Why you shouldn’t use a Table of Contents

Too many people treat their speeches like term papers. Great recipe for putting your audience to sleep! In the odd case the you aren’t a sleep therapist and have to speak to people at some point in your life, you might want to read this post.

Don't like boring speeches? (Courtesy of Shilly Shallys World on Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Don’t give the punch line away

Your introduction is important. The first 30 seconds is when the audience decides whether to listen or tune you out. If they already know everything you’re saying, they’ll stop listening. If you reveal everything you’re going to say… well, would you listen for ten minutes when you already know everything in the first minutes?

Your speech is not a book. You don’t need a table of contents. Think of it this way: when was the last time you were deciding whether to read a book from the table of contents? Seriously; your introduction should look like the back cover of a book; not the table on page xii.

Don’t bury the lead

Anyone who knows anything about journalism knows this is key. Don’t bury your lead. Taking too long to get to the meat of the argument also puts your audience to sleep.

The trick is to give your audience just enough to want more. Use a good murder mystery as your guide. Good authors always give you just enough to ask questions (“whose the killer?” “who is going to find him?” “is the victim telling the truth?”) but not enough to guess the end. Sometimes it’s even useful to mislead the audience in order to bring to light and shatter some misconception they may have.

Make your audience ask questions - like it's a mystery. (Image from Gregory Wake - used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Say what you’re going to say, say it, and then say what you said.”

Probably the worst advice for a speech you want people to listen to. Definitely the most boring.

Still, can’t really blame those who give this advice. I mean, repetition is good. It’s the root of learning. Instead of saying the same thing over and over and over, come up with different example, application, and phraseologies. Keep hammering the same point, just use a different hammer. Say it a different way each time. (get my point?)

Don’t…

just take it from me. Go read Beth’s the three points of death.

This is a big ‘ol list of “don’ts.” To hear about the “dos” of making ideas interesting, my recommendation is Made To Stick by the Heath brothers.

Is Summer Rusting you Debate Skills?

What you need is a little lubricant. I know everyone has tons and tons of extra time on their hands this summer. (hehe… yes, I know… me too.) BUT without lubrication, your speaking skills will get rusty, so I recommend you devote a little time over your summer to make sure you’ve still got it. So, here are some of my tips:

1) Read Made to Stick

Made to Stick BookMy Debate Club has officially decided to make Dan and Chip Heath’s Made to Stick required curriculum for next year. I’d recommend using your summer to get a head start. Here’s the website: http://heathbrothers.com/madetostick Complete with the first chapter (for free) and a link to buy the book (not for free).
Made to Stick has to have been the most useful book to me in my entire debate career, and that includes books like Introduction to Argumentation and Debate, so it comes highly recommended.

2) Be your own judge

Sometimes, it’s had to get into your audience’s shoes and see your speeches from the judge’s perspective. Here’s my tip: grab an old video of you from last year’s competition, print off a ballot from http://ncfca.org and fill it out on your speech. Yes, you heard me right. Judge yourself.
This works especially for speeches, but you might also do it on one of your debate rounds.

3) Do Some Russian Reading

There may not be any assignments or any pressing cases, but you should still do a little reading over the summer. Specifically, you should focus on big picture information. Read up on Russia’s history or international relations philosophy. You probably shouldn’t bother cutting blocks or briefing just yet; work on having a strong foundational understanding.

For starters, head over to Wikipedia’s Russia article or go see what the Department of State has to say about Russia.
Oh, and if you learn how to say “please vote affirmative, judge” in Russian, you will get double coolness points from me. 😆

4) Drills

Here are three great drills you should do before every tournament. Summer may be the perfect time to get in the habit!

Warm up your face: sometimes in the morning, my face looks like its been botoxed. You want your face to look natural, so a few overdone facial gestures may be good. Grab a mirror and see what creative facial expressions you’re capable of. 🙂

Smooth Impromptu: It’s really hard to speak smooth as an ice cream sundae. Sometimes you want a thoughtful pause or a rephrase or two, but you want to be were you don’t HAVE to use any verbal crutches. Get a totally random topic and instead of focusing on content or structure, just focus on speaking smoothly. Every time you make a verbal slip (a stutter, an um, a “like”, etc.) start over from the beginning.

