.
That is why foreign aid is immoral.
There is simply no justification for a federal government to take money from the people and then give it away around the world. It is not part of the reasonable function or duty of a national government to send money outside of the country.
Every dollar spent on foreign aid is money stolen from citizens. Here in Canada, where we have seniors living poverty, third-world conditions on many reserves, Veterans who are in need of support, and areas of significant poverty, there can be no doubt that we have people here who need help.
When money is spent on foreign aid, it can’t go towards fixing the problems in our own country. It is stolen from Canadians, and any potential benefit is stolen as well.
That is deeply immoral.
If people want to help other countries financially, they are perfectly free to donate their own money, or travel to another nation and help out.
But there is a huge difference between individuals and voluntary organizations making the choice to help foreign countries, and the government forcing Canadians to give up our hard-earned money so it can be sent to other nations.
The point I’m making is not politically correct. The establishment line is that anyone who opposes foreign aid is somehow lacking “compassion.” But where is the compassion from the elites for our own suffering citizens?
How can we justify giving billions to other countries when some reserves in our country lack running water and parts of Northern Canada have the highest suicide rates on Earth?
How can we accept giving money around the world when the Veterans who sacrificed for our freedom are left behind by the government that promised to support them?
How can we think it’s okay to leave our seniors living in poverty and ignore homeless Canadians, while billions of tax dollars flow out of Canada?
Our government owes compassion first and foremost to Canadian citizens. And that means all government resources must go towards serving the people who pay for that government in the first place.
Foreign aid is immoral, and it is time we stop giving taxpayers money away around the world. The Canadian government must serve Canada.