The Many Benefits to the United States from Contributing to the UN
Our unlettered foreign affairs President, fueled by Fox News, sees foreign affairs as a personality contest or ego enhancer. With respect to the UN, he has always emphasized only the bottom line. He is also a monetary beneficiary from it, since a lower court has now ruled that he is not prevented from receiving emoluments from foreign delegations using his towers in Washington, D.C., and in New York City. His Secretary of State, former Exxon Mobil foreign oil dealer Rex Tillerson, who is seriously cutting the State Department to shreds, also sees only bottom lines of oil tankers. So, let’s just examine the cost benefits of a conventional UN policy.
We start with the United States’ $540 billion military budget to bring Peace or War to almost all areas of the World (with an enhancement to $700 billion requested). The century-long development of the world order of peaceful interactions of almost 200 nations, and enforcement capability, now through the UN, has probably saved us a bundle in lives and military costs, and can continue to do so.
According to the TV news, the US contributes $3.3 billion a year to the UN, which is 22% of its funding. They weren’t any more detailed about its uses. That is about 2/3 of one percent of our military budget. Not a bad investment in peace keeping.
Furthermore, Trump forgot to mention (in yesterday’s challenge to blackmail nations to not vote against his self-recognition that Jerusalem is the Capitol of Israel), that his hometown of New York City is the home of the United Nations. A report to the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs in Nov. 2016 presents The Economic Impact of the United Nations Community on New York City. It cites 2014 data that
· 23,000 full and part time jobs are supported by the UN community.
· An estimated $2 billion in wages was paid to local workers.
· The UN community accounted for $3.7 billion in output
· And of that, $3.0 billion was in value added.
There are also several costs to New York City, in lost taxes for example, and in educating 4,000 children of diplomats. However, these students go back to their countries to become leaders, with a great understanding and appreciation of American values.
On a whole, monetary wise, the UN is roughly a wash to the US, even without considering the vast reduction in conflict, and in humanitarian aid, that it supplies to the World.