16. Aid for Poor, Undeveloped Countries

Macro-Scale Economic Stimulus Package

Advanced, industrialized and developed countries (esp. the US and European Union because of their big markets) should either individually or as part of a group of nations, attempt to create a temporary (20-50 years, perhaps longer) economic trade structure (tariffs) biased to benefit one or a few undeveloped/poor countries that agree to abide by certain principles and rules concerning important aspects of democracy, human rights, law enforcement, economic policy, anti-corruption, etc. Only countries that agree to abide by such important principles should be chosen (adopted) to participate in such programs, otherwise the effort would be largely wasted. Adoption periods would vary with each case, but they should last on the order of decades, with maybe 100 years being an upper limit.

One way (perhaps the best way) developed countries (esp. former colonizers) could help bring this about (simultaneously helping to rectify their past abuses) would be to institute temporary, but long-term trade tariff schedules with poorer countries so that trade goods from the developed/sponsoring countries entering the selected underdeveloped/poor country would be assessed the full tariffs, whereas trade going in the opposite direction would either be tariff-free or have reduced tariffs assessed. The spreads in these biased trade tariff schedules would gradually be reduced to zero at the end of the adoption period, at which time, it is hoped, the formerly poorer countries would have developed their economies and societies to the point where no further unfair economic benefits are needed to keep their economies stable and healthy.

The main goal of this proposal is to better the economic situation as well as other general social and civil aspects of the populations in these selected poorer countries so that domestic production in these countries are better able to compete globally, or at least not be hopelessly wiped out by super-efficient imports from more developed countries. The overall goals of this proposal are geared towards allowing poorer countries the time and economic cushion needed to educate their populations, develop the necessary infrastructures, learn and implement the appropriate means of production, and grow their economies in a healthy fashion in order to create sound, well-rounded, largely domestically supplied economies that would be able to permanently endure a normal integration into the global economic system.

This same principle could also be used to help political jurisdictions of any size and within any country recover more quickly from the effects of any man-made or natural disaster, as well.

Debt Payment Options for Countries

Countries holding foreign debts should be given the opportunity, with the creditor nation’s permission, to pay off some or all of those debts by agreeing to set aside lands, at market prices, for environmental preservation to various degrees. These governments should be encouraged to use this opportunity to preserve natural and historical sites and/or restrict and regulate industrial, commercial, and residential developments on them.

Creditors Required to Naturalize Some of Their Projects

A partial solution to Third World debt could be to require the creditors of projects (such as dams) with negative environmental and/or social impacts to pay for their ‘naturalization’ or the removal of those projects they had funded, and change the area back to how it was before that project was constructed. In addition, the creditor country should pay back to the poor country an amount equal to the amount the poor country agreed to take out as a loan to fund a project. In addition, all the interest charged on that loan since the year the loan was made should be paid back. The estimated positive and negative economic effect of a project should also be factored into the final payment amount.

Countries Assume Debts and Require Justification by Creditors

Another way indebted countries could lighten and even potentially eliminate their debt loads would be to have very respected, powerful, and influential countries like the United States, European countries, Japan, etc., assume part or all of the indebted countries’ debts and then hold hearings with all parties to the debt (creditor and debtor countries) inquiring about the nature and the details of the loans. If it is determined that the creditors made these loans while ignoring blatant warning signs related to whether the loans are justifiable given the lack of infrastructures to support productive economies, the lack of an educated population, a thoroughly corrupt leadership (often under military rule), etc., or if the projects that were advertised by the creditors were not really necessary, adequate, or feasible under the circumstances, or if an indebted country had a record of wasting money on projects the common people would likely never benefit from, all the while knowing that these same people and their future generations would bare the burden of repayment, with interest, then the original creditor country would be required to cancel all such loans it has made to that country. Since a third country bought the loan from the indebted country, they would be the people to whom it would need to be paid back (at current, inflation-adjusted, dollars). In addition, that original creditor country should be required to pay a multiple on such loans (perhaps 150%) in order to make the whole process worthwhile.

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