B. R. Ambedkar said: “History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.”
The difference between scruples and ethics generally lies in action. Though the two terms are nearly synonymous, I see a difference: one relates to thought, while the other relates to action. In order to behave ethically, one must first have scruples. However, as Ambedkar said, ethics only hold weight up to a certain point. Once money is involved, the weight of ethics suddenly becomes much lighter.
As the world’s most wealthy and influential country, the United States distributes billions of dollars in foreign aid each year. This is a good thing. Just as in our own lives, if we have the means to help others, we have an obligation to do so.
But concerns come to mind regarding the Middle East. Should we be aiding countries that are governed by those who express solidarity with radical Islam?
According to Breitbart:
“Reuters is reporting that Secretary of State John Kerry ‘quietly acted last month to give Egypt $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid.’ According to laws governing the funds…to give the $1.3 billion to Egypt, the Secretary of State had to certify that the Egyptian government ‘is supporting the transition to civilian government, including holding free and fair elections, implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association and religion, and due process of law.’”
With that in mind, one would like to believe that after review, Egypt passed the scrutiny of the United States, allowing it to receive funds. However, Breitbart continues:
“But these restrictions can be—and apparently were—waived by the Sec. of State in this instance. In a memo dated May 9, Kerry wrote: ‘A strong U.S. security partnership with Egypt, underpinned by Foreign Military Financing (FMF), maintains a channel to Egyptian military leadership, who are key opinion makers in the country. A decision to waive restrictions on FMF to Egypt is necessary to uphold these interests as we encourage Egypt to continue its transition to democracy.’”
So, because we don’t want Egypt to be angry with us; and we value whatever strategic alliance we have with them, we are willing to overlook regulations that are required for foreign aid.
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