Practice Reading: Debate involves a very different type of reading. You need to read out loud with precision and interest. The single most important ingredient is to develop a “reading buffer,” so that you’re read words and comprehend meanings before you actually speak them. The best way to practice the “buffer” is to read something you’ve never read aloud as fast as possible.
Need something to read? Head over to wikipedia’s main page and read about something random like Leviathan Melvillei or Hugh Capet. Reading about stuff you don’t care about and can’t pronounce is great practice for debate! 😉

One last note: If you were preparing for football season, your coach might have you do push-ups. Why? You’re never going to do that in a game, right? Even so, a player who doesn’t do his push-up won’t be in shape for the season. Similarly, I want to encourage y’all to work up your debate “strength,” so to speak, even if it doesn’t seem like you’ll use these drills in a tournament.

Let me know if you try this out and what summer drills work well for you.

The Case that won Region IV 2009

Well, NCFCA Nationals is coming up, so I figured it was my duty to give every bit of advice I can to those moving on to this higher level of competition. Anyway… here’s the case that won finals at last year’s Region IV tournament.

A super extra lot of credit goes to my super awesome former debate partner Toni Maisano. Maybe she’ll share some of her wisdom with you on why this case worked as well as it did.

This was a long time in the making. If you’re interested, you can read an earlier version here. Maybe I’ll post a little later on why we made the changes we did. Three specific things I think were done well in this case (and made it interesting):
a) support: evidence; not solid quotes.
b) SHORT taglines.
c) stories.

Feel free to ask questions and let me know what you think.

Aff1.1 – FA006
Maisano/Morgan

Imagine that there’s a poor man on the side of the road. He informs you that he can’t feed his children and desperately needs money. You’re feeling generous, so you give him a hundred dollars, telling him to use it wisely. He assures you that he will, turns around, and takes off his brand new Porsche.

After investigating this strange character, you learn that only 5 out of the 100 dollars you gave him actually went to feeding his family. You also, to your dismay, discover that he owns shares in the mortgage on your home. Now, knowing just how apparently irresponsible your last decision was, I have to pose the question: The next time you go past his corner, will you give him another 100 dollars? Or will you take that money and use it toward paying that mortgage you owe that strange “poor” man?

The way our government hands out aid to India is very similar to this analogy, and it is why we must affirm: That the United States Federal Government should significantly change its policy toward India. Today we will be showing you the similarities, and presenting a plan to phase out our irresponsible program to aid India.

But before we can do this, we need to make sure we’re on the same page in:

1) Definitions

Sources and further definitions are available upon request. Here are a couple to get us started:

United States-“country North America bordering on Atlantic, Pacific, & Arctic oceans; a federal republic”

(“United States of America.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/United States of America )

Significantly-“Having or likely to have a major effect; important”

(American Heritage Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/significantly)

Change-“to undergo a modification of ”

(Merriam-Webster Online Dict. 2008, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change)

Policy-As foreign policy consists of ‘decisions and actions which involve to some appreciable extent relations between one state and others’, it can be defined as ‘the actions of a state toward the external environment and the conditions under which these actions formulated’.

(Prof. Mustafa Aydin (professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Political Science, Ankara University, Turkey; as well as at the National Security Academy, Ankara, Turkey; was Research Fellow at the Center for Political Studies, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor) 2006, “Turkish Foreign Policy at the End of the Cold War; Roots and Dynamics”, Turkish Yearbook of International Relations, http://www.politics.ankara.edu.tr/dosyalar/MMTY/36 /1_mustafa_aydin.pdf)

Toward-“With regard to; in relation to”

(American Heritage Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/toward)

India-“A country of southern Asia covering most of the Indian subcontinent.”

(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/India)

Foreign Aid-“assistance (as economic aid) provided by one nation to another”

(Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foreign%20aid)

In this case, we will be focusing on one goal. That’s the second point we want to make:

2) Goal: Responsibility

So, in this round, we would encourage you to look at our policy on foreign aid and see if it is truly responsible. We want to start by showing you two reasons that foreign aid is not a responsible policy in:

3) Harms

This case specifically addressed economic aid, both in cash and in kind. According to the Congressional Research Service, we are sending India $74.1 Million annually.

