Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Conan O'Brien's Haiti...
I read this news story today. I suppose it is good for me to read things that motivate me.
"Two weeks after President Obama announced an initial $100 million for Haiti earthquake relief, U.S. government spending on the disaster has nearly quadrupled to $379 million, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced Wednesday. That's about $1.25 each from everyone in the United States."
Why is the United States is under fire from critics around the globe for our attempted assistance to others? I mean, we give quite a bit even in our own time of need. Our own economy is in the toilet and we cannot feed many of our own people. We cannot employ over 10% of our own people. We are in financial peril. But, we are still giving.
Our $100 million contribution to Haiti was very generous all things considered. I think our money is still worth more than their money is, so in conversion I think it is a tremendous sum. In the past I think our donations for any country in trouble have been very generous and I think we will continue to be the world leader in helping out others. With all of what we have given, we are sitting with $379 million donated. Not chump change when we are broke as a country. I am not that fired up about being a taxpayer and having to pay back this money we gave communist Haiti plus the extra money for interest, but I am willing to do so if it really helps those poor people in their time of need.
The only time our donations become and insult on a global scale is when we gave a talk show host almost half of the amount we gave to the 8 million people of Haiti to not be on television anymore. This is pathetic. I am not saying that our broke country should have given more. I am saying the initial $100 million is a lot of money to give. I am saying $45 million is a ridiculous amount of money to pay a talk show host to quit doing his show. Keep in mind that both our relief money for Haiti and Conan O'Brien's NBC contract payoff money are funded with your tax dollars (General Electric owns 80% of NBC. So maybe not all of Conan's money came directly from our taxes, but a good portion certainly did).
If the United States can afford to pay $45 million to Conan to not be on television, what can we truly afford to give to the people of Haiti? We as Americans (using the math in the article) each gave $1.25 to the people of Haiti with our 379 million dollars of donations. Initially we each gave $.33 with the first $100 million donated to Haiti. When we gave Conan O'Brien $45 million to get out of his NBC contract each person in the United States paid $.15. It would seem to the rest of the world that with our original donation, Conan O'Brien is almost half as important as all the people of Haiti.
For your information, our government gave General Electric $340 million in bailout/stimulus money last year. So, in the world's eyes, GE is only $39 million less important than the 8 million people of Haiti. I think in both scenarios we have just about as good of a chance in getting repaid. We have almost zero chance.
Until we get our heads out of the dirt and get real about wasteful spending in our own country, we cannot expect the other nations of the world to take us seriously. What is more important to you? One big business, a talk show host, or 8 million lives?