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Third World Debt

Started by Steelfist, April 25, 2010, 03:17:23 PM

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I just want to find out your views on third world debt.

Should we cancel it? Or continue in our efforts to get back the money the country owes, even if they don't have it?

I personally believe we should cancel it; they simply can't afford to pay, and we are severely limiting their economical development by taking the money that could be used to, say, improve healthcare, or schooling.


Unfortunately most third world countries are stooped in corruption. It's akin to asking a drunken hobo to pay you back money you gave them. Try and actually get it back and they're just going to end up worse, let them keep it and it will be dwindled away uselessly. I've always felt that simply dropping someones debts is an irresponsible act, and if you truly wish to be humanitarian you should find a different route to keep things "equal". You could, for instance, ask for the money owe'd to be payed but have it reinvested into the countries problems yourself. As they say, if you want something done right, do it yourself. The money is technically already legally supposed to be yours.  Just a thought.


I don't think we should strongly enforce the Third World countries to pay their dept, but I don't think we should get rid of it for free.  If we do wave debts, then it is for political or military favors.

I still think Europe should pay for the US back for the loans we gave them in WWI and WWII.


Paying off 3rd world countries' debts is something of a dilemma.

If you either waive the debts or don't enforce paying them off it could be taken as a sign of weakness or that the creditor gives out freebies.

If you force the countries to pay them it would hurt those countries and bring about sensationalized articles about the creditor's brutality.


I think you have to consider, if we continue to push these countries for the little they can pay, they will never make enough money to keep up with the interest (Which, I might add, is not far off astronomical, considering), never mind pay us back!

Incidentally, Guye, I found your remark about most third world countries being steeped in corruption highly unfair; Some may be, however, it was the loaner's choice to lend to the corrupt government or regime. You may have a point about investing it ourselves, but still calling the countries an equivalent of a drunken hobo seems harsh.

Also, Im2smart4u, I'm not sure about the state of Europe's affairs, but I am British, and happen to know that our WW2 debt has been paid back, and no payment has been made of the WW1 debt since 1937 (By any countries), and I don't think any countries have asked for it. But... I'm getting off topic here; If you wish to start a discussion about ww1 and 2 debts, why not start a new topic?


Ah well, I was making a generalization about third world countries. As the original poster never actually specified what debts or third world countries he was speaking on, I could only make assumptions. True my... comparison... was perhaps a bit rash, but I stand by my point. When I think of third world countries though, I think of African countries. The original "third world" saying was actually a reference to non-democratic and non-communist countries, most of which existed in Africa. I know the word has taken on new meaning in the last few decades, but I don't think any European country was an original third world country was it?

The Holy namelesskitty

It would be Ideal to just cancel it, but sometimes things just don't work out that way. my idea is that better off countries provide free assistance in the form of micro-finance and direct assistance in agriculture. since agriculture is an important part of most third world countries' economies that would help those countries pay off their debt and become more powerful technologically. as for the micro-finance, helping individuals in that way stimulates the economy and also creates a larger GDP.
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My point was, namelesskitty, that the 'Third World' countries are in debt. What should we do now. I claim we should cancel it, as, due to the interest rate, they are unable to pay it off, or even keep up with the interest. As a result, they are falling further into a debt that they simply cannot afford to pay off. And while it's easy to say what should have been done, the real discussion is; what to do now?

The Holy namelesskitty

My idea was a suggestion for current action, interest rates should be lowered of cancelled though, I didn't even think of that.
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That is a viable solution; if you eliminated the interest, and did not demand payment until the economy was stable and could afford it without taking away finances from other vital areas, then yes, it is possible to reclaim the money without harming the country to a large degree.

Xemadus Echina

Speaking from the American government's point of view I would just tell the third world countries that they owe whoever we owe money >.>  It's simple, our dept is closer to if not gone and we can return to our isolationism again XP
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The Holy namelesskitty

Maybe, but if everyone did that it would just get confusing.
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I've played that game with my friends- lending debt untill nobody knows who owes them what. Its fun. But i think in this case, Ranien is right in the essentials. We should have the money from them, so we could use it to pay our debt to other countries. It could be used for other things, but considering some of the countries will most likely not pay us anytime soon, its our best bet for solving our debt and theirs.
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The Holy namelesskitty

that's true, but we're talking about the third world debt, and if I'm not mistaken the USA is not third world.
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There is another thing when we consider the 3rd world debt. How did they get it. At least part of it is due to an effort in building a better country after being decolonized after the colonizing country explored the country for quite some time without investing back a comparable amount.

So, I agree that the at least the interest should be eliminated. And I also think it's a good idea that payments are replaced by the country investing rationally in itself.
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