Is America being too nice?

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Voice of reason
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Is America being too nice?

Postby Voice of reason » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:26 pm UTC

Is the american red cross spreading themselves too thin trying to help foreign countries when things in America our just slightly better. We americans are donating thousands possibly millions of dollars to help other countries in need when in actuality we are trillions of dollars in debt.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby tehmikey » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:32 pm UTC

The sources of money are completely different. Our government is trillions of dollars in debt, but this does not translate to the Red Cross or each individual citizen.

With that being said, it all comes down to a moral decision of who we want to help. People tend to flock to the largest recent disaster to donate spare funds. Before Haiti, there was that quake in India. Locally, we had a few hurricanes over the past few years. As the stories stop getting aired nonstop on CNN, people slowly stop donating to that particular cause.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:03 pm UTC

tehmikey wrote:The sources of money are completely different. Our government is trillions of dollars in debt, but this does not translate to the Red Cross or each individual citizen.

With that being said, it all comes down to a moral decision of who we want to help. People tend to flock to the largest recent disaster to donate spare funds. Before Haiti, there was that quake in India. Locally, we had a few hurricanes over the past few years. As the stories stop getting aired nonstop on CNN, people slowly stop donating to that particular cause.


There are also long-term structural plans in place, both governmental and private charity, funnelling billions (yes, billions with a b) to development projects througout the second and third worlds.

This strategy has been a mixed success for America both economically and strategially. The extent to which aid has reached and helped Europe and Japan after WWII and Latin America, subcontinental India and SE Asia more recently has paid dividents to American Industry, as these areas have develloped a voracious appetitie for high-profit-margin American products, especially cars, media, medical equipement and high-tech equipment. America's enormous wealth, in real terms, is based on being able to export high-margin products abroad (cars, computers, intellectual property, financial services, heavy machinery) while importing low-margin goods (pots, pans, raw materials, light equipment etc.) from places like China, India or other second-world locales.

What's more, these locations tend to be tenacious American allies. Japan and S Korea, early beneficiaries of American largesse, are America's bastions against an increasingly agressive China. Aid to Turkey has helped create the Islamic world's only secular democracy, and a hulking, much underestimated, presence for NATO jutting into the Middle East. The U.K., France and Germany have all contributed heavily to America's recent military and diplomatic adventures, even if the later didn't immediately jump into America's ill-advised adventure into Iraq. Brazil, Argentina and Chile have all, at one point or more, been bailed out in part by American help, and are now developing nicely, greatly helping Stability in America's back yard. Having a giant Brazillian military next door has to give even Chavez pause.

I understand that much more publicity is given to the Epic Fail's of aid, particularily in Africa. This is partially due to poor planning on the part of the West and poor management and cultural difficulties on the continent. Recruiting tribesmen fresh from stone-age villages to work in high-tech factories is rarely wise, but that was the strategy for several decades that focused on flashy high-end projects for the benefit of the media.

However, there have also been notable successes, especially recently, as many parts of Africa formerly ravaged by horrendous wars, have begun to stabalise and become able to take care of themselves. Continued support is especially important now that several countries, such as Mali, are having to fight off an increasingly influential Isalmic fundi terror network. It's American and other Western aid which, in part, helps make this fight possible for them.

Keep in mind too that many of these countries, despite their penchant for embarrassing corruption and civil strife, also provide copious natural resources for a voracious American-centric world economy. While the Niger mess, for example, might spur some to shout for a closing of the pocket book, consider that they supply a surprising amount of the Uranium used to fuel nuclear plants in both the United States and countries with major trading relationships with the USA (notably France).

Foreign Aid is a remarkably small amount of any given Western Nations' GDP. Despite a long-standing goal of 0.7% GNP (If its GDP, call me a liar) directed to aid, only a couple of Scandinavian countries have ever achieved this, notably Norway, but then, that was when they had so much oil-wealth that they actually couldn't think of a use for all their money.

As this cash has proven so vital at keeping major suppliers and regional allies stable and on-side, and even produced major crucial allies and markets over the past 50 years, I'd say "not bad" as a return on investment. And if there are cock-ups, well, ditto America's banking, health and manufacturing sectors and strategies. But that's no reason to shut down all the banks, hospitals and car factories, and certainly no reason to shut down America's remarkably successful foreign policy.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby tehmikey » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:10 pm UTC

Le1bn1z, you are correct and governments do get involved and spend billions in other countries. I see where you are going, and the purpose of my previous statement was to make a distinction between nonprofit organizations and government funded operations.

