Thursday, December 30, 2004

No, we're not "stingy"...

...but the guy running our government is.

Juan 'The Cruncher' Cole takes a swing at Bush's defense of the US Government's (as opposed to the unquestionably generous US people's) feeble response to the tsunami relief efforts in South East Asia and hits one out of the park...

...Bush is an MBA, so he knows very well the difference between absolute numbers and per capita ones. Let's see, Australia offered US $27 million in aid for victims of the tsunami. Australia's population is about 20 million. Its gross domestic product is about $500 billion per year. Surely anyone can see that Australia's $27 million is far more per person than Bush's $35 million. Australia's works out to $1.35 per person. The US contribution as it now stands is about 9 cents per person. So, yes, the US is giving more in absolute terms. But on a per person basis, it is being far more stingy so far. And Australians are less wealthy than Americans, making on average US $25,000 per year per person, whereas Americans make $38,000 per year per person. So even if Australians and Americans were both giving $1.35 per person, the Australians would be making the bigger sacrifice. But they aren't both giving $1.35; the Bush administration is so far giving an American contribution of nine cents a person.
...while offering a telling point about the administration's feeble support for their own education program at the same time....
The apparent inability of the American public to do basic math or to understand the difference between absolute numbers and proportional ones helps account for why Bush's crazy tax cut schemes have been so popular. Americans don't seem to realize that Bush gave ordinary people checks for $300 or $600, but is giving billionnaires checks for millions. A percentage cut across the board results in far higher absolute numbers for the super-wealthy than for the fast food workers. But, well, if people like being screwed over, then that is their democratic right.
(As usual, emphasis mine throughout...)

Of course, Bush is promising more to come. Who knows, maybe his humanitarian contribution to the most severe natural disaster of our time will outstrip the spending on his inauguration after all.

There are a few governments that don't think a dime is too much to give, including...
AUSTRALIA: Increased aid to $27 million
BRITAIN: Pledged 15 million pounds ($28.9 million
CANADA: Government aid C$40 million ($33 million).
DENMARK: Increased aid pledge to 85 million Danish crowns ($15.6 million)
EUROPEAN UNION: Ready to release up to 30 million euros on top of 3 million euros already allocated to IFRC.
FRANCE: 15 million euros pledged to affected states
. They all put Bushco to shame on a per capita basis, and they're not alone.

(Thanks to the Beltway Bandit for the link.)


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