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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

They'll Never Get It

The UN is trying to guilt the US into giving more money for the relief efforts in Asia following the tsunami.
But U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being "stingy" with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised... "There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."
They just don't get it, do they? In a way, Egeland is correct- a lot of people want to give more. And they do- through charities, not the government. That's because governments, no matter how good their intentions, are notoriously bad at handling money.
In response to Mr. Egeland's comments, Mr. Duffy pointed out that the United States is "the largest contributor to international relief and aid efforts, not only through the government, but through charitable organizations. The American people are very giving."
Precisely. We give- just not the way the UN wants us to. Oh, well, they'll get over it. They have to, because we won't change. We get a little... upset... when people try to tell us what to do or how to do it. We're already annoyed enough with the UN for the way they've meddled in our business.

I just wish our government had the guts to take our ball (and our checkbook) and leave that particular playground.

Don't worry, Mr. Egeland - the US will give plenty of money in aid. Too bad for you it won't be under UN control. That is the real problem, isn't it?

UPDATE: There was an Oxfam report about a month ago, claiming that the US (and other "rich" nations) were not living up to a 1970 pledge to make 0.7% of their gross domestic income available for aid. They claim that the US aid budget for 2003 was only .14% of the GDP. Well, yeah... add in all the private donations to international charities made by American citizens and corporations and get back to us, m'kay?

UPDATE 2: Mr. Egeland is backing away from his original statement. Too bad there's that pesky video of him claiming that the US was stingy.

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