A Christmas Message

Central American Children courtesy of flickr.com

Central American children (photo courtesy of flickr.com)

On this Christmas 2018, seems to me that the United States should have a humane policy to aid those who cross US borders seeking safety and a better life for their children. In the least they should be treated with respect and dignity. But beyond that the US should have a massive aid program of assistance to the central American countries - Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador - that are in chaos, in large measure due to American demand for illegal drugs. For starters we could take Trump's demand for $5 billion for his ill thought out border wall and use it for increased aid to these countries. Effective aid to these countries would be the best way to stem the tide of illegal immigration to the US. We are a rich country, richer than we were after WWII when we helped Europeans with the massive Marshall Plan aid program. President Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan on April 3, 1948, granting $5 billion in aid to 16 European nations. During the four years the plan was in effect, the United States donated $17 billion (equivalent to $193.84 billion in 2017) in economic and technical assistance to help the recovery of the European countries that joined the Organization for European Economic Co-operation, a predecessor to the European Union. The $17 billion was in the context of a US GDP of $258 billion in 1948. Today our GDP is more than $19 trillion. (Too much of it, by the way, goes to the top one percent of earners in the US. We need to do more to lower inequality of the income distribution in the US.) Of course, the Europeans were mostly white. Central Americans are mostly brown.

God do we need a Harry Truman now.