Foreign Aid, War, and Economic Development: South Vietnam, by Douglas C. Dacy

By Douglas C. Dacy

Overseas relief, battle, and financial improvement lines the industrial historical past of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. in this interval encompassing the Vietnam battle, high-level officers paid quite little cognizance to the financial system of South Vietnam although monetary improvement was once an important situation for the country's survival. A beneficiant overseas relief application used to be designed to pay neighborhood troops and increase the normal of dwelling of the inhabitants. Professor Dacy records this progress in nationwide source of revenue and the growth or lack thereof in a few improvement symptoms. He discusses the targets of usa financial relief and measures the web assets transferred. also, the ebook analyzes wartime inflation and the Vietnamese tax approach, and in so doing indicates that the measures which might have promoted long-run viability have been refrained from in desire of short-run expediencies that virtually doomed the rustic ultimately. ultimately, fiscal improvement in South Vietnam is in comparison to that during Israel, South Korea, and Taiwan, 3 countries that confronted excessive army threats through the comparable interval.

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107). 1 To the architects of this theory of foreign aid, the essence of the development problem was insufficient savings and/or exports. To achieve some predetermined or "desirable" rate of growth requires a calculable rate of investment, given information about the incremental capital-output ratio. By this approach, a major reason why an underdeveloped country is not on the desired growth path is that its saving ratio is too small, and therefore the annual amount of savings generated in the economy is insufficient to finance the investment required for the desired rate of growth.

Under the "trickle-down" assumption, foreign aid eventually would help to remove poverty; but this assumption has been rejected. In view of the fact that many of the advocates of basic needs also endorse "self-reliance" as a part of the development strategy, it is difficult to see how foreign aid fits into this approach. So long as the focus of development was on investment, the essential role of foreign aid was easy to define. In the new environment, the "theory of foreign aid" has become somewhat amorphous.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent a team of investigators to report on the situation in Vietnam. Regarding the economy, this team summarized its findings as follows: Vietnam isrichin agricultural resources but cannot feed herself, has absorbed western technology but cannot afford the imports to operate it, has a well trained labor force but cannot employ it, and provides a wide range of government services but does not have the means to pay for them. S. Senate 1974, p. 30] This truly dismal appraisal came about a year before the fall of South Vietnam.

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