I found the following in the NY Times. I knew much of it, but here is a nice summary of why there is terrorism in the world and why what we are doing will not work. So many Americans think we spend an inordinate amount on foreign aid without out looking at what and where. We spend it where we think we will gain the most from it. That’s not charity. Spending it where it is most needed is charity. It also elucidates promises broken.
It’s a very interesting article. Here’s the web link followed by a couple very brief quotess from the article.
Almost a third of the way into the program (United Nations Millennium Declaration which we signed), the latest available figures show that the percentage of United States income going to poor countries remains near rock bottom: 0.14 percent of GNP). Britain is at 0.34 percent, and France at 0.41 percent. (Norway and Sweden, to no one’s surprise, are already exceeding the goal, at 0.92 percent and 0.79 percent.)
The government spends $450 billion annually on the military, and $15 billion on development help for poor countries, a 30-to-1 ratio that, as Mr. Sachs puts it, shows how the nation has become "all war and no peace in our foreign policy."62
62 Comments On For those who think America gives outstanding foreign aid
SalB: Nice find. It is difficult to think of US foreign aid when the US is in need of continuous borrowing. Even our fabulous military is starting to show cracks. I guess the Bushies would say that our foray into Iraq is one, big, foreign aid project. How nice of us to think so highly of the freedom of Iraqis. Merry Christmas. Donerail
SalB: What did you expect from Bush and Co.? This is their "Christian conservatism" at it’s finest hour….
To quote Bush from 4 years ago, "What would Jesus do?"
I don’t think it would be what Bush is doing.
I am afraid that this country is on the path of the great Roman Empire…It lasted for 500 years…We owe the Chinese 700B because we borrow continuously from them and the Japanese to keep up our very expensive "tastes"…We just borrowed 10B to give to the Palestineans…What are we doing? We are destroying ourselves…
I say charity begins at home and until we get our budget under control…we should be thinking about all the hungry children in this country first…Charity begins at home…was this a quote in the Bible?
No wonder our trade deficit with the Chinese is so lopsided…When someone has you over a barrel, it’s hard to try and "call in your favors"…when in fact, the Chinese could call in our markers now…and what would we do?
you do make a good point. Remenber we waved debts that other countries owed us dating back to ww2 if we called on that even though we said no need to pay us back we could up our economy as we hurt others.But thats just what i think.
wow ! Donerail, do you see what I see ??
let me guess crc95 i did some thing or said some thing "worng". right?Ok lets hear it.Im ready lol lets start the bashing.lol
crc95: I need another clue. Donerail
The levels of debits "waived" are actually very low (and many other countries also waived similar debts).
Clearly situations and donations can change but as of earlier today, the US contributions to the Tsunami disaster relief are significantly lower contributions by other individual countries. I personally feel quite disappointed about the UK governments contribution (which is only twice that of the UK populations gifted donations), yet both these amounts make the current US contribution look pretty small.
Note that, as governments are (fortunately) continually changing their donations, don?t bother to contradict the above as, at the moment it is true though a contradiction may also be true in a few hours, etc.
It is also worth noting that different countries have different records with respect to actually providing the aid/funds publicly promised !
js: It is encouraging to see that the UK is still taking good care of the Colonies. I think that when the final tallies are made, the generosity of the citizens of the USA and other developed nations will apparent. Your anger towards the US is very apparent when you choose a contemporary natural disaster to hurl insults towards us. Donerail
The USA spends one-quarter of ONE percent of it’s national budget on aid to developing nations. Other countries spend up to 19 percent of their budgets and we don’t even come near 1 percent of aid. Much USA aid goes to Israel which doesn’t need foreign aid. Its economy is probably better than ours!
We have promised 35 million in aid to the tsunami victims and are spending 40 million for inaugural parties. Tell me now, how does that look to the rest of the world? FDR cancelled his inaugural parties during WW II. That would seem appropriate to me at this time.
Of all the money Bush promised to fight HIV in Africa, not one penny has actually been given . . . not one penny!
A parable: If a person with 100,000 dollars gives $100 as a donation to the poor and another person with only 1000 dollars gives $75 dollars, who is the most generous? It is not the person who gave the most money; it is the person who made the greatest sacrifice.
Thus, the USA gives a great deal of money but much poorer nations give a greater percentage of what they have; hence, they are the more generous. This is not a personal prejudice; it is documented fact.
Oddly, I think most Americans are very generous people. They simply do not know what their government is (or is not) doing.
SalB: The generosity of the US should be reflected by the actions of its citizens – not the Federal government. Foreign Aid by the USG is exactly that – political foreign aid when is suits the purposes of the (political) situation. Disaster aid should come from the Country’s citizens. The US Government should (and does) facilitate the distribution of aid via its governmental/military infrastructure. By the way, I read the same the same NY Times wire stories that you did but I would be more reserved when citing them as fact. The oft quoted $35 million was clearly labeled by State Department officials as "a start." The "12 cents per capita" is a mis-use of statistics. If you were one of the unfortunate victims of the tsunami tragedy, which would you prefer: $100 from a tycoon or $75 from Mother Theresa? For my family, I would take the $100. Another point, there is no nation on earth that provides 18% of its budget to foreign aid. Unless, of course, you are referring to the US Defence Budget. Or the US welfare budget. Unfortunately, the former is tied up trying to hunt down savages and the latter is tied up with providing for our millions of immigrants. Don’t get me wrong, I think our Government could do more except that it is being run by incompetents – not a problem of lacking priority or budget dollars. For those interested, the internet lists numerous agencies that money can be contributed to. Personally, I believe these agencies have more capable talent in dealing with the tragic situation than our US Government would. Plus, if its a recognized charity its becomes a tax deduction – not that tax deductibility should be the motivation. Donerail
Your anger towards the US is very apparent…. I’m not angry with the US but just pointing out a few current facts (as I cannot predict the future). Yesterday I was told that to date the US aid was less than it spends in Iraq before breakfast in one day. I was merely trying to identify a few facts and let people know how things are being reported (from what I have seen) in UK/Europe.
