The Million Dollar Vegan
The Million Dollar Vegan is famous for challenging “big names” to “go vegan” in exchange for $1 million in charity donations. However, the organization also aims to improve global health, feed the world’s hungry, reduce animal suffering and protect the planet for future generations. By promoting a vegan diet and raising awareness about the consequences of animal-sourced foods, the Million Dollar Vegan is providing a healthful and ethical solution to a global conundrum: hunger.

4 Ways the Million Dollar Vegan Reduces World Hunger

  1. The Million Dollar Vegan Promotes a Plant-based Lifestyle. The United Nations has reported that roughly “23% of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture livestock” and the resources necessary to farm them. Therefore, a worldwide transition away from meat and dairy is necessary in order to counteract the most deadly effects of changing weather and world hunger. According to Vegans Against World Hunger, global citizens slaughter about “60 billion land animals and [more than] a trillion marine animals” for human consumption each year. Yet, one in nine people worldwide does not have adequate food to subsist on while “one-third of the world’s grain” serves as a source of food for animals farmed for human consumption. Researchers at Lancaster University found that the world already produces more than enough food to solve global hunger, but only if people switch to plant-based diets. If the crops that feed farmed animals are instead distributed for human consumption, there would be enough food to provide each human on earth with 5,935 kilocalories per day — the average person only requires approximately 2,353 kilocalories per day.
  2. Involving Celebrities and High-Profile Individuals. The Million Dollar Vegan attracts major publicity to the issues regarding the environment and world hunger by challenging high-profile public figures to adopt a vegan diet for one month in exchange for a $1 million charity donation. Some of these figures include President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and Pope Francis. In addition, several well-known celebrities endorse the organization, including actress Alicia Silverstone, Grammy award-winning artist Mýa and actress Evanna Lynch. Generally speaking, celebrities and other public figures often have social followings that number in the millions and the emotions that celebrities ignite in their fans allow celebrities to sway opinions and raise awareness on crucial world issues, such as poverty, malnutrition, animal welfare, infectious diseases and environmental challenges. As an example, actress, author and vegan activist Alicia Silverstone publicly endorses the Million Dollar Vegan and has an Instagram following of 1.8 million.
  3. Providing Aid During COVID-19. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in October 2020, the Million Dollar Vegan partnered with organizations and charities to address the needs of at-risk communities by providing $100,000 in vegan food aid and supplies (such as hand sanitizers and masks) to nine nations as well as Ethiopia. The organization has extended this support to 23 countries in total, providing food aid to several developing countries such as Brazil and India as well as hard-hit communities in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and the United States. The Million Dollar Vegan commits to donating a minimum of 1 million plant-based meals by the close of 2022. As of November 2021, the organization has delivered 623,190 meals to global citizens facing the impacts of COVID-19, including the homeless, “underserved communities” and frontline workers.
  4. The Million Dollar Vegan Raises Awareness of the Transmission of Zoonotic Diseases. The organization educates the public on the link between consuming animals (both domestic and wild-caught) and the transmission of zoonotic diseases. The organization promotes a campaign called Take Pandemics Off The Menu (#TAKEPANDEMICSOFFTHEMENU) to advocate a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the world from future pandemics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals.” For example, the 2009 swine flu was linked to the international trade and consumption of pig meat, the 2004-2007 avian flu pandemic was linked to the farming and consumption of poultry and the coronavirus pandemic has possible links to the bushmeat industry (consumption of wild animals).

In the world today, roughly 811 million people go hungry and 690 million people suffer from undernourishment despite the fact that the world produces sufficient food to feed every person on Earth — all 7.8 billion global citizens. The Million Dollar Vegan offers a possible solution to global hunger through veganism while providing vegan meals to ensure that no person goes hungry in a world brimming with food sources.

– Jenny Rice
Photo: Flickr

Greenland's Foreign Aid
Many countries around the world benefit from foreign aid, but few rely on it for their livelihood. Greenland is one of the few countries that would struggle to exist at all without it, as Greenland’s foreign aid is essential to its economy. Each year, Denmark, Greenland’s former colonial ruler, gives the island nation about $591 million in subsidies. That represents about 60% of the Greenlandic government’s budget and comes to more than $10,000 for every person living in Greenland. The subsidy, however, is not the cure-all Denmark might hope it to be.