How is this money being uses irresponsibly? Our two harms are debt and waste.

Thomas Lum (Specialist in Asian Affairs Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division). “U.S. Foreign Aid to East and South Asia: Selected Recipients.” October 8, 2008. Congressional Research Service, RL31362. http://opencrs.com/document/RL31362

a) Debt

Interestingly enough, the Department of the treasury reported that while giving India foreign aid, we also owed them about $38.2 Billion in Treasury Securities.

Department of the Treasury/Federal Reserve Board. May 15, 2009. “Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities” http://www.ustreas.gov/tic/mfh.txt

In other words, we’re donating to our creditor. Our children are the ones who will have to pay for it. This is anything but a responsible policy, especially when you consider that much of our foreign aid has been wasted in India’s system.

b) Waste

A team of three Indian researchers decided to see what kind of effect foreign aid had on their government. They used a computer generated model to predict government spending with and without aid, comparing it to real data. Their conclusion was published in the:

Vinaya Swaroop (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India), Shikha Jha (Ph.D. in economics, Development Research Group, World Bank), and Andrew Sunil Rajkumar (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India).
September 2000.
“Fiscal effects of foreign aid in a federal system of governance The case of India.” Journal of Public Economics 77.3 (2000): 307-330. Accessed via ScienceDirect.

Concluding:
“This paper models fiscal effects of foreign aid in a federal system of governance. Our main innovation is to incorporate the inter-governmental fiscal link in examining economic fungibility of foreign aid. The model is applied to the expenditure decisions of the central government of India. The two main findings are: (i) Foreign aid merely substitutes for spending that the government would have undertaken anyway; funds freed by aid are spent on non-development activities, and (ii) In passing earmarked external assistance to states, the central government makes a reduction in its transfers to states. These findings indicate that the central government’s expenditure choices are unaffected by external assistance. The implication for donors is that even though their development projects may be associated with very high rates of economic return, they could be assisting the central government in financing something very different at the margin. For the state governments, the finding indicates that they may not be reaping the full benefits of externally procured assistance.”

Non-development activities. So, major studies have shown that foreign aid doesn’t help India build roads or feed the poor; those projects have been done anyway. In fact,

The Financial Times.
January
23 2008.
“Western donors wrestle with the contradictions of rising India.” By Jo Johnson (B.A., M.B.A., Financial Times’ South Asia bureau chief). http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3470229c-c9db-11dc-b5dc-000077b07658.html

India does little to solicit aid and, sometimes, much to deter it. Ahead of Mr Brown’s visit, Rahul Gandhi, a senior Congress party politician, hinted at the extent of corruption, claiming that only 5 per cent of development funds reached their intended recipients, down from 15 per cent when his father was prime minister.
“His warning coincided with the release by the World Bank of a report that found “systemic fraud and corruption” in a flagship health programme and “suggested that other projects had been similarly compromised”. The bank in the year to June 2007 provided $3.7bn in new loans to India, its largest borrower.”

95 percent of aid somehow gets sidetracked. It gets spent on “non-development:” activities that are nice, but don’t actually help people. Well, like what? For example, while millions are going hungry, India is working on a two billion dollar space program.

The Guardian.
22 October 2008.
“Over-reaching for the stars” by Randeep Ramesh (the Guardian’s south Asia correspondent). http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/22/india-spaceexploration

Summarized it well:
“But with precocity can come a hubris that is hard to shake off in later life. Perhaps the country would do well to direct some of its remarkable talents to the more obvious, acute problems it faces on earth, rather than inventing reasons to reach for the stars.”

Our funding allows them to gloss over their people and keep their head in the clouds.

