Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

EDITOR,

I find this article to be in bad taste and hold little merit. Janyk believes the Peace Corps was developed as an instrument of American imperialism, equating volunteers to brainwashing missionaries of poverty. What is their crime? Apparently helping people “start businesses, build roads,” as if these are modern inventions, is a grave wrong doing. The truth is that undeveloped nations are in fact undeveloped. Many people in these nations live in poverty. I’m not talking about Janyk’s so-called American definition of poverty, the lack of an iPod or Big Mac. No, I believe poverty is suffering brought about by a lack of money. The common expression, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.   Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” is certainly applicable here. The United States gives billions in foreign aid to developing countries to alleviate poverty. Some of this aid, in the form of food, has a onetime effect. The work of the Peace Corps is a lasting effect. A business provides a family with sustainable money that could lift them out of poverty.
The United States did not create poverty and underdevelopment, and its origin is the subject for a different debate. What is clear is that without money and technological assistance, developing countries will suffer horrible poverty. It is not America’s role to tell people what to believe, how to act or how to run their lives. The volunteers of the Peace Corps do not send this message. Surviving in a rapidly expanding world requires some change, but I believe developing countries can achieve this while maintaining their culture.   Capitalism has certainly had ill effects, but the attack on the Peace Corps is ridiculous and unwarranted.

– Matt Liedtke ’12