Greenland’s Foreign Aid and Social World

Greenland is a land of contradictions. It is the largest island in the world, yet has a population of fewer than 60,000 people. Its average income is about $33,000, placing it far above the international average, yet Greenland also suffers from a suicide rate seven times higher than in the United States, and a poverty rate of 16.2% as of 2015. Traditional practices remain the norm in many parts of the country. Fishing accounts for 90% of Greenland’s exports, and dog sleds are still a common sight in the island’s undeveloped interior.

How can Greenland receive so much aid and still suffer from such social ills? Part of the answer lies in international politics. Although Greenland is nominally independent, many of its politics are still under the control of Denmark. Worried about losing influence in Greenland, Denmark has often blocked other countries’ efforts to invest in Greenland.

For example, Denmark raised objections to a $12.1 million aid package to Greenland from the U.S. in 2020. While politicians raised some valid concerns about the package (particularly in light of President Trump’s tactless 2019 offer to buy Greenland from Denmark), the fact remains that foreign investment would almost certainly enrich Greenlanders. This would be especially relevant if Greenlanders, rather than Danes, were the ones to make decisions about foreign aid.

Potential Wealth in Greenland

On the other hand, Greenland itself enjoys huge sources of potential wealth. The island is strategically located in the arctic region. Greenland also possesses valuable mineral deposits in its interior, which global warming will eventually uncover. Unfortunately, Denmark’s reluctance to permit foreign aid, and a lack of local capital, have prevented Greenland from taking advantage of these resources.

Greenland’s dependence on Danish money is a major source of instability for the country. Were the Danish government to change its policy, Greenland’s fragile economy would collapse. Greenland’s reliance on fish also creates uncertainty, since fish prices tend to fluctuate quickly. Economic development, as well as investment from a variety of countries, would remove much of the country’s economic uncertainty.

The goal of foreign investment should be to make countries prosperous and, eventually, self-sufficient. Greenland, however, shows few signs of becoming more economically independent from Denmark. Greenland’s GDP has grown very slowly and actually shrank between 2013 and 2014, despite Denmark’s funding. Danish aid to Greenland seems to have become an absent-minded gift, rather than an aid program with a clear purpose and goals.

Consequences of Denmark’s Aid

If Denmark sticks to the status quo of offering aid but preventing others from doing the same, Greenland will continue to suffer from its high poverty rate. Denmark will still have to pay huge sums of cash to keep the Greenlandic economy afloat.

However, if Denmark were to permit more investment in Greenland and put more emphasis on helping Greenland achieve self-sufficiency, Greenland would become wealthier and its economy would be more stable. This would in turn benefit Denmark because Greenland would eventually no longer need so much financial support. Whatever Greenland’s foreign aid future holds, it seems clear that it can do better than the status quo.

– Thomas Brodey
Photo: Flickr

2020 election and global povertyThe U.S. remains one of the largest political powers in the world. Countries around the globe pay close attention to the presidential election and are anxious to know who will lead the country for the next four years. From COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts to foreign policies, the future of the nation’s decisions rests heavily on the outcome of the 2020 election. Read on to learn about the connections between the 2020 election and global poverty.

The 2020 Election and Global Poverty: Two Candidates

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are running as Republican candidates on a platform similar to their 2016 campaign. Running as Democratic candidates are former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA). Both candidates have already proposed new policies as part of their campaign platforms. President Trump has proposed reducing foreign aid by 21%, while increasing border security and tax cuts if he remains in office. On the other hand, former Vice President Biden, if elected, would make foreign aid the focus of U.S. foreign policy.

As much as the candidates may vary in their views on foreign aid, however, these differences are not likely to influence the election much. Overall, voters do not consider global poverty to be a core issue. In the 2016 presidential election, global poverty played little to no role in voters’ decisions. Currently, the voters’ top five issues are the economy, healthcare, the Supreme Court appointments, the COVID-19 response and violent crime, none of which are directly related to global poverty. While foreign policy remains in the top 12 issues, it is not a major concern for current voters.

The Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

The response to COVID-19 has significantly impacted the 2020 election and global poverty reduction efforts. As of October 2020, the U.S. faces five million confirmed cases, 176,000 deaths, a declining economy and restrictions that could affect voter turnout. COVID-19 has accordingly become a major concern for many voters. Indeed, 62% of voters believe the outbreak will play an important role in the candidate they choose.

