The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Wealthy Nations have an Obligation to Provide Developmental Assistance

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 841 times Debate No: 105298
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*Please forgive me for my English. This was copied from my LD case, and I wanted to see how it is. Other responses won't be as so.

This debate is truly based around 1 main question: Is developmental assistance beneficial? If it is, it is obvious we should provide it. But if it is not, and is actually a detriment to human welfare, we should clearly not give aid.

Contention 1: Developmental assistance doesn"t help the poor
Subpoint A: Foreign aid didn"t help the poor in the past, and increases problems
Deaton, 17

It sounds kind of crazy to say that foreign aid often hurts, rather than helps, poor people in poor countries. Yet much of the $135 billion spent on official aid in 2014 may not have ended up helping the poor. [Billions were wasted because of corruption]
the level of foreign aid into Africa soared through the 1980s and 1990s, African economies were doing worse than ever, The effect wasn't limited to Africa. Many economists were noticing that an influx of foreign aid did not seem to produce economic growth in countries In order to have the funding to run a country, a government needs to collect taxes from its people. Since the people ultimately hold the [power] they have a certain amount of control over their government. If leaders don't deliver the basic services they promise, the people have the power to cut them off. [In aid reliant countries, this isn"t the case, and they lack the balance between the government and the people] most governments depend on their people for taxes in order to run themselves and provide services to their people. Governments that get all their money from aid don"t have that at all, wealth from foreign aid can be a corrupting influence on weak governments, developmental assistance [has been] used to support despotic regimes including [those] in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia [and], Cambodia [With Rwanda and Cambodia having 2 of the worst genocides since the Holocaust. The genocide in Rwanda killed off a million in less than 3 months. During Pol Pot"s rule as Prime Minister of Cambodia, more than a fourth of the country was exterminated in less than 4 years.] the United States [often] gives aid " to support our strategic allies, our commercial interests or our moral or political beliefs, rather than [to help] the local people. For example the US gave aid to Ethiopia for decades under President Asres because he opposed Islamic fundamentalism Never mind that Asres was "one of the most repressive and autocratic dictators in Africa [Mauritania stopped receiving US aid when its government became too oppressive, but gained aid again when it became one of the few Arab nations to recognize Israel. Along with those are the many countries like Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, that the USSR and US tried to buy support from during the Cold War with developmental aid] What these countries need even more than money is effective governance, something that foreign aid can undermine, [Developmental assistance doesn"t help; rather than alleviate suffering and solving the problem, it increases it.]

Sub point B: DA doesn"t cause economic growth
Heritage Foundation 16

many economic studies find no correlation or even an inverse correlation between provision of development assistance and economic growth and development. studies by economists have shown repeatedly that there is no robust correlation between ODA and long-term, sustainable economic development: economic growth, job creation, and higher living standards. Foreign aid rarely generates sustained prosperity, and if it does achieve short-term success, it does so at a very high price.

Contention 2: Developmental assistance harms countries in the long term
Sub point A: DA causes dependency
Tirmizi 10
foreign aid creates dependency. Unlike loans, which need to be paid back, aid does not have any requirement for being repaid and thus is far less likely to be utilised efficiently. [On average, 10% of the African GDP is from Developmental Assistance] Even if it is used exactly as intended, it still allows the government to live beyond its means without consequences. Pakistan [for example]. has relied on foreign aid from almost the very beginning of its history [and]. As a result the government never faced enough fiscal pressure to fully tax the economy, [and] simply prints more money to pay its bills [when it doesn"t get enough aid] Even debt forgiveness is bad for the economy in the long run since it sends a signal to the government that borrowed money need not be repaid. then there are problems with the mechanism of aid delivery itself. Take, for example, food aid. [Many countries lack sufficient food, and wealthy nations give them food aid.] giving out free food, prices it at zero. [However, this [also] means that any farmer in the recipient country who may have been in a position to grow and sell food now has a competitor who sells their product at absolute zero, making it impossible for this local farmer to compete. [the farmer"s] entire commercial enterprise is rendered worthless. [The food industry is ruined, making the nation reliant on foreign aid to feed it"s civilians, meaning that the country is back to the problem of lacking sufficient food. ] In Tanzania [many] farmers simply stopped producing food because of the availability of free donated food. Aid, therefore, provides only temporary solutions to chronic problems while deepening the structural flaws that caused them in the first place.

In conclusion, in order for the affirmative to win the debate, they must prove that the benefits of developmental assistance outweigh the problems of corruption, dependency, a lack of economic growth, and the litany of other problems caused by it. If DA isn"t beneficial, we shouldn"t give it. That point is beyond obvious. Until the affirmative proves that this is the case, the negation has won on the onset. For this reasons, you must vote for the negation.


I apologize for starting off with rebuttals, but my opponent didn't specify that I couldn't do that!