That man with a Porsche can feed his children, he’d just rather let others do it. India is the same way. A very similar analogy is used by

Professor Deepak Lal (D.Phil., M.A., B.A., Professor of International Development Studies, University of California, LA, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy, University College London, former consultant to the Indian Planning Commission, Economic Advisor and Research Administrator to the World Bank, adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute).
April 6, 2006.
“Reply to Easterly: There is No Fix for Aid.” CATO Unbound. http://www.cato-unbound.org/2006/04/06/deepak-lal/there-is-no-fix-for-aid/

He adds: “[Professor William] Easterly clearly thinks that there might still be some form of escape from what will appear to the world’s great and the good as a defeatist and gloomy conclusion. But the very example he cites—the role played by accountability and evaluation in the Mexican Progressa education program as a prototype for future aid projects—shows up why foreign aid is unnecessary for such programs. This was a Mexican program not funded by foreign aid. In fact in all the currently fashionable “soft” areas—health, education, democracy, gender etc.—favored by aid donors, there is no need for foreign money. Countries which subscribe to the worthy objectives of the aid donors do not need foreign money to do the right thing; they today have enough domestic money for these purposes. It is the ineffectiveness of this expenditure in meeting these objectives that leads to the observed dismal outcomes. Thus India spends a fair amount on public education but as official report after report has documented, this expenditure is wasted as the teachers do not turn up to teach, the school buildings are not built, and there are no books for which expenditure has been sanctioned. It is the will to do the right thing that remains in question in achieving even these modest objectives favored by Easterly. Foreign aid will make no difference, for as the adage has it: “You can lead a horse to the water but you cannot make him drink”.”

As Lal advocates, we will next propose a plan that will address these two harms by phasing out this wasteful program and using the money to pay off our debt.

4) Plan

Our plan is really pretty simple. Here’s the specifics:

the Agency and Enforcement: of this plan is the Federal Government of the United States. There are two mandates that this agency will implement:

Mandate 1: Phase Out. Current government non-military aid sent to the India will be phased out. Discretionary funds shall be terminated, contracts shall not be renewed, and no new commitments shall be made. According to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) service, this currently includes CSH (Child Survival and Health), DA (Development Assistance), and P.L. 480 Title II Grants (In-kind food aid).

Mandate 2: Funds Redirected. Funds freed shall be redirected to pay off Indian Securities.

Next, the Timeline: This plan will be phased in as possible over the next two fiscal years.

Finally, we reserve the right to clarify this plan as needed.

The fifth and final observation of this case is how this plan pays off and restores responsibility:

5) Advantages

a) Exponential Savings

See debt doesn’t just increase at a constant rate. It is also accumulating interest, so it grows exponentially, a lot like cancer. Consequently, we are able to save exponentially by paying it off. So, starting with just $ 74.1 Million,
-In 10 years, we will not save $ 741 Million, we’ll save almost a billion dollars.
-And in 20 years, we won’t save $ 1.4 Billion, with interest we’ll save 2.5 Billion.
Formula Used:
At=(At-1+P)e^r
Where A is the amount after t years, P is the principle (74.1 Million), r is the interest rate (estimated to be 5% for the purposes of this calculation), and e is an irrational mathematical constant approximately equal to 2.71828…

The longer we save, the more we save. So now is the time to start making this long term investment. But there is anther reason to adopt this plan.

b) Responsibility

This policy is not only frugal on our part, but also promotes responsible policy on all sides. Let’s look at history to illustrate this point. In 1998, India tested nuclear weapons and, in response, the United States cut off foreign aid. So, did people die? Was the Indian economy thrown into turmoil? Interestedly enough, the exact opposite happened. At the time, an article was published in:

The Lancet (Leading Medical Journal, established 1828, currently ranked number two in general medicine).
June 13, 1998.
[Was entitled] “India to raise health spending to counteract foreign aid sanctions.” by Sanjay Kumar. The Lancet, Vol 351 (1998): p 1794. Accessed via ScienceDirect.

“Defying the sanctions placed on the Indian economy in the wake of nuclear test explosions, the BJP[Hindu nationalist]-led government has proposed large budget increases for health care, education, and public welfare. The central health and family welfare budget for 1998–99, now being debated in parliament, is proposed to increase by 34% above last year’s allocation. The education spending would rise by 50% and welfare by 91%.”