The American Red Cross is an independent, nonprofit organization that seeks to give aid. It does not carry the debt burden that the national government holds. Your approach is more focused on the actions of our government where we spend billions in aid for a number of reasons. Governments stand to gain influence, increase market, and stabilize/disrupt the global environment. In this vein, preliminary measures are taken to save on efforts that would be required if situations were to get out of hand.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby JoeKhol » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:34 am UTC

Voice of reason wrote:Is the american red cross spreading themselves too thin trying to help foreign countries when things in America our just slightly better. We americans are donating thousands possibly millions of dollars to help other countries in need when in actuality we are trillions of dollars in debt.
I'd question your "slightly better". I suspect the poorest people in America (or the UK where I am) are significantly better off than the average in many of the countries recieving aid.

And, as has been pointed out, aid budgets are a drop in the ocean of western countries overall budget. There are plenty of things closer to home we could (and should) be cutting back on to deal with our debt than foreign aid.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:06 am UTC

Voice of reason wrote:Is the american red cross [sic] spreading themselves [sic] too thin trying to help foreign countries when things in America our [sic] just slightly better. We americans [sic] are donating thousands possibly millions of dollars to help other countries in need when in actuality we are trillions of dollars in debt.

Do you understand what a confusion of ideas this is, to represent the American Red Cross as if it's a branch of the United States Government? The Red Cross was founded by the Swiss, and was originally established to protect the rights of soldiers, prisoners, and civilians during wartime. That is still their primary focus, but they also assist in natural disasters and the like. Do you mean is this international organization, with its headquarters in Sweden, which is funded by the donations of those around the world, being too nice? Or is this organization not doing enough for Americans? Because there are other charities that people can donate to, and they do, that cater to the welfare of American citizens.

If you're asking if American citizens are being too nice donating a portion of their private savings to a world-renowned humanitarian organization is being 'too nice' then, well, sure, they're being lovely. Do you think perhaps we should stop them doing so, and mandate they funnel their generosity into the U.S. government's debt? In any event, Leb1n1z has already demonstrated why it's desirable for the U.S. government, and indeed all governments, to direct their spending towards foreign aid, which is sort of relevant to government debt, but that's nothing to do with private donations or international charities.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:32 am UTC

The American Red Cross is an American-founded (and originally entirely independent) organization that primarily provides domestic aid. It is also a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (though it was not always) and as such works with other Red Cross organizations to provide international aid. Referring to the Red Cross as an international organization is simplifying things quite a bit. It's an international coalition of regional chartered, self-governed organizations.

Don't get me wrong, I think this topic is ridiculous, but at least that part of it isn't quite as ridiculous as you're making it sound.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:22 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:The American Red Cross is an American-founded (and originally entirely independent) organization that primarily provides domestic aid. It is also a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (though it was not always) and as such works with other Red Cross organizations to provide international aid. Referring to the Red Cross as an international organization is simplifying things quite a bit. It's an international coalition of regional chartered, self-governed organizations.

Don't get me wrong, I think this topic is ridiculous, but at least that part of it isn't quite as ridiculous as you're making it sound.

Fair.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby duckshirt » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

Yeah, we in developed countries are far from being "too nice" to the third world. Quite the opposite, still.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Ouiser » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:38 pm UTC

Right. We should just give until we have nothing left to give. The US already gives more privately and publicly than any other country.

It all goes back to give a man a fish, eat for a day versus teach him to fish, eat for a lifetime. Well, it seems to go beyond that even. You can teach all you want, but the US and other western countries are somewhat unique in their value of work. I mean, who in their right mind continues to work after they have enough money to do whatever they want for the rest of their lives. The answer is some Americans and some in other western countries. That creates greater and greater quality of life for everyone.

I guess we can just keep driving those workaholics until the entire world is supported by their efforts (I don't really count myself in this group, I work to make a living, not live to work). That seems to be the direction most people want to go these days.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Le1bn1z » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:55 am UTC

Ouiser wrote:Right. We should just give until we have nothing left to give. The US already gives more privately and publicly than any other country.

It all goes back to give a man a fish, eat for a day versus teach him to fish, eat for a lifetime. Well, it seems to go beyond that even. You can teach all you want, but the US and other western countries are somewhat unique in their value of work. I mean, who in their right mind continues to work after they have enough money to do whatever they want for the rest of their lives. The answer is some Americans and some in other western countries. That creates greater and greater quality of life for everyone.

