One of the key pillars of libertarian orthodoxy is that foreign aid is bad. Tyler Cowen sets his readers straight:
I still believe that foreign aid does not raise economic growth rates, on average. But aid can alleviate human misery, such as when a visiting doctor gives vaccines or hands out medicine. (In fact per capita income may fall, as a result, if some “weaklings” are kept alive.)
I also believe that the U.S. military can make a huge difference in the immediate aftermath of catastrophes.
Imagine U.S. troops liberating Buchenwald. Would any commentators say the following? “Don’t give him that blanket, sell it to him!” “Hey buddy, get a job!” “Moral hazard: they’ll just go get captured again.” etc. I don’t think so.