Contention 1: My opponent only pointed out situations where foreign aid failed to develop a countries economy, but disregarded other situations where it was successful.

After world war two, much of Europe, Russia and Asia lay in ruin. Starvation and disease were major threats, and needed to be addressed quickly. The effort to redevelop these countries was just as big of a task as the war was itself. But out of the ruins of these decimated countries came two world powers (China, and Russia), three economic powerhouses, (Germany, Italy and Japan). If not for the efforts of the allied nations could Germany, Italy and Japan have been able to develop into the prosperous countries they are today? Fast foward more than thirty years to the war between Russia and Afghanistan. The United States invested alot of money to help the Muja hadine thwart the efforts of the Russians to seize control of the country, however after the success of the Afghan people, the United States did not help them redevelop their flattened country. Without the aid of the US, it was impossible for the people of Afghanistan to redevelop their economy on their own, and lawlessness and extremism reigned. The failure of the US to help redevelop Afghanistan caused a hostile Islamic tribe to seize control of the country and latter they embraced al-Qaeda and let them plan and carry out both attacks on the world trade center. Perhap, if the US had gone through with its obligation to redevelop the nation of Afghanistan we wouldn't have become enemies. I contend that not all foreign aid efforts are a failure, and I've pointed out one instance where lack of foreign aid was disastrous for the US.

Contention 2: What are the motives of these "economists"?

My opponent states that "Many economists were noticing that an influx of foreign aid did not seem to produce economic growth". Who were these economists, and what were their motives? Were they legitimate trusted economists, or were they radical right wing nuts who jump at any chance they can to undermine foreign aid policy? A little bit of clarification on the part of my opponent would be nice!

Contention 3: If corruption can be eliminated, perhaps foreign aid could be more effective.

My opponent pointed out many cases where corruption got in the way of effective developmental aid, but as I've pointed out, not all foreign aid efforts are failures. Perhaps if we have better oversite to help distribute aid without letting corruption get in the way of development, but not in a manner of intruding, we could find an effective balance that could lead to effective developmental aid.

Contention 4: Some of the cases my opponent pointed out were NOT cases of developmental foreign aid, but humanitarian or political aid!

I should point out that my opponent specified "DEVELOPMENTAL" aid, but in the case of Cambodia, the US and many other countries were sending food and medicine to refugee camps outside of Cambodia for humanitarian purposes, so the refugees of the Pol Pot regime wouldn't starve and die, that aid was not intended for developmental purposes. Also, the Reagan administration was sending military aid to the Khmer Rouge with the hope that they could drive the Vietnamese army out of Cambodia and maybe penetrate into Vietnam itself. That aid was most certainly not for the purpose of redevelopment. I think it's worth pointing out the difference between developmental aid and humanitarian or military aid! Admittedly, I'm not as familiar with any of the other cases my opponent pointed out, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of those cases were also humanitarian or military efforts and not developmental aid efforts.

Contention 5: Ebola

In 2013 an outbreak of ebola in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone caught the attention of the world health organization. Doctors without borders had been trying to tell the world that a horrific pandemic could be at hand if the world didn't help to better develop the medical infrastructure of these countries. The death rate was around 70% for the infected, and it had spread to neighboring countries and Spain, the UK and the US. If I were to say that the ebola virus could have killed off large portions of the global population, that would only be speculation, but if the virus had been allowed to spread freely, who knows what ebola could have done to our global community? This was an instance where foreign aid was critical not only for the affected countries, but for the whole world, because ebola could have affected every corner of the world!

I would like to thank my opponent for coming up with such an interesting topic, I wish him luck!

Debate Round No. 1
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Smooosh 2 years ago
I wish I knew more about this subject so I could accept the challenge, it seems very interesting!
Posted by Smooosh 2 years ago
I wish I knew more about this subject so I could accept the challenge, it seems very interesting!
Posted by JoshThurlbur 2 years ago

for the affirmative to win the debate, they must prove that the benefits of developmental assistance outweigh the problems it causes.

The burden is not on the affirmative side to prove anything. In a debate it is the burdan of both sides to present their evidence for why you should vote a pro/con ballot.
Posted by MiGatto 2 years ago
Ok, I would like to say first that your approach in your conclusion about saying how something is obvious demeans the judge in a way, and that nothing is ever "obvious" in every single person's eyes. I noticed this in the other debate you posted (still wealthy nations topic) in your first contention (definitely find a card for that instead of saying that it is obvious and that I will not argue further on it-you can email me if you need a card, even). So basically, just change the obvious, maybe find an exact card. :)
Posted by JoshThurlbur 2 years ago
I am not well studied in foreign aid, so my stance on this resolution remains neutral at the moment.
However this debate seems interesting, and I am excited to see what facts and reasoning come out of it.
Good luck to both sides.
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