Many voters are also concerned about the condition of the economy as a result of the pandemic. In the second quarter of 2020, the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by an annual rate of 32.9%. Congress has also spent trillions of dollars on unemployment benefits and support for small businesses. Many of the voters who believe that the U.S. government should focus on the national debt worry that this stimulus spending could hurt the economy in the long run.

The Influence on Global Poverty

In 2019, the International Affairs Budget received $52.2 billion for foreign aid. This amounted to almost 1% of the entire budget of the U.S. government. With proposed budget cuts and increased concerns over the economy and COVID-19, global poverty is in danger of remaining an issue considered unimportant to many voters and secondary to policy-makers. Despite this relative neglect, it is important that the government address global poverty. Congress must be reminded to protect the International Affairs Budget as a measure just as important as any other policy. Overall, the 2020 U.S. election will likely have a minimal effect on global poverty, given other global crises. As such, the citizens of the U.S. must communicate the importance of the 2020 election and global poverty support to their national leaders, whoever they end up being.

– Nada Abuasi
Photo: Flickr

Empowering 50 million women
Women face many barriers when it comes to entering the workplace, especially in developing countries. Societal norms in developing countries often prevent girls and women from pursuing an education. When women do not have an education, they cannot enter the labor force as easily and help cultivate the economy. This cultural practice hinders a developing country’s ability to procure economic growth and reduce poverty rates. The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative is empowering 50 million women.

The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative

The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) is an initiative committed to delivering tangible results concerning women in developing countries. The three pillars of the initiative are: women prospering in the workforce, women succeeding as entrepreneurs and enabling women in the economy. It has been proven that when women have economic empowerment, there is a multiplier effect throughout the region. They invest more in their families and communities, which then promotes economic growth.

United States President Donald Trump established the W-GDP Initiative in February 2019 as the first total government movement to promote the economic empowerment of women across the globe. Funding for the initiative began in July 2019.

14 W-GDP Projects

This introduced 14 new projects and around 200 private-public partnerships from across more than 20 countries. The partnerships consist of foreign governments, multilateral donors, non-government organizations, the private sector and universities. These partnerships will allow the W-GDP to influence more than 100,000 women. The 14 projects are throughout developing countries.

In Papua New Guinea, Cardno Emerging Markets leads its partners in working to grow 40 enterprises led by women. It also plans to reform any discriminatory laws in the region that affect some 50,000 businesswomen. In Indonesia, Cargill and its partners are working together to increase the salaries for 2,000 enterprises led by women.

In the Philippines, UPS and its partners are increasing the salaries of 3,800 women and are working to remove obstacles that block full economic participation. In Chile, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and Colombia, big-name companies such as Citi and Google have formed a partnership within the private sector in order to provide efficient training for some 8,700 women.

In Liberia, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Mozambique, Landesa and its private sector partners work to change any laws that limit women’s property rights. In Côte d’Ivoire, the International Rescue Committee and partners work to give job training to around 750 women in the solar energy industry.

In Benin, the Management Sciences for Health and its partners work together to reintegrate more than 170 female victims of gender-based violence into the workforce. This is going to happen via entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.

Ivanka Trump and the U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator (USAID), Mark Green, are going to run the initiative. Green strongly supports investing in women. He will oversee that the resources of the U.S. government will go towards helping women as much as possible.

The Future

By 2025, the W-GDP wishes to help in empowering 50 million women in the developing world. The plan is to achieve this through a new fund, private-public partnerships and U.S. government activities. The W-GDP will focus its resources on these five main points.

  1. Traveling Freely: Limit restrictions on passports and movement for women.
  2. Accessing Institutions: Limit restrictions for women on legal documents.
  3. Removing Restrictions on Employment: Prohibit restrictions on women and their tasks, hours and jobs.
  4. Owning and Managing Property: Prohibit restrictions on women owning or managing property.
  5. Building Credit: Do not allow gender discrimination in accessing credit. Level the playing field for women including equal access and capital.

With these ambitious objectives, empowering 50 million women will be observable. It is propitious that in the coming years, women living in developing countries will enjoy abundant access to the economic sector.