I guess we can just keep driving those workaholics until the entire world is supported by their efforts (I don't really count myself in this group, I work to make a living, not live to work). That seems to be the direction most people want to go these days.


Ummmmm.....Americans, Canadians and other westerners work less today than any time in our history, except we work slightly more than we did 20 years ago. Wow. What a revolutionary development. Oooooooo..... people can sometimes work..... 10 overtime hours a week! That's 50 whhoooooole hours! Oooooooooo.

Most people don't do surgeon or lawyer crazy hours. And even doctors aren't working more today than they did in the past.

So I don't know where you get this notion of the West as a long-suffering Atlas, holding up the globe through herculean exertions. Ironically, we're actually being propped up by hurculean Chinese, who fund our extravagant lifestyles and short work week through their totalitarian work load. OK. So in the process they're steadily buying us outright, until America becomes a Beijing branch plant, so its probably a good investment.

Our dominance comes from the high-tech nature of our society, not the strenuousness of our work. An hour of American work is worth up to 200 times as much as an hour's work in India. Therefore, an American (or Canadian) can do a quarter the time, and still be much wealthier while still having time to while away the unproductive hours on discussion boards.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Ouiser » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:32 pm UTC

Where did I say the work was hard? I just said it was work. And I'm not talking about the run of the mill westerner as I pointed out. I'm a run of the mill westerner as I only work 40 or 50 hours a week. I'm talking about the billionaire that is responsible for the livelihood of the hundreds of people who work directly for him and the thousands that indirectly benefit from his work. If the man responsible for my job's very existence quit being obsessed with working and just went on vacation for the rest of his life, we'd all be out of jobs. Instead this man who has everything works ALL THE TIME.

And I'm talking about the lawyers and accountants that I support that DO work crazy hours.

I don't really understand what I did to piss you off in this thread other than point out that our standard of living is improved by innovation created by those who work way too much for their own good. The types I support whom I tease when they actually take Memorial Day off like the rest of us.

And the Chinese would soon have no market for the goods they produce if that billionaire didn't buy everyone in his employ a blackberry and a computer. Not to mention desk phones and office furniture, etc. And then those employees decide they want a nice TV at home, and furniture and a car. Make fun of his concept all you want, but it doesn't change the way it works.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Ari » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:55 am UTC

Ouiser wrote:Where did I say the work was hard? I just said it was work. And I'm not talking about the run of the mill westerner as I pointed out. I'm a run of the mill westerner as I only work 40 or 50 hours a week. I'm talking about the billionaire that is responsible for the livelihood of the hundreds of people who work directly for him and the thousands that indirectly benefit from his work. If the man responsible for my job's very existence quit being obsessed with working and just went on vacation for the rest of his life, we'd all be out of jobs. Instead this man who has everything works ALL THE TIME.

And I'm talking about the lawyers and accountants that I support that DO work crazy hours.

I don't really understand what I did to piss you off in this thread other than point out that our standard of living is improved by innovation created by those who work way too much for their own good. The types I support whom I tease when they actually take Memorial Day off like the rest of us.

And the Chinese would soon have no market for the goods they produce if that billionaire didn't buy everyone in his employ a blackberry and a computer. Not to mention desk phones and office furniture, etc. And then those employees decide they want a nice TV at home, and furniture and a car. Make fun of his concept all you want, but it doesn't change the way it works.


That billionaire is not necessarily Atlas. Some billionaires work really hard, have a very stressful worklife, or are genuinely indispensible, and may approach being worth the totally disproportionate pay packets that are given to CEOs. But there are also many who are simply really good at gaming the system, don't really know their own business, don't know anything about labour retention or infrastructure investment or whatever, and merely succeed at getting so much money because they collude with other very rich, usually white and male and straight or closeted upper-class people.

If you're working very hard, sure you deserve to be paid something that approaches the fair value of your work, fine, but the amount of aid going overseas amounts to a fraction of a cent in every dollar you're taxed on. It is literally insignificant among the things your taxes pay for. If you have an objection to the amount you're taxed, you really need to be talking about: (assuming you're in the USA)

a) Doing healthcare more efficiently
b) Stopping corporate and rural sponsorship from government
c) Reducing defense spending
d) Cutting education costs
e) Reforming the tax system so that wealthy taxpayers don't pay less than middle-class taxpayers by being able to afford accountants to shelter them from tax.

