The Socialist

The Socialist 15 February 2017

March to save our NHS

The Socialist issue 936

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Foreign aid's not the problem - it's capitalist thieves

photo Neil Palmer (CIAT)/Creative Commons

photo Neil Palmer (CIAT)/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

Ross Saunders, Socialist Party Wales

Twenty-four times as much money is looted from poor countries in the global south than is sent in aid, according to financial transparency campaigners GFI.

The money sent out of poor countries outstrips money sent into them by an eye-watering $3 trillion.

Countries in the OECD, which includes most advanced capitalist economies, give $125 billion a year in aid to the rest of the world. In total, they send $1.3 trillion over their borders, when investments and other transfers are included.

But that figure is dwarfed by the $4.3 trillion sent back.

Debt

A hefty chunk of the cash is interest on debt, and goes straight to the big western banks. Many countries don't stand a chance of ever paying their original debts back. Reported profits for foreign investors make up another big slice.

But the majority - $13.4 trillion since 1980 - is profits smuggled illegally out of poor countries by big corporations and sent to tax havens, many of them based in British territories like the Virgin Islands.

Profiteering and tax avoidance by the super-rich in countries like Britain are part of the reason we don't have the money needed to fund public services. Public sector union PCS estimates Britain loses 120 billion of tax money every year. Exactly the same robbery by the rich keeps the poorest people on the planet poor.

Right-wing politicians and populists try to set ordinary working class and poor people from different countries against one another, with claims that foreign aid is the reason we don't have enough money to run our public services.

But in reality we share the same enemy: the tiny number of super-rich who exploit us all.

When the Panama papers scandal hit the headlines, Jeremy Corbyn said that British territories should be stopped from operating as tax havens. That's good, but unless we go further British companies will just find new methods of exploiting the poor around the world.

We should nationalise the biggest companies that dominate our economy to stop the greedy capitalists who run them now from ripping us all off. With socialist policies like that, a post-Brexit Britain would be far from isolated in the world.


In this issue


What we think

Council cuts can be fought - and they must be

Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels


Socialist Party news and analysis

March to save #OurNHS

Resist Trump and his rotten policies: why I'm walking out on 'Day X'

Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence

Thousands march to defend Glenfield heart centre

Save child refugees, fight the cuts

Prison deaths scandal

Super-rich subsidised


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: clear win for left at Podemos conference!

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria - towards unification

Izquierda Revolucionaria central committee meeting

French presidential election

France: police attack triggers protests

Yemen solidarity


Workplace news and analysis

United fightback needed as entire grade of rail worker is at stake

"Disgraceful" treatment of sacked EHRC workers

Vibrant Picturehouse pickets in continued living wage strike

Ultimatum as Deliveroo drivers down tools in Brighton

Solidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine's Day strike

PCS union pledges to fight Jobcentre job losses

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Anti-trade union laws used against 'Trees Action' protesters

Support floods in for the Cardiff no-cuts three

The Socialist: 20 years old and more important than ever

Toxic fracking could start in England in 2017

May Day greetings in the Socialist

New Socialist Party press


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

No, Trumpism is nothing like Leninism

Foreign aid's not the problem - it's capitalist thieves

Vivid visual account of the Paris Commune

The Socialist inbox


 

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15 February 2017