Nyssa Jordan
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

What is the W-GDP
The limitations that women have to pursue economic advancement on the same playing field as men occur even at a young age. There are societal expectations, stereotypes and constraints that women face from when they are very young. These expectations do not cease to affect women in the pursuit of roles in higher-paying jobs around the globe. U.S. President Donald Trump launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative in February 2019 in recognition of these issues and acknowledging related foundational constraints.

The W-GDP focuses on women prospering within the workforce, thriving in entrepreneurship and becoming established in the economy through the removal of legal barriers. These three pillars of the W-GDP recognize the untapped potential of women in the global economy. A unique team including the Secretaries of State, Treasury and Defense, a National Security Advisor and leaders of the World Bank, UNICEF and Walmart promote the W-GDP. This sheds light on the uniqueness and significance of this initiative.

Women Prospering in the Workforce

The focus on women prospering within the workforce pertains to efforts implemented toward the placement and elevation for women’s global workforce participation. The actions behind this pillar prioritize making provisions for women’s access to education and training and providing the support necessary to thrive economically. Women also do not receive equal access to digital services in comparison to men. This further limits women’s economic advancement considering these services may involve training, employment and financial services. Over 1.7 billion women do not own cell phones throughout developing countries. Further, the likelihood of women using mobile internet is 26 percent less than men. These components also restrain the equality of women in the workforce.

The time-consuming weight of care and labor that women endure also limits opportunity. More likely than men, women face unsalaried work such as family care, cleaning and retrieving clean water. These activities hinder women from receiving a quality education, training or essential skills. All of these components are essential in obtaining higher-paying substantial-growth positions in areas such as engineering, math or science.

So, what is the W-GDP? It is an initiative that acknowledges this crisis that is harming the global economy and has developed plans to invest in over 50 million women in developing countries. Estimates have determined that this initiative adds $28 trillion to global gross domestic product (GDP) when it has 100 percent participation from women in the workforce.

Women Thriving in Entrepreneurship

The W-GDP initiative helps women thrive in entrepreneurship by opening their access to capital, markets, networks and mentorship. The W-GDP is addressing this issue because it highlights another problematic area; women-owned businesses face inequality in systems developed in their countries that do not provide equal access to market information, personal services, networks and other means of expansion. About $300 billion represents the credit gap in women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises all around the world. Many countries with undeveloped financial structures are not treating these gray areas in the middle efficiently.

To change these circumstances, systemic reconstructions will provide short and long-term aid as solutions to these issues. Overall structural or institutional amendments make up the solution to combat the blockages women face regarding opportunities and system access.

Women Enabled in the Economy

The pillar of enabling women in the global economy focuses on the policies and laws that countries established that provided barriers to the financial progress of women. The trials women face in pursuing economic participation include the weight of unsalaried care, gender-based violence, lack of expenditure in their education, required spousal consent for employment and lawful blockades to specific careers. These lawful barriers include prohibiting or limiting their rights to assume, own property or have contracts through their name. To alleviate these limitations, the government, private sector and citizens of society must implement essential exerts of labor and force.

The W-DGP believes that investing in women can lead to positive outcomes. These outcomes are beneficial to all, including national security, peace, stability and local economy boosts from family investments. It is time to tap into the population that has the potential to bring upon these changes.

– Janiya Winchester
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Trump's Foreign Aid Policy
President Donald Trump ran his presidential campaign with promises to put “America First” and prioritize the problems in the United States before concerning himself with the issues in other countries. Thus far, over a year into his presidency, President Trump’s administration has materialized campaign promises into actions, which they believe work towards achieving their goal of “Making America Great Again.” On multiple occasions, these actions have threatened the security and influence of U.S. foreign aid and development assistance.

The Administration has taken steps to reduce the size and scale of aid programs like The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and has also threatened to withhold aid to long-term recipient countries. Countries that receive U.S. aid use the resources they’ve been given for a wide number of projects, but the majority of them focus on poverty-alleviation efforts and development assistance. There are still at least two years left in the Presidency of Donald Trump, but here is a recap of major decisions regarding President Trump’s foreign aid policy during the first half of his administration.


May 10, 2017– President Trump nominates Mark Green as the new USAID administrator. Mark Green received bipartisan support in his nomination as he has often sought to foster bipartisan approaches to U.S. foreign assistance. Green served as the former US Ambassador to Tanzania, and before that, he was acting president of The International Republican Institute.  