… hurl insults towards us – again, I was not directing comments towards people but rather commenting on governments and I certainly did not intend insults. All countries have their mix of generous and not so generous people, a full range of friendly and unfriendly individuals, etc. It is through governments that countries provide a major impression to the rest of the world. The money that governments have is actually all from the people (as the government is actually (in theory) the agent of the people).
I also find it somewhat embarrassing the level of aid offered by the UK government to the disaster relief. Whilst amounts are continually changing, the UK government initially announced it was providing Â£400000 (GBP) – which is the typical price of a single 3 bedroom house in London ! The figure has now increased but is currently only twice the amount that has been provided by spontaneous public donation.
Disaster aid should come from the Country’s citizens. I think that in such disasters, public donations are great, but they take time to collect (and for people to find how to give, etc.) and thus delays are incurred in providing the urgently needed aid. Also, the total available amounts are not known as monies are being pledged on an ongoing basis. For the relief agencies this makes planning very difficult, again resulting in delays. In such circumstances, I think it appropriate for governments to provide significant funds immediately to ensure that there are no delays in providing required aid. After all, the government money has come from the people originally (and the government is the representative of the people).
It is also unfortunate that the UN is not currently well structured to administer aid programs. Whilst it is a role the UN accepts, it currently has too many different departments with "compartmentalised" responsibilities. Internally there is virtually no coordination between these different departments.
Plus, if its a recognized charity its becomes a tax deduction In the UK, when you make a donation to a charity, you cannot declare the donation as a deduction from tax. Instead, when you make the donation you can sign a declaration that you have already paid tax on the money (when you earnt it) and the charity claims the tax back (e.g. give Â£1 and the charity can get Â£1.25 or whatever).
Of all the money Bush promised to fight HIV in Africa, not one penny has actually been given . . . not one penny! I heard it reported (in Europe) that this funding was withdrawn as an aspect of the program involved condoms (safe sex) and that on religious grounds Mr. Bush disapproved of this. He then withdrew all funds. When it was pointed out that Mr. Bush’s arguments were unfounded (i.e. that the program did not contravene his religious beliefs), he just went quite and never re-instated the funding. I don’t know how true this is but it is certainly how I saw it reported in the UK.
js: A thought just occurred to me whilst reading your last post. If it wasn’t for the UK and its attitude towards people and individual rights – there would be no USA today. Happy New Year. Donerail
Happy New Year people ! Best wishes for 2005. Bonne annÃ©e bonne santÃ©. Only 21 cars were burnt in Val-d’Oise last night, things are looking just better !
If it wasn’t for the UK and its attitude towards people and individual rights – there would be no USA today. I assume you are talking about historical events from a past. I appear to have touched a bit of a nerve with some of my comments. I do not intend to become defensive as this is not a UK/US "battle". On this current situation I merely pass comment on what I see as reported in the UK. As I mentioned earlier, I consider the UK government quite a disappointment with regard to the initial aid offered. I would probably comment on other countries though do not know what levels of assistance they have given.
However, with regard to developing world aid, those of us in the developed world should not forget that our standards of living are effectively supported by our exploitation of the developing world. We should not forget our requirements for resources not available in our own countries and that we purchase these at below their effective cost from the developing countries. Unfortunately many developing countries are caught in a bad situation as they have no requirement for the resources themselves and thus have little choice but to take what is offered from the developed world.
Were such a disaster to strike a country in the developed world, then that country would be in a better starting position to handle the tragedy. It says a lot about human nature when people begrudge helping others because they live in a different country. It is disappointing that people need indulge high living standards, to drive excessive vehicles, consume luxury resources, etc. when a significant portion of the planet do not have enough to eat, do not have clean water to drink, do not have what could even be called housing, etc..
js, You don’t have to be defensive. donerail is defensive enough for all of us. If you agree with him, you are intelligent, responsible and well read. If you disagree with him, you are wrong and ignorant. It’s a very simple set of rules.
I solved the problem by refusing to respond to him. My choice was to ignore him or to quit the forum. I enjoy the repartee with other forum members so I use the forum and ignore the nastiness. I think the Amish call it "shunning."
Being new to this forum I am not yet aware of many contributors personalities. I suppose I have several different reasons for participating, though these reasons do not involve insulting or offending others (what would be the point of that). I prefer to discuss issues and exchange views and opinions, thus enabling me (and others) to see events from a different perspective and to allow ones own attitudes to develop and evolve.