So, when we stopped funding irresponsible politics, India released that they really did have money for healthcare. Looking back, the CATO Institute points out that this historical president shows that:

CATO Institute.
Cato Handbook for Policymakers. 7th Edition (2009). Ch 63. “Foreign Aid and Economic Development.” pg 660. http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb111/hb111-63.pdf

Far more effective at promoting market reforms is the suspension or elimination of aid. Although USAID lists South Korea and Taiwan as success stories of U.S. economic assistance, those countries began to take off economically only after massive U.S. aid was cut off. As even the World Bank has conceded, ‘‘Reform is more likely to be preceded by a decline in aid than an increase in aid.’’ When India faced Western sanctions in 1998 in response to nuclear tests there, the International Herald Tribune reported that ‘‘India approved at least 50 foreign-investment projects to compensate for the loss of aid from Japan and the United States’’ and that it would take additional measures to attract capitalIn the end, the countries that have done the most to reform economically have made changes despite foreign aid, not because of it.”

To recap this case, you could just use one sentence. We don’t have the money for a wasteful program when there are valid alternatives to it. History shows that when we stop propping up their irresponsibility, India will rise to the challenge. Similarly, Americans can donate to worthy causes through effective charities, who aren’t in the same financial predicament as our government. It is the time to do the responsible thing.

So we urge you to vote affirmative. Thank you.

Debate: 1AC

Hello everyone,

The big reason this blog has been incredibly… boring is because I’ve been too occupied with speech and debate to post here. Sorry. So I decided to post my 1AC so everyone could see what’s going on.

Note to everyone who is competing in NCFCA and still reading: Yes, this is the complete case flow for Maisano/Morgan from Texas (R4). If you continue to read it, I’m going to make a simple request. I understand that I can’t enforce this, but I’m trusting in your conscience. 🙂 So, if you read this, please post your feedback. You are welcome to use the evidence we’ve dug up here, but the same principle applies. Post your evidence against it.

So, in a word, if you are going to use this, please return the favor and post any information you may have that will help us improve. Everyone hates free-riders, right?

As a side note, you can check out my marvelous partner’s blog at: Toni’s Thoughts.

Americans are among the most generous people in the world. That policy should not change. But the United States federal government should significantly change its policy toward India, because our current irresponsible foreign aid policy endangers our future.

Today we will examine the long term consequences of the government’s policy of shipping foreign aid to India. But first we need to make sure we’re on the same page by providing a couple definitions in:

1. Definitions

Sources and further definitions are available upon request. Here are a couple to get us started:

United States-country North America bordering on Atlantic, Pacific, & Arctic oceans; a federal republic
(“United States of America.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/United States of America )
Significantly-“Having or likely to have a major effect; important”

Change-“to undergo a modification of “

(Merriam-Webster Online Dict. 2008, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change)

Policy-As foreign policy consists of ‘decisions and actions which involve to some appreciable extent relations between one state and others’, it can be defined as ‘the actions of a state toward the external environment and the conditions under which these actions formulated’.

(Prof. Mustafa Aydın (professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Political Science, Ankara University, Turkey; as well as at the National Security Academy, Ankara, Turkey; was Research Fellow at the Center for Political Studies, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor) 2006, “Turkish Foreign Policy at the End of the Cold War; Roots and Dynamics”, Turkish Yearbook of International Relations, http://www.politics.ankara.edu.tr/dosyalar/MMTY/36 /1_mustafa_aydin.pdf)

Toward-“With regard to; in relation to”

(American Heritage Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/toward)

India-“A country of southern Asia covering most of the Indian subcontinent.”

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/India)

Foreign Aid-“assistance (as economic aid) provided by one nation to another
(Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foreign%20aid)

In this case, we will be focusing on one goal. That’s the second point we want to make:

2. Goal: Long-term Responsibility

So, in this round, we would encourage you to look at our policy on foreign aid and see if it is truly responsible, and if our plan can provide long-term benefits. But before we can look at the long term results, we need to see the current system’s trajectory in:

3. Status Quo

Our argument here is that our policy of shipping foreign aid to India is simply irresponsible. There are three points to be made abou
t foreign aid to India: We’re spending money we don’t have on a program that hasn’t worked when there are perfectly valid alternatives out there.

a) Debt

This case specifically addressed economic aid, both in cash and in kind. According to the most recent report from the Congressional Research Service, we are sending India $74.1 Million annually.

