January 2nd, 2005
Number of deaths due to four Florida hurricanes in 2004: 117
Number of deaths due to Aceh earthquake and tsunami in 2004: 120,000+
Homeless due to Florida hurricanes: 11,000
Homeless due to Aceh earthquake/tsunami: 5,000,000
US government aid to help Florida hurricane victims: $2.04 billion
US government aid to help Aceh earthquake/tsunami victims: $35 million
Estimated cost of George Bush's upcoming inaguration celebration, not including security costs: $40 million
US government direct cost, per hour, of the US war in Iraq: $9 million
Spain per capita government contribution to help earthquake/tsunami victims: $2.30
Norway per capita government contribution to help earthquake/tsunami victims: $1.80
Australia per capita government contribution to help earthquake/tsunami victims: $1.30
UK per capita government contribution to help earthquake/tsunami victims: $0.48
France per capita government contribution to help earthquake/tsunami victims: $0.50
US per capita government contribution to help earthquake/tsunami victims: $0.12
Jackie Chan's personal contribution to help earthquake/tsunami victims: $200,000
Chan ratio of US government contribution (ratio of per capita US government donations to Jackie Chan's individual donation): 1/1,666,667, or 0.0000006
First thing's first: I haven't verified these numbers. I welcome corrections.
My understanding is that the number's gone up to $350 million which is still a pretty sad number, all things considered.
When I first heard people whining about this, I put it into perspective. The US is the single largest contributor to worldwide causes. Moreover, this is before counting private contributions. So, first off, these numbers are lying at least a little in that they aren't including all the other causes we regularly pour cash into.
My understanding is that compared to the gross product of other countries, our percentage of donations is relatively small. That's still a very large number though, so I find it hard to take that very seriously.
Of course, a few years ago, I remember reading a bit in Newsweek comparing charitable contributions of wealthy individuals like Bill Gates to contributions by the Rockefellers and other old-time capitalists. I recall that Bill Gates contributes something like 3% of his worth, whereas others were good for ~10%.
But again, these aren't trivial numbers, so it's hard to really take them seriously.
the first half of those number sound correct, at least based on what's been in the media lately. i don't know about the second half.
That's another reason I miss LA. The news practically hangs around in the air. You're bombarded with it daily whether you like it or not.
I've had to make an effort to stay informed up here. =/
and i come from a family of journalists
|Date:||January 3rd, 2005 04:44 am (UTC)|| |
The best comment I heard in regards to the drama over what we are contributing in relief was simply: "this is not about us."
Sure, the initial number was low. Since then, it's been bumped twenty fold. Is it still to low? Depends on who you ask. It's at least reasonable now. Regardless... This is not about republicans and democrats or even about the US. Whats going on over their is about them.
Granted, scoffing at the initial offer was appropriate, but to continue using it as an excuse for more partisan finger pointing is extremely self absorbed and inappropriate at this point. The focus should be on the areas affected.
Agreed, but one must wonder what the administration was thinking.
|Date:||January 3rd, 2005 03:24 pm (UTC)|| |
Probably something like. We have already driven the federal government into bankruptcy and we have huge plans to spend even more on social security. If we don't at least show some symbolic stinginess we may lose republican support in the house and senate.
Something rather sad I heard was that while many of the tourists from wealthy countries were getting plenty of aid and assistance, the locals outside of the tourist resorts were being left to fend for themselves.