SalB: And Happy New Year to you as well. When it comes to defensiveness, you set the standard. I thought that you were going to abide by the old adage: "If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Your pointers, suggestions, and help on travel topics are well respected. Your commentary, or should I say your shrill pontifications, on subjects outside of travel are generally not well thought out. I still would like to know the identity of the nation that devotes 18% of its budget to foreign aid. In any event, hang in there. It says something if you can’t carry on a conversation on the internet. Think about it. Donerail
crc95: Is Val d’Oise the French equivalent of our Detroit? Donerail
js: Strangely, I actually agree with most of your observations. To me, though, it doesn’t seem particularly helpful to throw out statistics that would seem to draw a conclusion that folks in the US (or that its government) are unsympathetic or stingy with regard to the tsunami tragedy. Such is just not the case and to imply otherwise is just plain crude. What point were you trying to develop? Yes, it is quite the case that if the US wasn’t mired down in Iraq that we would have greater resources to devote to the South Asia tragedy. Is that the point that you want to develop? Donerail
When people refer to we should be thinking about all the hungry children in this country first it is not an either/or situation. You can afford to do both. I’m afraid that people cannot argue that the US cannot afford to feed its own citizens. It is a question of motivation (or politics). When you spend your money on wars, tax cuts (vote winners ?), etc. of course you are limited on where else you can spend your money – its more about deciding what to do with your money and not about not having enough.
The Tsunami tragedy is one of many tragedies in the world. It is an immediate and dramatic tragedy. Without wanting to start arguments about which tragedies are worse than others, I also consider the ongoing famines, where there is no clean drinking water, no housing and disease conditions, no medical care, etc. etc. tragedies. All require assistance from those countries that can afford it (and that does include the US, UK, etc.)
How can charities plan and provide aid when governments announce that they will not be honouring previous financial support promises (from the article SalB originally referenced the Bush administration has reduced its contributions to global food aid programs aimed at helping hungry nations become self-sufficient, and it has told charities like Save the Children and Catholic Relief Services that it won’t honor earlier promises.)
With regard to the Tsunami statistics, I was presenting a couple of facts that were true at that moment in time. If you found them distasteful then so be it but they were facts. I did not state of imply that the US people or government were stingy, just that at that time the US contributions were significantly lower than those of many other smaller and poorer countries. Another interesting quote from the originally referenced article The test is the percentage of national income we give to the poor, and on that basis this country is the stingiest in the Group of Seven industrialized nations.
Also, as a slight aside, there is no obligation that the US provide foreign aid. It is for each country to decide if and how much foreign aid it can and will provide. It would help developing nations if countries did not promise aid then fail to provide promised funds (rather messes-up planning) but that’s just down to how a country’s leaders regard and treats others.
Clearly each country has limited funds which also limits levels of foreign aid. Another very true quote from the article shows how the nation has become "all war and no peace in our foreign policy."
js: If you are not trying to develop the notion that the US is either cheap or untrustworthy, then what point are you trying to develop? Saying that you are just tossing out "facts" for our consumption is interesting but I think you have more to tell us. Donerail
js: From the flavor of your posts, as an American citizen, I feel compelled to defend the Bush administration. As most people can appreciate, it is very difficult and distasteful to defend the Bush administration. Try this on for size. The generoristy of other nations that you referred to comes from their surpluses. The US just annnounced another $350 million to South Asia relief – which we will have to borrow from the Chinese and Japannese. How many nations are as humane as the US in that we will actually take out a loan to help others? Maybe the UK can help more as well by channelling the funds set aside for the Queen and her Entourage and divert it for international relief. Donerail
Wow – a real nerve touched.
The generoristy of other nations that you referred to comes from their surpluses. the only other nation I remember referring to was the UK and my comments about the UK were also that I felt that their contributions were also pretty low (at the time).
but I think you have more to tell us. As always I have loads to say but don’t like waffling on too much and prefer discussion. Donerail seems to have labelled me as somebody who is anti-US. Actually this is not the case. I believe that the only way forward for us all is greater cooperation between all countries. However, for such greater cooperation, administrations and people need to have a open outlook on things and an appropriate attitude. At the moment I think that the US and the rest of the world is moving apart rather than closer together and that this will hurt everybody. Helping other countries in need is one of many ways to bring about greater cooperation, yet I see comments like I say charity begins at home
Donerail, I would not suggest for one moment that you should not defend the Bush administration. I am not a US citizen and thus what leadership you chose to support has nothing to do with me (except in so far as our poodle seems to treat the UK as another US state). I may not agree with his attitudes nor many of his international policies but each to their own opinions.
(As I previously stated) I am quite sure that the UK can contribute more. However, diverting funds from the Queen and family will provide very little in itself. That said, the UK government is currently being pretty good at wasting public money.
Where has this … nation that devotes 18% of its budget to foreign aid come from ? I think I?ve missed something.
<< For those not familiar with UK politics, in the same way that the US has a chimp, the UK a poodle (Mr. Blair) >>
Budget figures for various nations can be found in a NY Times article dated Dec. 23, 2004 and titled something like "America the Indifferent." It is archived now and I’m not spending my money to reread an article I read Dec. 23. If you want the figures, Google them or pay for the article.
I more readily accept figures from the NY Times than from forum members who do not have the resources to check their own figures (including my own as my memory is as faulty as the next person).
Doing a Google search I found the following.