May 23, 2017– The White House released its 2018 budget proposal: “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.” The budget put forth by The Trump Administration requested a 33 percent reduction in funding for The State Department and USAID. The budget proposal also intimated plans to merge The State Department and USAID in order to “pursue greater efficiencies through reorganization and consolidation.”

October 2017– There were 97 applicants, already in the pre-employment process with USAID, who were denied foreign placement due to a hiring freeze imposed on the program by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson defended the hiring freeze arguing that it helped, “increase efficiency.”

Dec 20, 2017– President Trump threatened to cut off U.S. aid to any member of The U.N. General Assembly who votes for a resolution condemning his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. President Trump delivered his threat at a cabinet meeting following a letter sent to the U.N. General Assembly by U.S. Ambassador to The United Nations Nikki R. Haley, in which she warned that the U.S. would note the countries who voted for the resolution. Regardless of the threats made by President Trump, a large number of countries in The U.N. General Assembly still voted not to pursue diplomatic missions in the city of Jerusalem in order to avoid exacerbating existing conflicts between Israel and Palestine. 


Jan 2018– The Trump Administration announced its plans to withhold the majority of U.S. aid to Pakistan. The White House cited the Pakistani government’s unwillingness to aggressively confront international terrorists and militant groups in their region as the reason behind the withholding of aid.

Jan 2018– President Trump ordered some $65 million to be withheld from The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA provides humanitarian and development assistance to Palestinian refugees. The President ordered the withholding of funds noting concerns over how the organization was run.

Feb 12, 2018– The White House released its 2019 budget proposal: “An American Budget.” The proposal furthers it’s 2017 stance on The State Department and USAID requesting a 26 percent reduction of funds for the programs. The budget revealed a continuing trend in President Trump’s foreign policy to shrink the size of The State Department.

Each new president has their own understanding of the role that foreign aid plays in the advancement of American interests in the international community. President Trump’s foreign aid policy has revealed to America his hesitation to support the distribution of American resources to developing/emerging international markets. The President has emphasized his opinion that more efficient work can be done to improve America by investing more in domestic relief projects and less in international ones.

– Clarke Hallum
Photo: Flickr

Trump_Two-State Solution
Since the Trump administration took office in January, the international community has been working to reestablish the importance of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. Even before Trump took office, European leaders met to discuss the issue in mid-January, asserting their endorsement behind a two-state solution. Trump’s views on a two-state solution have left the international community baffled.

At the meeting, French President François Hollande stated in regards to Trump’s influence that the “two-state solution, which the international community has agreed on for many years, appears threatened. It is physically threatened on the ground by the acceleration of settlements, it is politically threatened by the progressive weakening of the peace camp, it is morally threatened by the distrust that has accumulated between the parties, and that has certainly been exploited by extremists.”

The new ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, was picked by Trump and houses views that are in concordance with Israel’s conservative Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Friedman rejects the two-state solution, disregarding that it has been widely accepted by the international community. The views of the new correspondent have raised concerns for Palestinians as well as members of the international community, who have been encouraging a two-state solution for many years.

Feeling emboldened by the new administration in the White House, Israel has recently announced intentions to extend settlements into Palestinian land. The settlements have been condemned by international law and the U.N. Security Council, but Netanyahu continues to press forward in the movement.

When Trump met with Netanyahu in mid-February, it became clear that the Prime Minister is closed to the idea of holding back on Israeli settlements and a two-state solution. Trump’s views on a two-state solution are less clear, as he failed to directly address questions regarding the settlements during a press conference with the Prime Minister.

Palestinians, however, are dismayed at Trump’s apparent lack of insistence for a two-state solution. Many in the West Bank and Gaza are concerned that without American support for a two-state solution, peace will be even more difficult to come by in the region.

As of July 2015, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center estimated that there were at least 263,500 internally displaced persons in Occupied Palestine (West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem). The number includes Palestinians who have been displaced in the area since the beginning of Israel’s occupation in 1967.

It is unclear how Trump’s views on a two-state solution will affect those displaced in Palestine, but the ideological stance of Trump’s appointed ambassador to Israel and Trump’s own wishy-washy convictions leave many in the international community wondering if peace in the region is still a possibility.

