Tsunami Aid: Quick Calculation

The United States made an initial pledge of $15 million in post-tsunami disaster relief. Incredibly generous compared to, say, France, which is offering 100,000 euros; but less open-handed compared to Japan, which is sending $30 million and other forms of help; aid from Australia and the Netherland (something like $7.5 million and $2 million, respectively) is far greater per capita than what we’re offering. But it’s really the thought that counts.

Here’s how our $15 million stacks up against the pile of money we’re ploughing into Iraq. The cost of our ongoing "bust a dictator, start a democracy" project is about $150 billion to date. That’s 10,000 times as much as we’re contemplating putting into the tsunami recovery effort. Wait, though: It’s taken us 21 months to spend all that Iraq money. In round figures, let’s say we’ve spent $7 billion a month on average on dictator busting. In round figures again, that breaks down to $230 million a day. We spend $15 million in Iraq every one hour and 40 minutes. So the conclusion is obvious: We’re shelling out about 15.33 times as much for one day of building our future Mesopotamian democracy as we’re willing to spend to help deal with a calamity that some are calling the costliest disaster in history.

One Reply to “Tsunami Aid: Quick Calculation”

  1. Boy, you put it that way and this Iraq venture begins not to sound like the best idea ever conceived by man.
    Seriously: What fucking idiots. For humanitarian reasons, the richest and greatest country in the history of the world ought to be pulling out all the stops in helping the recovery effort. And if that doesn’t work for these shitheads in Washington, than how about the PR possibilities? If George Bush were to go on TV tonight and announce that the United States of America was dedicating up to 1 billion dollars to help the recovery and the rebuilding, I think that could begin to repair our horrible image around the world. You know, people around the world can do the math. THEY see what resources we are willing to put into Iraq. THEY see the gap.
    What a missed opportunity, and what a tragedy.

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