"When the world’s governments met at the Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, they adopted a programme for action under the auspices of the United Nations — Agenda 21. Amongst other things, this included an Official Development Assistance (ODA) aid target of 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) for rich nations, roughly 22 members of the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development), known as the Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
ODA is basically aid from the governments of the wealthy nations, but doesn’t include private contributions or private capital flows and investments. The main objective of ODA is to promote development. It is therefore a kind of measure on the priorities that governments themselves put on such matters. (Whether that necessarily reflects their citizen’s wishes and priorities is a different matter!) Other aid, such as private capital flows may be for investment purposes, etc."
They then charted the amount each nation had contributed toward this goal of .7% of GNP. They listed twenty-one industrialized nations. Norway came in first with .92% GPP; Denmark, .84% GNP; Netherlands at .81% GNP; Luxembourg .8% GNP; Sweden at .7% GNP. All other nations were below the agreed target of .7% GNP.
France was 8 on the list; UK 10th, Germany 12th, Canada 13th. The USA was 22 on the list of 21 countries. In other words were weren’t in the top 21 industrialized countries even though we were original signatories. Only Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden met or exceeded the target goal.
There is a lot of other information and I have no idea how accurate it is but you can look it up at http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp#ForeignAidNumbersinChartsandGraphs
In defense of the USA here is a further quote from the same above-referenced web site.
"As an aside, it should be emphasized that the above figures are comparing government spending. Such spending has been agreed at international level and is spread over a number of priorities. Individual/private donations may be targeted in many ways. However, even though the charts above do show U.S. aid to be poor (in percentage terms) compared to the rest, the generosity of the people of America is far more impressive than their government. As discussed further below, the government spending has tied agendas that has often been detrimental to the recipient. Private aid/donation in contrast has been through charity on individual people and organizations though this of course can be weighted to certain interests and areas. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note for example, per latest estimates, Americans privately give at least $34 billion overseas — more than three times U.S. official foreign aid of $10 billion:"
This gels with what I said in an earlier post about most Americans being generous. Governments do not always reflect the wishes of the majority of their people . . . even democracies.
js: I envy you. You seem to have an unfettered ability to drone on without ever registering a position. SalB would be proud of you. Donerail
crc95: Help!! Donerail
Donerail: Not prepared to get into one of your slanging matches. I’ve seen you do it to others in this and other threads and it contributes nothing to the tread.
If you actually read what I had written my "position" is clearly stated. It is that both the UK and US governments could provide significantly more assistance to developing countries (I have little knowledge of other countries provided assistance and thus am not commenting on them). Also, that the recent Tsunami disaster also illustrated this (at the time of my original post). From the factual information posted it does appear that the US government acts in a "self-interested" manner with regard to aid to developing countries.
This is the second time you have tried to initiate personal insults in this thread alone (…or should I say your shrill pontifications, on subjects outside of travel are generally not well thought out. and You seem to have an unfettered ability to drone on without ever registering a position.). You may not agree of like the comments being posted in which case state you disagree and if you like say why and if you like present some supporting facts – that way people can consider your arguments agree or disagree and the discussion can proceed.
I suggest we get back to discussing the important topic of this thread.
"You can afford to do both"…regarding my remark, "charity begins at home"…First of all, if you followed the 2004 election, many in Ohio became offended by British citizens e-mailing them and telling them what they should "think" about the candidates…We separated ourselves from the throne and their dictates, let’s see, some time back if memory serves me correctly…
As an American, I am offended that you state, "You can afford to do both"…meaning give more aid and take care of our needy at home. Why am I offended…Because you are not American and you should not be telling us how to run "our business"…
Furthermore…people who live in glass houses should not throw stones…and when you clean up your backyard, then perhaps I will invite you to help me clean up mine…that includes your poodle and HRS…
Well said. I think this is the first time I truly agree with your statements.
I don’t think the amount of our tax dollars going overseas should be the basis of how well our country feeds the world. Yes, I said our country. As SalB stated, private american organizations give more than the government. That’s the way it should be. It is far better to give what you can, than pay the tax collector. That way I know where my money is going. Give to World Vision at http://www.worldvision.com .
Why must the government always be involved? I never understood this position.
Oh, by the way, here are some of the uncounted millions of US dollars going to aid the region.
The price of a US Carrier Battle Group: $150 Billion
The price of manning that battle group: $250 Billion
The ability of this nation to rapidly deploy that battle group to assist those in peril (including disaster victims): PRICELESS
The amount of dollars the Navy is spending to support relief operations is not included in it’s operating budget, it must be authorized by Congress. Still, that money will never be included in the actual aid we provide to that region.
You can’t win here. Despite statements Also, as a slight aside, there is no obligation that the US provide foreign aid. It is for each country to decide if and how much foreign aid it can and will provide. people think I am telling the US how much money it should give in foreign aid. Maybe I should explain the Also, as a slight aside, there is no obligation that the US provide foreign aid. It is for each country to decide if and how much foreign aid it can and will provide.
Part 1 Also, as a slight aside, indicates that this statement is a bit off the topic of the thread
Part 2 there is no obligation that the US provide foreign aid. indicates that I am stating that the US is not obliged to provide any foreign aid atall.
Part 3 It is for each country to decide if and how much foreign aid it can and will provide. indicates that each country needs to make its own decisions – i.e. I am clearly stating that for the US, the US needs to decide, for the UK the UK needs to decide, etc.
Furthermore…people who live in glass houses should not throw stones – maybe you also did not read my comments about the poor level of contribution by the UK government. I was making general comments about all countries (or rather UK and US of which I had factual knowledge) – but some US forum participants seem to have taken this as a direct criticism (which it clearly was not if you actually read what I had written).