Peyton Jacobsen

Photo: Flickr

Power Africa Initiative
President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative is looking to solve a monster problem in sub-Saharan Africa, where two out of three people lack access to electricity. Power Africa suggests “ambitious but achievable” goals, including the creation of 60 million new electricity connections and 30,000 megawatts of new and cleaner power.

According to President Barack Obama, “Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity.” With Power Africa, the U.S. is investing in Africa’s potential. Obama has brought together private and public organizations, political leaders and power generation experts with the goal of improving peoples’ quality of life and stimulating economic growth.

USAID’s goal with the Power Africa Initiative has been “to remove barriers that impede sustainable development.” A recent article in Bloomberg, however, claims that after three years, those barriers are still in place.

Writers Toluse Olorunnipa and Tope Alake cite evidence that Power Africa “has fallen well short of its goals, so far producing less than 5 percent of the new power generation it promised.” They highlight political dysfunction, policy bundling and economic hurdles as major obstacles to progress.

USAID, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, is aiming to implement policy and regulatory reforms, and the Department of Energy has partnered with the Clean Energy Solutions Center in the Power Africa Initiative to “help governments design and adopt policies and programs that support the deployment of clean energy technologies.”

With over 120 public and private partners, the Power Africa Initiative has the potential to make an enormous impact in the African continent, despite the bleak progress reported.

In September 2016, President Obama argued that progress is being made, citing successes involving “solar power and natural gas in Nigeria; off-grid energy in Tanzania; people in rural Rwanda gaining electricity.”

Obama went on to say that the global community must continue to invest in Africa’s youth in order to build upon the progress that has already been made. It may be that maximizing investment in Africa’s young people will “spur Africa’s energy revolution.”

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to assume office, his choice of cabinet members is demonstrating a philosophical shift in foreign policy. It is uncertain at this point whether the incoming U.S. administration will continue to support international development projects such as Power Africa.

As long as funding continues, however, the initiative will continue to make an impact.

Tim Devine

Photo: Flickr

Trump's Policy on Domestic Poverty
With so little time left until the U.S. presidential election, the tension between candidates, ideologies and policies has nearly peaked. Donald Trump’s policies hold the promise of “making America great again” by reinvigorating the economy through protectionist trade policies, ridding the country of those who take advantage of the system as well as tax cuts to the rich and corporations. Further study shows that a different outcome would result from Trump’s policy on domestic poverty.

According to many economic experts, Trump’s policy on domestic poverty would lead the nation into recession, most harshly affecting the poorest households. Trump’s policies would “significantly” weaken the country and drive the U.S. into a “lengthy recession,” according to a Moody’s Analytics report. An estimated 3.5 million jobs could be lost and the unemployment rate could increase from 5% to 7%. The average household would face a regressive consumption tax of $11,100 over five years.

Citing trade deficits with Mexico, China and Japan, Trump has continuously claimed that the U.S. has lost its dominance through weak trade agreements and outsourcing manufacturing jobs. To change this and promote domestic production, Trump plans to impose a 35% tariff on goods from Mexico and a 45% tariff on goods from China and Japan. While producers and the government would gain $43 billion and $65 billion, the total loss to the U.S. economy would be $170 billion, according to the National Foundation for American Policy. The average household would lose 4% of its income and for households making “the lowest 10[%] of income up to 18% of their (mean) after-tax income” would be lost.

According to the study, tariffs on imports from the three countries would not even protect U.S. workers from foreign competition, meaning the, “only logical alternative would be to impose a similar set of tariffs on all other countries that export to the United States.” This approach could cost households with the lowest 10% of income to lose a massive 53% of their income.

Trump also promised to deport the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Although he recently softened his immigration stance, many still idealize a future without illegal immigrants. The massive deportation, however, would shrink the economy by about 2%, from a $400-$600 billion GDP collapse, decrease the workforce by about seven million and cost millions of dollars to implement, not to mention the construction of a nearly 2,000-mile-long border wall. The economic slump would inevitably magnify the struggles of the poor as it caused consumer product prices to increase.

