It’s hardly surprising that despite all the non-stop political posturing around our Southern border by presidential candidates and others — not to mention the brain-dead comparisons to Nazis and the Holocaust — we hear little about real solutions to the immigration crisis.
What is suggested is usually that we should do something to improve conditions in Central America, specifically El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, the benighted lands from whence the constant migrant caravans are emanating. (Some are coming from Africa now, but the numbers are still small.). That way, it is reasoned, the families would want to stay home.
Good idea on the face of it, but the method being proposed — foreign aid — is almost always a failure. In fact, due to corruption and other non-politically correct factors, it’s very much the reverse. This isn’t original thinking on my part; it’s pretty well known. As Juliette Lyons wrote back in 2014:
…in African countries at least, and in Sub-Saharan Africa more particularly: home to the largest portion on the world’s “bottom million” in extreme poverty. Since the 1950s traditional development economics has been dominated by the idea that large donations is the solution to the savings gap in developing countries but evidence shows that large influxes of foreign aid can end up doing more harm than good.
An analysis of the economic growth in Asia over the past decades, which has received little foreign aid in comparison to Africa, is a good starting point. Reports from the World Bank show that out of the 700 million people who were pulled out of poverty between 1981 and 2010, 627 million of them were in China. That leaves us with 73 million throughout the rest of the world. In other words, 89.6% were from China, giving us a clear indication that foreign aid isn’t the answer.
In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Has this assistance improved the lives of Africans? No. In fact, across the continent, the recipients of this aid are not better off as a result of it, but worse—much worse.