Why must the government always be involved? One very good reason why governments should be quick to react is that they can. In practice governments can provide immediate funds. Public contributions take a bit longer. Public takes time to donate, charities take time to collect, etc. and thus for the fund to accumulate takes time. Such tragedies need both immediate and longer term aid. The immediate is best provided by governments as they can provide immediate funds. The source of longer term aid is less important as there is less urgency.
Because you are not American – God forbid than a non-US citizen should make any comment on the US. My greatest apologies. I will never again exceed my rank to the extent of making a comment on the US.
This is now getting a bit out of hand. I have never come across a group of people so ready to take offence at the smallest comment (actually a statement of fact). That people fail to read what was written, filtering out the bits they can find offensive (when out of context) and then get up-tight about it all. Pretty unbelievable.
ikorrellim First of all, if you followed the 2004 election, many in Ohio became offended by British citizens e-mailing them – what has this got to do with charity begins at home. E-mailing citizens in Ohio telling them how to vote is not very justifiable but I think you might be going a bit far to then label all British as doing such things. I’m also sure there are many things the some British people do the US people find offensive, in the same way as there are things that some US people do that British find offensive, etc. etc. but living together means we have to be tolerant and recognise that some individuals behaviour does not label the entire nation (both ways).
I would be interested in finding out more about this British e-mailing people in Ohio (where did they get their e-mail addresses, what did they say, etc.) – maybe you have a web link to anewspaper article or something ? Also, how does British people e-mailing people in Ohio about voting relate to Charity beginning at home ?
Well, there you have it! Proof positive of what 1200 years of inbreeding will produce!
Donerail : help you with what ? Lol … you remind me of an old rap song :
It was you that chose your due
You built a maze you can’t get through
I tried to help you all I can
Now I can’t do nuttin’ for you man
I can’t do nuttin’ for you man
You got all these people on your back now
I can’t do nuttin’ for ya man
Crc got problems of his own
I can’t do nuttin’ for you man
Go lean on shells answer man
I can’t do nuttin’ for ya man
You jumped out of the jelly into a jam
Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask you this : I read recently that Massachussetts was the only state to lose population. What do you think is the cause of this ?
But, since you needed help, I asked Kfowler’s opinion on this matter. Here’s what he had to say :
‘ Let’s see … last time I checked Asia was a wasteland and I don’t want my hard earned money to be spended on helping these goons. And for the record last time I checked I am not a racist becos my wife is hispanic and since I bought her the law tells me that I am not a rasist. And beleeve me I know the law becaus I was in the army and I did two weeks collage before I joined the Police Force to serve my country. ‘
crc95: Thank you for your support. I knew I could count on your help. Yah, Massachusetts, the good old Bay State, has lost population from the most recent census. The reasons for the exodus are twofold: Software jobs going to India and Ireland coupled with continued erosion of manufacturing jobs. It is also fairly expensive to live here and we never saw a tax that we didn’t like. Border towns in New Hampshire and Rhode Island have gained in population. Even with the tax situation, we have a pretty good quality of life. Probably one of the top two or three areas in the US. Thanks again for that big time help. Now I have to bond with js.
js: Please to forgive me. I was wrong to try to entice you into joining in one of my "slanging matches." I am not sure I know what a slanging match is, but since you say it contributes nothing to the thread, it must be bad. Your ability to know someone else?s motivations is a valuable gift. Also, since you find my prose insulting, I will endeavor to communicate in a more neutral tone. I hope you find this much more civilized and more suitable for your reading pleasure. I do hope you are not insulted or, heaven forbid, hurt by my post. I recognize that our friends from the UK are somewhat reserved whilst we may seem a tad incendiary.
Thank you for finally stating what your position is on aid to developing countries. It took a long time for you to state it in terms that were understandable to me. Forgive me for not discerning it at an earlier point in time as I must be a bit slow. Your position, if I may be so bold to restate it, is that both the UK and US could provide provide significantly more assistance to developing countries and that the recent Tsunami disaster is further proof of the validity of your position.
I cannot comment with any degree of material accuracy with respect to your position in so far as the UK is concerned. I just do not have enough facts or knowledge with respect to the UK. With regard to the US, however, your position does not make much sense. If the US is spending much more than it takes in thru trade or taxation, which in fact the US does, how can the US afford to or be expected to provide ANY foreign aid let alone significant increases? js, please be so kind and enlighten me.
Just to provide a point of reference, and without trying to slang you, my position on this thread was and still is: Most of the US government?s foreign aid is based upon political interests. Foreign aid, in general, should be financed directly from the donations of a country?s population and not from government taxation. This reduces the politicization of foreign aid. That said, I also stated the US will be providing significant aid to the tsunami victims, even though it does not have the financial resources to do so. Further, when the USG?s logistics resources are combined with the donations of its citizens ? the amount of aid will be substantial and truly reflective of what the USA is all about. I think my position has objective merit whilst your?s seems to be based more on subjectivity, emotion, politics or a combination of the three. Please bear in mind, I am not trying to insult you by telling you that. I view it as constructive criticism. Once you tell me why it is a better idea for government?s to finance foreign aid thru taxation versus contributions from its citizens, I will be in a better position to accept and embrace your position. I still believe that contributions to agencies like the Red Cross, CARE, etc. are much more effective and efficient than what bureaucratic governments can accomplish. (no offense to crc95)
You can see that ikorrellim and dholland62 have similar thoughts to mine and have posted accordingly. dholland62 makes a very good point on the dollar value of our military infrastructure. I trust you will find us Yanks an emotional group and, for the most part, we do not mean any emotional harm to you or others on the forum. kfouler5 may be an exception to this generalization. Mistakes will occasionally happen as I apparently sent SalB over the edge. Deep down, though I think even SalB still enjoys this. I think she is just frustrated that she can’t get her hands around my neck.
