Kerry-Lugar’s Peanut Farm

Following the passage of the Kerry-Lugar bill, PML-N immediately reacted by calling the $7.5 billion ‘peanuts,’ and suggesting that this investment will help no one. This dismissive talking point caught on quickly across Internet forums where opposition supporters have repeated it ad nauseam rather, it would seem, than taking the time to read the bill. Aside from being unconstructive, though, this talking point shows a misunderstanding of fundamental economics.

A common refrain from Kerry-Lugar opponents goes like this: “How can $1.5 billion help 0.18 billion people? This is only $85 per person!” And, if Kerry-Lugar proposed to post $85 cheques to each and every Pakistani citizen, then, indeed, the program would be a farce.

But that’s not how investment works.

In fact, despite being relatively little per capita, $1.5 billion in annual non-military aid can have a transformative effect on Pakistan, improving the lives of real Pakistanis who are suffering from preventable problems like unsanitary drinking water, poor access to education, and limited energy capacity.

Investment dollars are multiplied in return because, rather than being handed out individually, they are pooled to improve infrastructure that benefits all. Much like citizens can improve their collective lot by pooling their money through taxes to build roads and electrical plants, or businesses can improve their production and efficiency by pooling investments in improved technology and infrastructure, the billions of dollars provided in Kerry-Lugar will be invested in ways that provide collective and far-reaching benefits to Pakistanis.

As an example of the multiplier effect of aid like that included in Kerry-Lugar, the World Health Organization estimates that the return on a $1 USD investment in water sanitation is between USD$5 and USD$28. This means that $1.5 billion in US aid to Pakistan could have an impact of as much as $42 billion. That’s $10 billion more than Pakistan’s budgetary expenditures in 2008. Hardly ‘peanuts.’

The investments provided by Kerry-Lugar have the potential to not only improve the day-to-day lives of Pakistanis across the nation, but to enable Pakistan to achieve its potential as a nation that provides an example of a strong, prosperous, democratic Islamic Republic at peace with its neighbors and itself. Far from handing peanuts to Pakistan, Kerry-Lugar is America planting a farm with the seeds of hope in Pakistan’s native soil.

10 thoughts on “Kerry-Lugar’s Peanut Farm

  1. hy and wellcome
    ist i m 100% agree with pml n reaction about this greedy offer from un
    sine the 8 years the us lost badly in afghan
    when they saw tht if u run from afghan then tht shame for us . recently when they observed tht pak armay ( ALLAH BLESS THEM )
    SHOWING a vital victory here in swat .
    they deceided tht grant the pakies and used thir armay .
    this is not our war
    this is not our style
    this is not our passion
    this is not our slogon
    this is not our aims
    we do not need freedom from foreighn interfare
    we can run our country on our wings
    some one ask from us and told to our govt tht pakies r facing loadsheading since 2 years every thing has been jamed
    we need money to get rid of this problem
    was any body go to us tht we need money plz give us
    no one
    becoz we can bear the pain which will be in our country . this nation ahve more potential
    just we need good governance
    plzz save the pakistan
    this land is one of the great land of the world
    we can won the war we can face anything difficulties
    plzzz my politicians do not sell this govt to the others
    just trust this nation ..

  2. Why do you think there has been a load shedding problem? Do you think this is from Zardari that has only been in power for one year? Or is this supposed to be some sort of US conspiracy? What has this to do with Kerry-Lugar? Nothing.

    You say you support PML-N, but they had control through Mr. Nawaz Sharif for years and years and why is there still loadshedding and corruption.

    Yes, you are correct that this nation has quite a lot of potential, and yes it is only through good governance that we will achieve such. By all accounts, Kerry-Lugar will provide the non-military aid necessary to solve these problems.

  3. This site looks like a pro Zar’dari site ? I pity those who side by criminals and dictators.
    This bill demands military operations in Punjab and Baluchistan.
    The Bill demands that ISI will no longer support terrorists, so If the bill is signed, it means that Pakistan Government supported terrorists ?

    Alas! the fate of Pakistan is looking grim.

  4. Mr.M you should stop listening to Jamaat lies. Do you deny there is some ISI that supports Lakshar and Taliban? Maybe you don’t live in Pakistan I think.

  5. A wise economist has projected a very rosy picture of by simple calculations of multiplying 1.5×28 = 42. The best one would like to respond to this is the simpleness of the submitter. $ 85 billion plus repatriated post 9/11 by compatriots complimented by 0ver $ 10 billion in aid for supporting America’s(zionist even better)war in Afghanistan and not to forget that billions of dollars received as alms over decades has just resulted in making each of to bear an ever increasing burden of loan that we owe to our masters.

    The hadith is that a giving hand is better than the receiving hand-Kashkol we must do away with. Now or never. The last chance philosophy fails just as doing away with the last coach on the train.

    With lesser interference and meddling in our affairs the result of westernisation has made us stray from the right path and even forget the philosophy of Allama “zara nam ho to yeh matti bari zarkhez hai saqi”, imagine the coming disaster with Black water and marines all sort of intelligentia.s presence besides micromanagement of economic aid. The prime focus of which will be our education with a focal effort of de-islamisation. Can/should we afford that. When the peace menaing religion of Islam spread on this earth the strength of the pioneers was; faith on Allah, justice and care for all, good moral and spiritual strengths with total commitment and submission to the Creator.

    Imperialism does not pin its objectives on the hereafter, which is a big folly and is reverse to our faith. If Pakistan could survive the worst of its econmic days that relate to the era just after partition, today we Alhamdolillah are a nuclear power-and this nuclear technology was not given to us in US Aid.

    May Allah show us the right path for our dignified progress and prosperity.


    Again, a reminder. Any comments with offensive language will be deleted. Save yourself the time and do not post obscene language that would shame your mother.

  7. @adi They fight because obviously most of Army and ISI is PATRIOTS. But there are still some people in ISI who help their friends in Taliban secretly. How else can they make such attacks without ISI or Army knowing? Surely someone is helping them.

  8. Irum n I have decided to protest against karry Lugar bill. IT IS AGAINST OUR INDEPENDENCE.I dont like karry n americans.Damn it stop americans n Britishers to rule us n to take away da ruined pakistan from us.v can live with loadshedding,destructive roads and ofcourse without sugar.obama is another bush.n bush is kept outside da premises of house, n so v shud keep this another bush away from our homeland.thanks.

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