Is the US Stingy?
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Posted 1/18/10

as "Jim Lobe" has pointed out...! (who is Jim Lobe)






WASHINGTON - As the United States and the rest of the world rush aid to the victims of last Sunday's tsunamis around the Indian Ocean, a public debate has emerged on whether Americans are "stingy" or "generous" in their foreign aid.

The question was sparked by the UN's chief for humanitarian operations, Jan Egeland's characterization of western donors as "stingy" last Monday. Although he did not, as widely reported, single out the United States for criticism, reactions to the comment have loudest from here.

Right-wing U.S. commentators jumped on Egeland's remark as the latest provocation by the UN against Washington, arguing that the ungrateful Norwegian obviously did not know what he was talking about.

Bush himself denounced Egeland's characterization as "very misguided and ill-informed," and went on to insist that the US$2.4 billion Washington spent in emergency aid in 2003 represented 40 percent of the total amount of emergency assistance from all bilateral donors provided that year.

"No," he told reporters at his ranch in Texas, "we're a very generous, kindhearted nation." Two days later, he announced Washington was increasing its contribution to relief activities in the Indian Ocean ten-fold, to $350 million dollars, or roughly 40 percent of what had then be pledged by all donors.

But how does U.S. generosity actually stack up against that of other western donors?

Bush's figures on 2003 emergency aid relief were correct. Indeed, Washington has historically contributed by far the largest share of humanitarian assistance, normally providing between 25 and 30 percent of all aid in international emergency operations.

But in longer-term development assistance--the kind of aid designed to lift people out of poverty, provide them with the wherewithal to sustain themselves and contribute to economic growth, including infrastructure to guard against natural disasters such as tsunamis--most experts say the U.S. record generally leaves a lot to be desired.

While Washington is the largest single development aid donor--contributing some $15 billion dollars in 2003--the picture changes considerably when the size of its economy or its population is considered.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Washington contributed only 0.15 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to development assistance, earning it last place in the rank of the 21 major western donors. The U.S. is far behind the nearly one percent contributed by Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark--the top contributors--and less than half the percentage of its larger European allies, including France, Britain, and Germany.

Similarly, in per capita terms, U.S. development assistance is near the bottom of the heap, averaging roughly 13 cents a day--or under $50 a year--for each of its roughly 280 million citizens, according to a recent study by the Washington-based Center for Global Development (CGD). That is about one eighth of the per capita contributions of Norway, which gave an average of $1.02 per person, one-sixth of Denmark's (84 cents), and about half the average contributions of Belgium, Ireland, France, Finland, and Britain, according to CGD.

Right-wing commentators have argued, however, that the OECD's calculations are incomplete in that they do not include private contributions which should also be counted in considering whether Washington is a "generous" or "stingy" country.

"What this misses," the Wall Street Journal editorialized Friday, "is that Americans have never trusted government institutions to dole out assistance. Instead we open our wallets for private groups that are better at targeting money where it's needed, tracking projects, cutting waste--and getting better results."

But while Americans do indeed give more of their own money to overseas aid programs than most western donors, the amount remains by and large a small fraction of what other countries give through their governments.

According to the CGD study, Americans spend the equivalent of 5 cents a day on private donations to overseas aid programs, bringing public and private aid to a per capita average of 18 cents a day. This puts the U.S. well ahead of Italy, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, and Greece; but it still lags behind Canada and Austria; and far behind the most generous donors--including Norway, Switzerland, and Ireland--which give more in private donations per capita, as well as government aid, than Americans.

"In terms of aid given per person, the U.S. is one of the least generous rich countries," said David Roodman, a CGD Fellow.

Even government aid plus private giving, according to some on the right, fails to capture the true generosity of American citizens, according to David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter who is now based at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). A truer picture would show that "Americans give more and do more--not just absolutely more, but proportionately more--than any other people on earth."

"Using the right measures, Americans are the most generous people in the world," according to Carol Adelman, a senior fellow at the neo-conservative Hudson Institute. In a 2003 'Foreign Affairs' article, she argued that, when other forms of assistance, such as military aid and subsidies to promote U.S. foreign investment, remittances by immigrants to their families in developing countries, donations by U.S. foundations and businesses, and scholarships from U.S. universities are included, Washington spent well over $55 billion in assistance to poor countries. Adelman, however, did not compare the U.S. performance on these variables with that of other donor countries.