Thomas Lum (Specialist in Asian Affairs Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division). “U.S. Foreign Aid to East and South Asia: Selected Recipients.” October 8, 2008. Congressional Research Service, RL31362. http://opencrs.com/document/RL31362
Interestingly enough, the Department of the treasury reported that while giving India this money, we also owed them about $16.2 Billion in Treasury Securities.

United States. Department of the Treasury. Federal Reserve Board. “Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities.” January 16, 2009. http://www.treas.gov/tic/mfh.txt
In other words, we’re donating to our creditor. Our children are the ones who will have to pay for it This is anything but a responsible policy, especially when you consider that foreign aid has not produced long term results.

b) Ineffective

After pouring money into India and other countries since the end of World War II, we have quite a bit of evidence on it’s long-term consequences. For example a study in the:

Cristina Arellano (Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota), Aleš Bulíř (PhD. M.Sc., Associate Professor, Prague University of Economics), Timothy Lane (Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco), Leslie Lipschitz (Ph.D., Director of the International Monetary Fund Institute). “The dynamic implications of foreign aid and its variability.” Journal of Development Economics 88 (2009) 87–102. http://www.econ.umn.edu/~arellano/aidpaper.pdf

“The paper examines the effects of aid and its volatility on consumption, investment, and the structure of production in the context of an intertemporal two-sector general equilibrium model, calibrated using data for aid-dependent countries in Africa. A permanent flow of aid mainly finances consumption rather than investment—consistent with the historical failure of aid inflows to translate into sustained growth. Large aid flows are associated with higher real exchange rates and smaller tradable sectors because aid is a substitute for tradable consumption. Aid volatility results in substantial welfare losses, providing a motivation for recent discussions of aid architecture stressing the need for greater predictability of aid. These results are also consistent with evidence from cross-country regressions of manufactured exports, presented later in the paper.”

Consumption, not investment. In other words, short term gratification, not long term responsibility. What about India specifically? Well, according to:

The Financial Times.
January 23 2008.
“Western donors wrestle with the contradictions of rising India.” By Jo Johnson (B.A., M.B.A., Financial Times’ South Asia bureau chief). http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3470229c-c9db-11dc-b5dc-000077b07658.html

India does little to solicit aid and, sometimes, much to deter it. Ahead of Mr Brown’s visit, Rahul Gandhi, a senior Congress party politician, hinted at the extent of corruption, claiming that only 5 per cent of development funds reached their intended recipients, down from 15 per cent when his father was prime minister.
His warning coincided with the release by the World Bank of a report that found “systemic fraud and corruption” in a flagship health programme and “suggested that other projects had been similarly compromised”. The bank in the year to June 2007 provided $3.7bn in new loans to India, its largest borrower.”

Even officials in the Indian government admit that foreign aid is being lost in a quagmire of corruption. So your 74 Million becomes 3.7 Million. With such a low rate of return, one must ask: Was it really need in the first place?

c) Irrelevant

As Indian economist Joydeep Mukerji said in response to that story in the Financial Times.

Joydeep Mukherji. (B.A., M.A. in economics, former economic consultant to the Asian Development Bank, works with credit ratings in Asia and the Western Hemisphere).”India’s aid donors reluctant to admit their irrelevance.” Financial Times Letters, January 30 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0a0d5afc-ced5-11dc-877a-000077b07658.html

“Sir, Your article “Western donors wrestle with the contradictions of rising India” (January 24) implies that there is a contradiction between a booming India and the reality of mass poverty. The real contradiction is between aid donors who failed and their reluctance to acknowledge their irrelevance in an India that has finally learnt how to grow rapidly and reduce its massive poverty.”

The Federal Government’s foreign program is irrelevant because organizations on both sides of the ocean are more than capable of aiding India. The Index of Global Philanthropy 2008 shows that only about 12% of all American assistance comes through the government anyway.

