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December 30, 2004

Foreign Aid - It's All How You Measure It

Foreign Aid: An Introductory Overview of U.S. Programs and Policy [Order Code 98-916, dated 4/15/04] From a report prepared by the Congressional Research Service, a division under the Library of Congress:

"The United States is the largest international economic aid donor in dollar terms but is the smallest contributor among major donor governments when calculated as a percent of gross national income."

Are We Stingy? Yes [NYT] If Americans are offended by Jan Egeland's criticism about the West - as in wealthy industrialized nations, not just the United States - that rich nations are "stingy" for not donating even 1% of their GNP for humanitarian/foreign aid purposes, then maybe we should examine why we're so quick to take offense. And hey, let's make a horrific disaster on the other side of the world all about US and OUR hurt feelings. (This calls to mind that scene in Dr. Strangelove when the President calls Russia to explain that a nuclear bomb is accidentally heading to Moscow and the President whines "Well, how do you think I feel?") Good thing individuals are willing to dig in their pockets, because we're not exactly getting a rousing call to action from the Man Who'd Rather Be Clearing Brush than Leading the World By Example. For instance, Amazon's tally of donations to the Red Cross - encouraging people simply by setting up a link - is now at $5,734,758.29, based on 91,095 donations.

Aid Grows Amid Remarks About President's Absence [Washington Post] And let's not ignore the opportunity take political cheap shots during times of tragedy. Josh Marshall aptly notes about this same article: "President's latest response to the tsunami tragedy: badmouth Bill Clinton."

Yours, &c., LC | 05:00 PM | Current Events , Librariana , Politics | TrackBack (0)

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