Just a final administrative note, I think you interpreted some of my posts to SalB as being intended for you directly. That was not my intent and it may be a problem on my end. For example, SalB had indicated that other countries spend up to 19% of their budgets on foreign aid. I was asking for SalB to identify one or more of those countries as I believed the statement to be in error. Thank you for your advice and I look forward to learning specifically how and why the US government should increase its foreign aid. Facts, as I am sure you will agree, will be most appreciated. Can we do better? Of course we can. It is after all, the pursuit of happiness. That is the reason we became the USA. With deepest respect, Donerail
I am not sure I know what a slanging match must be a UK expression (thought it was more widespread) meaning hurling abuse etc. at each other.
Never suggested I was insulted ? that was everybody else.
I had assumed that the 19% SalB mentioned was the figure of the aid promised then provided (i.e. promise $100 but actually only give $19). There is a major problem with countries promising large sums of money (sounds good in the press) but then never actually giving out the money (often forgotten by the press).
My argument for governments providing aid is, in the case of disasters there is an immediate requirement for aid ? time is of the essence. Donations by public take time. For example, in the UK it was only yesterday that the 1st television adverts appeared appealing for donations. From what I see on UK TV, President(s) Bush(es) and Clinton have only today (or yesterday) appealed to the public to donate generously. Whilst donations have been given before this time, the immediate need (timeliness) in practice can only be met by governments. Longer term and ongoing aid may be a different matter. However, it is probably an unfortunate aspect of human nature but I think many people respond more generously to an immediate sudden disaster and can often be less motivated when the situation is an ongoing one (e.g. Africa famines, etc.)
(Although I’m now repeating myself) my points about being able to provide funds (that also seems to have offended many (even though it does not have the financial resources to do so) is that each country has to decide how it wishes to spend what money it has. UK government has done that (and is wasting loads), US government has as well and it has decided to spend more than it has. It could decide not to have tax cuts (which I believe the original referenced article mentioned) which might not be so popular but would me it would not have to borrow so much, etc. The US has the choice as to how it wishes to balance its budgets.
Your position ? is that both the UK and US could provide provide significantly more assistance to developing countries and that the recent Tsunami disaster ? – with respect to general aid to developing countries yes, both US and UK could do quite a bit more (after all they did agree to as per the originally referenced article). With regard to the Tsunami disaster, situations are continually changing and at the time of my post that seemed to start this massive reaction, yes they could do more. Certainly, last Fri the US gov. increased its financial aid from $35 million to $350 million – so it’s a continually changing position (though I did point that out in my original post).
To get a bit defensive, I never accused the US of being stingy (a Mr Sachs ? of the UN did that). I never did tell the US how to spend its money, I just pointed out that it could spend it differently if it wanted to (its more about deciding what to do with your money and not about not having enough.).
As you mention, it is not for me to say how or why the US government can or should do more. Being a UK citizen I can how and why the UK government should do more.
The Guardian first reported the e-mails to the people in Ohio…It was a red county they were trying to influence…It was on all the cable channels including the BBC and CNN…you do not keep up with the news? The Brits got back some pretty harsh e-mails…but, basically, bottom line was, "mind your own business…when you have a vote in this election, then you can express your opinion to me"…
I do watch the news but cannot see every new report nor read every newspaper (practical time limitations and it appears to have been a single report on the BBC).
From what I can find looking back, there was an issue with the Guardian providing a mechanism for its UK readers to contact US voters in Ohio (not the Guardian reporting the event). It was all started by a single columnist working at the UK Guardian newspaper. I?m not surprised some harsh responses were returned. But again, to label a nation because of a bad idea by one person.
Without justifying the ludicrous actions, another aspect which may partially explain why some UK people participated was actually internal UK reasons. Within the UK there is a strong feeling that Mr. Blair does what and when Mr. Bush tells him to. There is a recognised (and admitted) feature of Bush/Blair meetings known a ?slippage?. Basically Mr. Blair thinks he has agreed something but what has actually been stated is something else. This (together with Mr. Blair doing what he is told) causes British people to feel that the UK is being treated as a non-voting annex to US. The UK parliament has raised questions about Mr. Blair and his relationship to Mr. Bush (i.e. that the UK is doing what it is told when it is told to do it rather than a true partnership).
Other factors that may have contributed to people being willing are things like Mr. Bush trying to interfere with Europe. A classic example is Mr. Bush stating that the US was supporting Turkey?s entry into Europe ? and it has nothing to do with him (which he was publicly told by the French). I assume that under US terminology this was not him interfering but just mining his own business (sarcastic comment ? don?t take offence).
