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December 28, 2004
No Really, We're Not Stingy

Horrible tragedy in South Asia, as I'm sure everyone has heard.

Yesterday the UN humanitarian aid cheif Jan England said that the rich countries of the world were being stingy. We, as freedom-spreading Americans, took great offense at this and the guy quickly took it all back and said America is super awesome. We assume his family has now been released and are alive and well.

Oh, and in a completely unrelated move, we upped our original pledge of 15 million bucks to 35 million. That's million, not billion as some conservative blogs have reported.

As of this writing, the death toll is up to 52,000, with thousands still missing and millions homeless. Our contribution amounts to $673 for each of the dead so far.

Naturally, our officials have been falling all over themselves promising that this is just the beginning, we'll send more money, blah blah blah.

It's not good enough. Why don't we just say, "We'll do everything we can. Tell us what you need and we'll make it happen." Wouldn't that be, waddayacallit... compassionate?

How do we appear anything but stingy when we offer $10 million, and then up it to 35? It's a pathetically small amount of money in the face of something like this.

UPDATE: For a little context, the inauguration we're throwing for Bush next month is expected to cost $30 - 40 million, and that's not counting security costs, which will be enormous.

UPDATE 2: As Luke points out in his comment, while our government may be stingy, we don't have to be. Give to the relief organization of your choice. I personally like Doctors Without Borders, but whichever you choose. (DWB's site is getting hammered right now, here's a direct link to their donation site.)


Previous Comments

Don't forget to do your part, too. We may not have perfect control over our tax dollars, but we can make our own little charitable contribution.