The Index of Global Philanthropy 2008. Darrell Delamaide, Ed. Hudson Institute, Center for Global Prosperity, 2008. p 17-20. https://www.hudson.org/files/documents/2008%20Index%20-%20Low%20Res.pdf
So, because there are valid alternatives to US governmental spending that aren’t in such a financial predicament, there’s no reason to continue an Unfunded, Ineffective, Irrelevant program.

So it’s obviously not a responsible policy. But why is this so important? That’s the fourth observation:

4. Impacts

Our policy has three impacts. They are the impact to Us, to India, and to the Future.

a) Us: Wasted Resources

We can’t afford to loose 95% on any program. This kind of waste does not meet long-term responsibility.

b) India: Subsidizing Bureaucracy

Joydeep Mukherji. (B.A., M.A. in economics, former economic consultant to the Asian Development Bank, works with credit ratings in Asia and the Western Hemisphere).”India’s aid donors reluctant to admit their irrelevance.” Financial Times Letters, January 30 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0a0d5afc-ced5-11dc-877a-000077b07658.html
Since the second world war, India has received more foreign aid than any country in the world. The money subsidised the creation of a corrupt, parasitic bureaucracy following anti-market policies typically advocated by well-meaning donors. The economy stagnated for nearly 40 years, compared with the dynamism of east Asian countries that relied on themselves and on markets more than on foreign aid.”
So our policy actually makes Indians worse off by subsiding harmful bureaucratic tendencies.

c) Future: Swindle Futurity

We are swindling our future because this program is sponsored with deficit spending, money that is thrown to future generations – with interest.

Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. Lipscomb and Bergh, ed. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson 15. Memorial Edition. Washington, D.C., 1903-04. 23. http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1340.htm

“I sincerely believe… that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

That’s exactly what this policy does. It swindles our future.

If we are financing a program that doesn’t help us, doesn’t help them, and doesn’t help the future, that program should obviously be stopped. That’s our plan. We intend to phase out this irresponsible policy of sending aid and replace it with a sound investment in:

5. Plan

Our plan is really pretty simple. Here’s the specifics:

the Agency and Enforcement: of this plan is the Federal Government of the United States. There are two mandates that this agency will carry out:

Mandate 1: Phase Out. Current government non-military aid sent to the India will be phased out. According to the Congressional Research service, this currently includes CSH (Child Survival and Health), DA (Development Assistance), P.L. 480 Title II Grants (In-kind food aid).

Mandate 2: Pay Debt. Funds freed shall be redirected to pay off Indian Securities.

Next, the Timeline: This plan will be phased in over the next two fiscal years, FY 2009 and 2010. Savings will begin in FY 2011.

Finally, we reserve the right to clarify this plan as needed.

6. Advantages

In short, we are allowing private charities to do what they do best, and establishing a solid foundation for our children’s future. There are two ways this plan pays off; you could think of it as M&M: Math and Morals.

a) Math: Exponential Savings

See, the aid we finance through debt doesn’t just increase at a constant rate. It is also accumulating interest, so it grows exponentially, a lot like cancer. So, starting with just $ 74.1 Million,
-In 10 years, we will not save $ 741 Million, we’ll save almost a billion dollars.
-And in 20 years, we won’t save $ 1.4 Billion, with interest we’ll save 2.5 Billion.

The longer we save, the more we save. So now is the time to start making this long term investment. But there are other reasons to adopt this plan.

b) Moral: Responsible Policy

This is more than just a frugal policy, it is also a responsible policy.
Iqbal Z. Quadir (B.A., M.A., M.B.A., founder and director of MIT‘s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, formerly taught at Harvard University, and founder of Grameenphone, the largest cellphone company in Bangladesh) “Foreign Aid and Bad Government.” Wall Street Journal. January 30, 2009. http://legatum.mit.edu/content-206
“In short, America should stop pouring billions into bureaucracies to buy short-term alliances and focus its efforts on bottom-up entrepreneurship. This would increase America’s popularity, alleviate poverty, and promote real democratic change in these developing countries.”

The government’s current policy with India is nothing short of using our children’s money to pay other countries for stuff they don’t do. It not a responsible policy, and it turns out that it is not a necessary policy. So I urge you to do the responsible thing and affirm the resolution.