These are probably the five big expenses/revenue drains on the US government.

Talking about giving away "everything you have" is a strawman. Even doubling government-funded international aid and raising taxes to do it, most people would probably not notice any difference. If the US red cross operates like the NZ one does, then they only give money to international campaigns that they have specifically raised for that.

Finally, wealth simply does not trickle down. Wealthy individuals largely tie up their wealth in investments and not spending. Poorer individuals recirculate a far greater percentage of their income, which actually tends to accumulate upwards, due to the nature of our capitalist system. The fancy couch someone buys for their promotion is dwarfed by all the people buying petrol to drive to work, or groceries, or whatever.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Voice of reason » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:30 am UTC

JoeKhol wrote:And, as has been pointed out, aid budgets are a drop in the ocean of western countries overall budget. There are plenty of things closer to home we could (and should) be cutting back on to deal with our debt than foreign aid.

yes many things could be cut back but its been tried over and over again but the 300 dollar hammer and the 100 dollar nails are trying to be cut by million dollar lawers and experts in economics. what solutions do we have left. if the government asks for more tax then the people get "po'd"

covering up the governments problems have helped sorta. we have been nearing ressesion for the last few years but the average person didnt know about it until some one said we are in a recession. bail outs and stimulus plans only work if everyone follows through as they should and changes their ways.

i was in a meeting the other day and the main boss said that they're cutting everyones bonus. he jokingly replied "some of you will just have to sell that yatch and morgage the second house." the problem with the joke is that half the people in the room did have to too. they were counting on their huge bonus to pay for these things. not me though i don't waste money i'm not sure i have.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Voice of reason » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:38 am UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:
Voice of reason wrote:Is the american red cross [sic] spreading themselves [sic] too thin trying to help foreign countries when things in America our [sic] just slightly better. We americans [sic] are donating thousands possibly millions of dollars to help other countries in need when in actuality we are trillions of dollars in debt.

Do you understand what a confusion of ideas this is, to represent the American Red Cross as if it's a branch of the United States Government? The Red Cross was founded by the Swiss, and was originally established to protect the rights of soldiers, prisoners, and civilians during wartime. That is still their primary focus, but they also assist in natural disasters and the like. Do you mean is this international organization, with its headquarters in Sweden, which is funded by the donations of those around the world, being too nice? Or is this organization not doing enough for Americans? Because there are other charities that people can donate to, and they do, that cater to the welfare of American citizens.

If you're asking if American citizens are being too nice donating a portion of their private savings to a world-renowned humanitarian organization is being 'too nice' then, well, sure, they're being lovely. Do you think perhaps we should stop them doing so, and mandate they funnel their generosity into the U.S. government's debt? In any event, Leb1n1z has already demonstrated why it's desirable for the U.S. government, and indeed all governments, to direct their spending towards foreign aid, which is sort of relevant to government debt, but that's nothing to do with private donations or international charities.


i meant it as two different subjects. as an example of americans need to help less fortunate or as it was put 25-75 years ago "the white mans burden". americans are looking to help others when we dont have any fund raisers or charities for helping the us out of debt. not long ago the debt limit was raised again.

im still working on getting my explainations right the first time sorry.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby EMTP » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:35 am UTC

Two points of fact:

1) The US foreign aid budget is tiny. Other countries give far more as a % of the GDP.

2) There is no evidence that the work ethnic or creativity of Americans or "westerners" is anything exceptional. The Asian economies are growing far faster than ours, and anyone who has been to Russia or Africa or South America will tell you those places are full of hard workers and creative problem-solvers.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:16 am UTC

Voice of reason wrote:i meant it as two different subjects. as an example of americans need to help less fortunate or as it was put 25-75 years ago "the white mans burden". americans are looking to help others when we dont have any fund raisers or charities for helping the us out of debt. not long ago the debt limit was raised again.

im still working on getting my explainations right the first time sorry.

The concept of 'The White Man's Burden' was in vogue 110 years ago: 25 years ago it would have been considered blatantly racist1. But more importantly, charities do not exist to decrease national debt2, and I don't think you quite understand the nature of national debt. It's possible to have a mortgage larger than what you would earn in a decade, but this doesn't mean you're in a financially weak position. All that matters is your ability to pay it back in a timely manner, and this is something the U.S. can do. To an extent, it's immaterial how much debt the U.S. has. It could have zero debt and, economically, be in a far worse position.

