Time Essay: The Downs and Ups of Foreign Aid

Everyone is familiar with the gasps and adjectives-stunning, walloping, whopping, staggering-usually inspired by a $5 billion price tag. Yet when President Carter pledged roughly that amount in additional military and economic aid over three years to help bring Israel and Egypt together, there were few immediate complaints. Most Americans seemed to agree with Senate Republican Leader Howard Baker's belief that the prospective aid would be a real bargain.

The episode should be instructive to a country that has long been beset with doubts about its overall foreign aid program. It is particularly ironic...

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