Last but not least, and perhaps most unclear to the public, are Trump’s tax plans. Although dubbed the “blue-collar billionaire,” Trump’s economic plan will give reduced tax rates to the wealthiest individuals, from 39.6% to 33% and corporations, from the proposed 25% to 15%. The new tax policy would increase government deficit by an estimated $10 trillion over the next decade, according to the Tax Policy Center, slashing the funds for social security, medicare, Medicaid and interest payments that already make up more than two-thirds of the annual budget. Yet Trump has offered few expenditure reduction proposals that would make up for the revenue loss, meaning that the millions of Americans who rely on these government benefits would likely suffer. Otherwise, spending on all other programs would need to be cut by 53% to meet the revenue loss, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

In response to his tax plan critics, Trump has cited his belief in trickle-down economics, a theory that states that if the rich receive tax cuts, the money they save will be invested and eventually trickle down to the poor, invigorating the entire economy. The theory, however, has been repeatedly disproven. In 2012, the Tax Justice Network conducted a study that suggested between $21 and $32 trillion has been siphoned from the world economy by the rich and put into private, off-shore accounts. In 2015, the International Monetary Fund also filed a report showing that the trickle-down effect does not exist, as the rich continue to get richer.

As Election Day nears, it is important to consider the impact of both candidates’ policies on the economy and the poor in particular.

Henry Gao

Photo: Flickr

TrumpU.S. foreign policy is not just a hot topic issue that presidential candidates debate on TV. The president’s foreign policy can affect a broad spectrum of issues, including global poverty and instability.

With the Democratic and Republican National Conventions coming up in July, now is a crucial time for voters concerned with U.S. foreign aid to review the candidates’ platforms.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has voiced a spread of controversial beliefs about many issues during his presidential campaign. According to Impact 2016, a non-partisan initiative of the USGLC, Trump’s foreign policy platform is currently small.

He is a self-proclaimed master of the “art of the deal” who claims to hold the ability to negotiate from international business experience. Some of his major foreign policy points have been his concern with creating a stronger military and deterring Mexicans and Syrian refugees from immigrating to the U.S.

In regard to foreign aid, Impact 2016 reports that Trump has emphasized domestic development over global development during his candidacy and in past statements. Considering this fact, here are three thought-provoking quotes from Donald Trump about what he thinks of the U.S. giving foreign aid to developing nations.

  1. “With Afghanistan, I want to build our country. You know in Afghanistan, they build a road. At the end of this beautiful road, they build a school. They blow up the school; they blow up the road; we then start all over again. And in New Orleans and in Alabama we can’t build schools. I want to rebuild the United States.”In a 2011 television interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump expressed more interest in investing in domestic infrastructure than giving global aid. Any willingness he had to invest in struggling nations was qualified with some kind of reciprocity from the recipients of the aid. Although the discussion of Afghanistan concerned U.S. occupation, the statement reflects Trump’s general belief that domestic development is a more fruitful investment for the U.S. than long-term investment.
  2. In his speech announcing his presidential campaign, Trump declared that the U.S. should “stop sending foreign aid to countries that hate us.”Trump asserted again in his June 2016 speech that he wanted to invest in domestic infrastructure, such as building roads and bridges in the U.S., rather than give aid to countries that “hate us.” He was not in favor of investing in these developing countries and did not see aid as a positive investment for the U.S. His statement implies an attempt to decrease the amount of money allotted in the budget for foreign aid if he is elected president.
  3. When a young man asked Trump if he would help to double the number of people receiving HIV/AID treatment through the U. S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) by 2020, Trump responded, “Yes, I believe so strongly in that, and we’re going to lead the way.”Trump’s comment might surprise those who are familiar with his criticisms of U.S. global involvement. His response to an audience member at the No Labels Conference in October of 2015 shows that he is indeed open to supporting certain humanitarian projects. Briefly citing Alzheimer’s as another disease he would like to fight, Trump acknowledged the progress that PEPFAR has made and pledged to support its mission.

Trump’s vision seems to be overwhelming against increasing U.S. foreign aid. Even so, perhaps some of his comments, such as the one about PEPFAR, show that he is willing to promote certain government humanitarian organizations in select cases.

Hopefully, Trump’s comments about foreign aid listed here and elsewhere are informative and helpful to voters as they decide which candidate will best address global poverty and the stability of the world.

For more quotes from Donald Trump on foreign aid, please see this article from The Borgen Project.

Addie Pazzynski

Photo: Flickr