1And, indeed, a little bit sexist.
2The IMF and World Bank do not function as charities.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Sharlos » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:29 am UTC

American debt isn't much of a problem, it is its deficit thats concerning.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:58 am UTC

Sharlos wrote:American debt isn't much of a problem, it is its deficit thats concerning.

How is the trade deficit concerning? America has had one for a long time, through expansion and recession, and it isn't demonstrably unhealthy.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby duckshirt » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:42 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:1) The US foreign aid budget is tiny. Other countries give far more as a % of the GDP.

Is this through the government or overall? Americans give far more than Europeans at their own will.

But honestly I think those numbers mean nothing because I don't think there's a developed country out there that gives nearly 'enough' to third world countries. They're all more greedy than they could be whether they're a few percent ahead of the US or not.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Le1bn1z » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:45 am UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:
Sharlos wrote:American debt isn't much of a problem, it is its deficit thats concerning.

How is the trade deficit concerning? America has had one for a long time, through expansion and recession, and it isn't demonstrably unhealthy.


Over time, it is concerning, because it means that you`re importing on credit. That`s a significant source to debt and a pressure on currency.

Use logic. A trade deficit occurs when you spend a certain amount and earn less. Is that ever, ever a healthy position to be in over time?

Keep in mind too, personal, private charitably contributions are similarily miniscule as part of the American GDP. However, all the same benefits apply to the American people for their private work as for the government's efforts. America and Canada spend even less, if you discount "charities" which focus on publishing korans, bibles and torahs, or even counter-productive things, like fundie efforts to organise the mass murder of gay people, a leading concern of the American Christian right in, say, Uganda.

Statistically, America spends less on trying to build a better world than it does on luxury customization of automobiles, like leather interiors, decals and turbo charging etc. So, no, I doubt that America, Canada or anywhere else is being "too generous" to the world.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Vaniver » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:57 am UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:America and Canada spend even less, if you discount "charities" which focus on publishing korans, bibles and torahs, or even counter-productive things, like fundie efforts to organise the mass murder of gay people, a leading concern of the American Christian right in, say, Uganda.
It is worth pointing out that the 'fundies' have almost all spoken out against the proposed law in Uganda, and that religion in the form of Islam, Christianity, or Judaism is oftentimes a tremendous source of social capital.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Sharlos » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:49 am UTC

I was more refering to their budget deficit than trade deficit as I don't have as much understanding of the problems with a trade deficit.

And that was in response to the idea that America has an unsustainable debt. As from what I understand having a large debt isn't too much of a worry so long as you have a balanced budget to pay it off.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby EMTP » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:02 am UTC

duckshirt wrote:
EMTP wrote:1) The US foreign aid budget is tiny. Other countries give far more as a % of the GDP.

Is this through the government or overall?


The US foreign aid budget is "through the government."

Statistically, America spends less on trying to build a better world than it does on luxury customization of automobiles, like leather interiors, decals and turbo charging etc. So, no, I doubt that America, Canada or anywhere else is being "too generous" to the world.


True story. A very small step we could take would be to lift trade restrictions on textiles and agricultural products. We could lift millions of people out of poverty without sending a penny overseas.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby nitePhyyre » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:True story. A very small step we could take would be to lift trade restrictions on textiles and agricultural products. We could lift millions of people out of poverty without sending a penny overseas.

Wouldn't that just lead to massive job outsourcing though?
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:55 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
EMTP wrote:True story. A very small step we could take would be to lift trade restrictions on textiles and agricultural products. We could lift millions of people out of poverty without sending a penny overseas.

Wouldn't that just lead to massive job outsourcing though?

Well, it would lead to job outsourcing, yes. But bugger-all Americans are employed in agriculture, and fewer and fewer are being employed in production-work (according to that article Vaniver posted in N&A), so the hurt on America would be orders of magnitude less than the potential benefits for other people.

Whether or not a U.S. government would make such an unpopular move is another matter, but we're talking about ways America could be nice. (It would also make America less hypocritical, considering they always push for open markets yet indulge in some of the most restrictive protectionist policies.)
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby whiskeylover » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:22 am UTC

duckshirt wrote: Americans give far more than Europeans at their own will.