A major effort last year to include a broader set of variables than government foreign aid and private donations, however, found that Washington ranked seventh--along with France, Germany and Norway--out of the top 21 donors as the country "most committed" to promoting development and disrupting poverty in the world's developing countries.

In their 'Commitment to Development Index,' CGD and 'Foreign Policy' magazine considered policies on trade, investment promotion, security, immigration and the global environment, as well as government aid and private giving, for the 21 major western donors.

Washington's relatively open markets for exports from poor countries, as well as its relatively liberal immigration policies, are chiefly responsible for its higher ranking, according to the Index. Even weighing these factors, however, the U.S. was still outranked by the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Britain, and Canada.

In a release issued late last week, however, CGD stressed that a greater investment by Washington in aid designed to reduce poverty could have gone far in reducing the need for massive assistance now in South Asia. It pointed out that a comparable tsunami in the northern Pacific would have cost far fewer lives because the region is lined with rich nations, such as Japan, Canada, and the U.S., that are able to afford monitoring systems, stronger buildings and better infrastructure.

"Most of the people killed by the tsunami died because they are poor," according to Michael Clemens, another CGD fellow. "Even with improved warning systems, little can be done to prevent natural disasters from becoming massacres as long as people's livelihoods, infrastructure, and public health conditions are precarious. To minimize the death toll in future disasters, we need to do a much better job of supporting long-term economic development in these countries," he added.



'this is a little old was made 2005. But the stats have not changed over the years.. '
So as you can see Yes In deed in my educated and backed opinion America is stingy with its aid...
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Posted 1/18/10
This link is from the Center for Global Development. http://blogs.cgdev.org/globaldevelopment/2010/01/haiti-aid-facts.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cgdev%2Fglobaldevelopment+%28Global+Development%3A+Views+from+the+Center%29

It's dated January 15, 2010.

America isn't at the top in terms of population, but it's not last anymore. Let's consider the Population to GDP factor (lower is better).

US:
Population 308,511,434
GDP 14,264,600
Population/GDP = ~21.63

Canada:
Population 33,970,759
GDP 1,303,234
Population/GDP = ~26.07

So when you compare Canada and US, the US should donate about 1.2 times the amount of Canada (we're assuming Canada is top-dog when it comes to being generous with aid). Canada donated 148 million, so 1.2 times that should be...177.6 million. US donated 259 million, about 82 million dollars more. Of course, this is simply a numbers thing because we are only comparing Population, GDP, and the amount donated in Haiti.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)
Population taken from Census and Statistics Canada

But you're right.. I think the US needs to manage it's funds better. We could be helping so many more people (including ourselves) if we'd stop shooting ourselves in the foot.
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Posted 1/18/10 , edited 1/18/10

darksage429 wrote:

This link is from the Center for Global Development. http://blogs.cgdev.org/globaldevelopment/2010/01/haiti-aid-facts.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cgdev%2Fglobaldevelopment+%28Global+Development%3A+Views+from+the+Center%29

It's dated January 15, 2010.

America isn't at the top in terms of population, but it's not last anymore. Let's consider the Population to GDP factor (lower is better).

US:
Population 308,511,434
GDP 14,264,600
Population/GDP = ~21.63

Canada:
Population 33,970,759
GDP 1,303,234
Population/GDP = ~26.07

So when you compare Canada and US, the US should donate about 1.2 times the amount of Canada (we're assuming Canada is top-dog when it comes to being generous with aid). Canada donated 148 million, so 1.2 times that should be...177.6 million. US donated 259 million, about 82 million dollars more. Of course, this is simply a numbers thing because we are only comparing Population, GDP, and the amount donated in Haiti.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)
Population taken from Census and Statistics Canada

But you're right.. I think the US needs to manage it's funds better. We could be helping so many more people (including ourselves) if we'd stop shooting ourselves in the foot.


then you have to compare it to Denmark who donated more than 8 times that in GDP per population than America.

Comparing the American Dollar to the Krone.. 5.16660 Danish Krone per US Dollar since 3 mins ago. Its up by 0.00002
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Posted 1/18/10 , edited 1/18/10
Ok.

