Adelman admits the U.S. is a miser when government development assistance is considered. The U.S., she writes, "comesin last among industrialized nations in terms of aid as a percentage ofnational income." However, she says, the primary way Americans helpothers abroad is through the private sector. As evidence shecites (1) the number of U.S. foundations increasedfrom 32,000 to 56,000 between 1990 and 2000 and most charitable giving in the U.S. ismade by foundations, and (2) Alexis de Toqueville’s observation that "mediating institutions," as shecalls them, played an important role in the lives of colonialAmericans. That’s it. Her other claims are madewithout any citations or references other than to unspecified "surveysand voluntary reporting" and, apparently, whatever she can make up.
She claims: internationalgiving by U.S. foundations totalled $3 billion in 2003; Europeanfoundations gave less; U.S. Private Voluntary Organizations like theRed Cross and YMCA sent $7 billion abroad, including the value of timespent by volunteers (an assessment of the value of volunteer time, evenif true, that would not be shared by the IRS, which prohibitsclassification of volunteer time as a charitable donation);corporations gave $2.8 billion; religious organizations contributed$3.4 billion; U.S. universities gave students from foreign countries$1.3 billion in financial aid; and U.S. workers remitted $18 billion to family members in foreign countries.She adds the numbers and determines a conservative estimate of annualU.S. foreign assistance is $35 billion.
Finally, Adelman maintains thatprivate investment by U.S. businesses, research in the U.S. thatproduces better food and medicine, and U.S.military spending "guaranteeing the security necessary for growth and democracy" (perhaps she means in Iraq) are forms of foreign aid.
Adelmansurveys her pyramid of unsupported assertions, student loans, andremittances from migrants and concludes that "All in all, the UnitedStates is most generous."
Of late, Adelman has underlined that propaganda is her basic objective by presenting these tenuous conclusions as incontrovertible fact. On 31 December 2004, for example, in a piece titled "United States Is Not’Stingy’ onForeign Aid," Jeremiah Norris and she stated flatly that in 2002 "Private foreign giving reached more than $35 billion."Their source? The piece reviewed above. Alexis de Toqueville would be appalled.