Whether you like it or not, the US is still the world’s dominate power…and as such, our opinion does matter and affect the lives of other country’s people, progress, etc…
Until you get your backyard cleaned up, I suggest that you concern yourself with who will become "top dog" with the EU…France or Britain…that is where your concern should be…not the US, it’s government, it’s president…
If you and your people are concerned about Blair doing as he is told…then change leadership…like we tried to do…of course, I am sure, your Mr. Blair, if he does as he is told by the US, will use the same "scare tactics" Bush and his chickenhawks used to slip over the top into another term…
I am more unhappy with this government than your people…unfortunately, the "uninformed" and the "scared" won this election for Bush…so go away with your opinions on how we do things…unless you want Britain want your a– kicked again…
?concern yourself with who will become "top dog" with the EU…France or Britain With current UK government UK will not become ?top dog?, although having said that, I believe that Europe is not based around who is ?top dog? but is more based around mutual cooperation (something the UK is currently also not very good at).
You are right in your comment our opinion does matter and affect the lives of other country’s people, progress, etc… which is where part of the problem is. For the US?s views, etc. to affect other countries, yet for those other countries to have no say nor be able to influence actions can cause frustrations (which probably contributed to the ludicrous e-mailing farce). I would not propose that non-US citizens start having influence, though can see how the situation can cause frustrations for non-US people. It is probably only really a problem with the current administrations attitude to other countries. I am not talking about specific things they are doing, but rather their underlying attitude. For example, to Mr. Bush, Tony Blair is a ?special friend?, there is supposed to be a great deal of cooperation between the two yet since the end of the Iraq war Mr. Bush has caused Mr. Blair several major political problems over the justification for the Iraq war ? resulting in at least one major judicial enquiry into UK government actions. Mr. Bush did not have to do this ? he gave the impression (to the UK) that UK had done what he wanted and now could no longer care about them.
I tried twice to post the following to js:
Bush named most powerful man in Britain; tied with Blair…by GO Mag…soccer champ came in second…
Why are we being denied access to the thread…Goodby?
Why was Donerail’s post deleted…I read it this morning…it stated, "Why is the thread Goodby being censored"…Now his post is gone.
Also, I tried to post on Goodby and it denied me access…
What did we say wrong?
I invite you to read our Terms of Services. You will find in there a few reasons why we had to put a stop to the ‘Goodbye’ thread.
Also, dear forum participants, we believe the time has come for you to realize that the ‘Political Forums’ may soon be put offline. It may give everyone the time to cool down and show respect for other forum participants.
If, at our sole discretion, we conclude that our terms are not being abided to, we will suspend our Political forums indefinitely.
This is time for good governance on the France.com Forums. We know that some will cry foul and decry our ‘censorship’. We call it a simple matter of ‘courtoisie’, and we feel it has been absent from these forums for too long.
As there is no need to keep posts that decry a policy that has been in place since the inception of our forums, they will be deleted without any notice, as we have started doing today.
If someone is unhappy about these deletions and continues to cry foul on our forums, that person will be banned indefinitely.
The new year ushers in wishes of Peace on Earth, and we certainly would like to extend these on our Forum participants!
Have a great time!
ikorrellim: I see you had the same problem as me. <snip> !
If I’m accused of having good manners, I plead guilty. The only things I’ve reported to the Forum Administrator have been advertisements (that are not allowed on the forum).
Since certain members have not yet read the Terms of Service, following are the first two paragraphs.
"This web site is a "family friendly" site. We welcome people of all ages to our forums. Because of this, keep posts "clean" and do not engage in sexual innuendo, excessively crude talk, violent or threatening talk, foul langauage, or personal attacks. Posts containing any of the above may be removed or edited without notification. Threads which degenerate into disruptive battles, "dirty" talk, or which in any other way violate a "family friendly" atmosphere may be removed.
We encourage enthusiastic and spirited discussion. Disagreements can make for good discussion. People are allowed to disagree and state opinions strongly. However, hostile posts, or a pattern of hostile posts, which disrupt the level of conversation on a thread may also be edited or removed, and action may be taken against offending posters."
This isn’t too difficult to understand and when you post on the forum, you agree to accept these terms. If you can’t accept them, see if they can be changed. Don’t act like a two year old and see how far you can go before someone takes enforcing action.
Well, this is interesting…I would be curious to ask…why did you let K5fouler continue his "abuse" of other member’s of the forum…and I thought that we had a pretty good forum going since K5fourler left…I was merely explaining to JS how most American’s feel when another country or people of another country seek to explain what is wrong with us a a people or a country…
People who live in glass houses should not throw stones, or they might be picked up and thrown back at their glass house…
ikorrellim: Alas, I share your frustration. You can see that my post above was edited by the Administrator. Actually, I thought the post was one of my finest and it contained only two sentences that may have been questionable. Yet by word count 99.81% of the post was deleted. It wasn?t editing but pure censorship and I understand the action was in accordance with the Terms of Service but the Form missed a real classic. It was out there though for a few hours and I trust some folks may have enjoyed reading it. I hope that The Person Who Is Always Offended was able to read it before it was pulled off. Isn?t it nice for The Person Who Is Always Offended to be able to teach us how to be civil. We can also rely on The Person Who Is Always Offended to post definitions for us and to quote the rules for us. Since we can?t include wit, criticism or emotion in our posts ? (well, some can including The Person Who Is Always Offended, but not us) ? we will just have to adjust our behavior and rely on cynicism ? that seems to work ok for The Person Who Is Always Offended. I have learned my lesson not to offend The Person Who Is Always Offended. So what can we talk about without offending The Person Who Is Always Offended? . The Administrator and The Person Who Is Always Offended suggest that our political debates go too far and get too heated. Ikorrellim, do you have any recipes that you would like to share with the Forum? Vegetarian only. Or any gardening tips? I just love tomatoes. Maybe we could talk about the weather. Its cold and snowy here. We could talk about literature. That would be exciting wouldn?t it? Whoops, I almost slipped there. But we should avoid any discussion involving politics, religion, or culture because that could offend people ? especially The Person Who Is Always Offended. After all, there must be many people out there who are forced to participate in these Forums and we certainly shouldn?t be saying anything that could possibly offend them. And if we act like two year olds, that would also offend The Person Who Is Always Offended. Its going to be difficult, ikorrellim, but rules are rules. Donerail
Why do you think I have almost stopped posting here? I became sick and tired of the nastiness in the postings. Granted, I’ve been known to post some rather "strong" words, but I’m tired of the threats, hypocrites and other negatives posting here. In all my postings, I don’t remember threatening or harassing somebody here in their real life. However, I received threats and intimidation in my real life. I don’t appreciate that at all.