Norway
Population 4,810,122 (Freebase Statistic)
GDP 256,523
Population/GDP = ~18.75

US: ~21.63

Since lower ratio is better, Norway should donate about: 1.1 times more than the US. According to the CDE, Norway donated about 10 million.

I'm including GDP and population because the article you quoted said this:


While Washington is the largest single development aid donor--contributing some $15 billion dollars in 2003--the picture changes considerably when the size of its economy or its population is considered.


They use 'or', but the problem is you can't have it either way. The size of the population affects the size of the economy.

Unless I'm wrong..?

EDIT: I notice the post changed to include the comparison of the Dollar vs. the Krone. The numbers by the CDE should by default be displayed in USD. So the 10 million should be in USD. If not.. well.. someone at the CDE needs to learn to publish reports using a common currency..
Posted 1/22/10 , edited 1/22/10
I like to use the word "selective" when it comes to the US and its distribution of aid. Kind of makes you wonder why the US response to Haiti was much more immediate and resonant than the rescue operation of their own citizens in the aftermath of Katrina. And didn't the US cut off bilateral aid to Haiti 10 years ago and leave the problem to NGOs and NPOs from around the world? It took a disaster like this for the US to consider Haiti a close friend. Please.



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Posted 1/22/10

MrMelancholy wrote:

There is only one word that needs to be spoken: No.

If we were stingy, we would not aide all the countries that had disasters. (like the Haitian quake survivors)

Ok. Tell me this.. Is it odd America only seems to give aid wen it was something like what happen in Haiti? Other Wise America is more into getting aid than giving it.

Don't believe me.. look it up.. America gives less than 21 other nations unless it is relief for something like this little Haiti thing. Its stupid it takes a earthquake just for Americas to give half what others give.
Posted 1/25/10 , edited 1/26/10
I just made a huge post over why people hate America thread.....and now I see another thread about America....I just want to make this simple short post.

I heard that when Red cross are donating funds to 911, they earned about 502 million dollar through donation. Only spent around 150 million and kept 352 million dollar.....on what? i do not know, but I ceased giving donation to red cross as I bet some of these program aren't really paying huge amount of donation to Haiti.

Seeing all these post, I think what this thread meant by saying US stingy is that the government and these aid programs didn't give huge amount of money to those who need aid when the programs received lot of money... like keeping 352 million dollar. Government and programs promise they would support those who need help. Why not give the huge amount of money to them when these donation are supposed to go to them, not kept.... and it called donation, not keeping our money and spent it on a 2 million dollar car. Also, maybe most of the money are used to spent on useless stuff.

I stop trusting some government programs. Even my economic teacher never trust these programs. If 400 million are donated, then around 390 million should really be donated (I'm guessing 10 million are for management of the program). I don't want my money to be in a pocket of a USA citizen who use my on......a beef jerky for example.
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Posted 2/22/10

GDXTom wrote:

I just made a huge post over why people hate America thread.....and now I see another thread about America....I just want to make this simple short post.

I heard that when Red cross are donating funds to 911, they earned about 502 million dollar through donation. Only spent around 150 million and kept 352 million dollar.....on what? i do not know, but I ceased giving donation to red cross as I bet some of these program aren't really paying huge amount of donation to Haiti.

Seeing all these post, I think what this thread meant by saying US stingy is that the government and these aid programs didn't give huge amount of money to those who need aid when the programs received lot of money... like keeping 352 million dollar. Government and programs promise they would support those who need help. Why not give the huge amount of money to them when these donation are supposed to go to them, not kept.... and it called donation, not keeping our money and spent it on a 2 million dollar car. Also, maybe most of the money are used to spent on useless stuff.

I stop trusting some government programs. Even my economic teacher never trust these programs. If 400 million are donated, then around 390 million should really be donated (I'm guessing 10 million are for management of the program). I don't want my money to be in a pocket of a USA citizen who use my on......a beef jerky for example.


I agree those that do donate, really do not understand a lot of them church programs only give 10% to 20% of the money they raised from the people to those in need.. The rest goes back into the church so they can create more Bibles or marketing to try to draw more people to there cult. < and even some of the bigger groups like Red Cross, only give around 15% of what people donate to them.
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