ManuNice left, JS left, SalB and I rarely post here anymore. It’s something for people here to ponder.
LVB: Come ‘mon, get a grip. You have been no different than any of us on here. If you go back and review some of your posts to amero-frank, sweird, frankesary and some others, you will see that you have been as emotional as any of us on here. Don’t get me wrong, folks like those disserve (did I spell it right?) what they get. I think the people who stay here have a true love of France and things and people that are French. I think some people just drift off as the net is a huge place. js left and is the only one (or one of the very few who stated the reason was offending behavior.) I had what I thought was a thoughtful message for her but my post was censored/deleted. The contra-example is ikorrellim. The exchanges we had with her could not have been much more vapid. I know I now respect ikorrellim. We have found some valuable common ground. js was unique in that he or she was very articulate and, to put it mildly, was very reserved. js came to a US based site entitled "France.com" and tossed a couple of shots towards Americans. Some Americans were offended by this – except (amazingly) The Person Who Is Always Offended. js tossed a few offending shots and left in a huff when riled Americans shot back. I found myself having to figure out how to defend GWB for gawd’s sakes. Those who were offended (and should have been, TPWIAO notwithstanding) were then threatened by the Administrator. It is too bad that js left as he or she was articulate but I don’t think he or she had any intentions of staying anyway once he or she saw that there were too many Americans on here. Political debate usually gets heated but is very popular. How popular was the thread that you and TPWIAO had of exchanging recipes? Donerail
I think that SalB has a good Postulation about Foreign Aid being good from the USA. Foreign Aid in terms of men dead in Vietnam and Men dead in Korea. Foreign Aid in terms of the $23 billion a year budgetted for Vietnam War by Johnson and Nixon. McNamara’s wall in French Indochina did not hold up. C’est la guerre, and c’est l’Indepence of the Indochinese who didn’t want USA or Russia or even China in their faces with Heavy guns. I agree with La Vielle Branche about the extensive bad sentences here…. but I guess that is "Bloggism"….as it is used against Tom Dascshle, Dan Rather and even poor Rush Limball.
Whhen we have people living in cardboard boxes and mentaly ill homeless people living in the parks and subways, we must figure out how to solve our own social problems. You say the US should give more aid overseas , I think we should give more aid right here. Our problems aren’t simple to solve. Judges have found loopholes in vagracy laws. Anyone not a danger to themself or others have the right to live on the streets. France is a great country, close to my heart, but I doubt any of you know the answers. I didn’t vote for Bush so I won’t defend his actions. Throwing money at problems don’t solve them
And guess who the Bushies owe a bunch of money to? China!
Jesus probably either would have voted for Kerry or wouldn’t have voted at all. Jesus would not vote for a lying b…..d like George W. Bush who acquired the presidency by fraud in the first place.
personally, I’m here researching..but am a average working poor American and I find that most "global" citizens forget..regardless of politics..America "at a great sacrifice of lives" did regaurdless of belief, in fact, saved the world during WWII. Without American industrialization and belief in "freedom" all of Europe would all still be "goose steppin" and just maybe or friends the Brits realize this and are loyal to us because they understand that…(cough cough)
and if it wasn’t for American aid to Israel, they would be destroyed by the Arab states. That’s not even discussing the potential jewish use of a nuclear weapon..that their not supposed to have..
I personally want to see more love from other nations for individual Americans just want work, to live, and enjoy thier lives without fear of jealous nations. for certainly ..people hate Americans because their jealous of our percieved wealth.. myself….i say we’re all slaves to the "almighty dollar".
go ahead flame me…lmao… I love y’all too..hehe
I’ve lived in France a while back, and I can tell you that Europeans do NOT hate the American people. They dislike the Bush Administration, and everything he has done since taking office. They also laughed at the Republicans for their impeachment sex scandal against Clinton. As if lying about his sex life is grounds for impeachment!
If it wasn’t for France, the "colonies" would never have broken away from Merry Old England, the Revolutionary War would have been lost, and you’d be singing "God Save the Queen" instead of "The Star Spangled Banner."
France provided military strategy, intellegence, generals and MONEY to the "colonies" during the Revolutionary War. That is something Americans fail to remember…(cough, cough)
Very True indeed..
and um…yea..i miss ole "Brother Bill"..