But honestly I think those numbers mean nothing because I don't think there's a developed country out there that gives nearly 'enough' to third world countries. They're all more greedy than they could be whether they're a few percent ahead of the US or not.


Maybe true for absolute amounts. But not even remotely true in terms of percentage of gross income.

I'm too lazy to quote a bunch of stuff, so I leave it to read it for yourself.
http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2006/06/ ... t_gen.html

http://newsburglar.com/2008/06/03/inter ... ed-states/
Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mo ... _countries

Hell, I'm a foreigner in your country, and I donate way more than that measly 0.18% each year.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Sharlos » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:15 am UTC

How different is finland to the rest of the scandinavian countries in terms of social programs/wealth ect?

Seems like an interesting outlier between the countries I expected to be very similar to one another.

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Le1bn1z » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:38 am UTC

The newsburglar source is a little strange at times.

It counts for-profit investments as part of private charitable giving in developing countries (i.e., Haliburton in Iraq, or other companies in the Sudan). This apparently accounts for 32% of "charitable" giving.

Further, remittances are counted as American charity, also misleading, as it is exclusive to newer immigrants helping their own families, not a nation reaching out to help strangers for the sake of a shared hummanity. These and for-profit investments account for more than 50% of so-called private giving.

I'd be interested to see strict comparisons of normal charitable giving abroad, through foundations, for example.

But I do agree with the premise that ODA is a misleading standard. But even with all possible factors bunched in, neither Canada nor the United States goes further than 1% GNI as international aid. Hardly crushing or self-crippling generosity.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Fume Troll » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:19 am UTC

This gives a good example of total vs per capita vs. per GDP donations.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2 ... iven-what/

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:49 am UTC

Fume Troll wrote:This gives a good example of total vs per capita vs. per GDP donations.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2 ... iven-what/

Troll, we must consider that the Haiti earthquakes are one incident. Not only does it not reflect regular humanitarian contributions, it's also a disaster that occurred in a locality very close to North America. For example, the response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami would be equally misleading as an example in and of itself.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby duckshirt » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:05 pm UTC

Fume Troll wrote:This gives a good example of total vs per capita vs. per GDP donations.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2 ... iven-what/

I've seen a lot of contradictory data on Haiti earthquake donation... I read an article about the Netherlands donating €83 million, which would put them at €5 / person, but they aren't shown on the list...

whiskeylover wrote:
duckshirt wrote: Americans give far more than Europeans at their own will.

But honestly I think those numbers mean nothing because I don't think there's a developed country out there that gives nearly 'enough' to third world countries. They're all more greedy than they could be whether they're a few percent ahead of the US or not.


Maybe true for absolute amounts. But not even remotely true in terms of percentage of gross income.
[Graphs and links]

I hardly know anyone in America that only donates .18%... That must be talking about public donations by the government, because on that last link you posted, it lists the countries by most private philanthropy (which is what I was referring to... perhaps I should have said "individually at their own will"):
* 1. United States - 1.67%
* 2. United Kingdom - .73%
* 3. Canada - .72%
* 4. Australia - .69%
* 5. South Africa - .64%
* 6. Ireland - .47%
* 7. Netherlands - .45%
* 8. Singapore - .29%
* 9. New Zealand - .29%
* 10. Turkey - .23%
* 11. Germany - .22%
* 12. France - .14%

Hell, I'm a foreigner in your country, and I donate way more than that measly 0.18% each year.

I'm a foreigner in a different country now, and I think it's just a difference in attitude of public vs. individual. All these countries end up similarly charitable (but all way, way lower than they *could* be).
Last edited by duckshirt on Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:10 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Fume Troll » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:10 pm UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:
Fume Troll wrote:This gives a good example of total vs per capita vs. per GDP donations.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2 ... iven-what/

Troll, we must consider that the Haiti earthquakes are one incident.

Of course, it was posted as described, a good example of the difference between total vs per capita vs. per GDP donations.

Not only does it not reflect regular humanitarian contributions, it's also a disaster that occurred in a locality very close to North America. For example, the response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami would be equally misleading as an example in and of itself.


Not sure what point you're making about it being close to North America? The figures seem to tie in quite well with the other data provided above (with the exception of Canada putting in a sterling effort), still no overly generous contribution from the US (on a per-capita or per GDP basis).

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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:19 pm UTC

Sorry, your quotes are messed up a little there, so I'm not entirely sure which point you're responding to, but you'll notice Australia gave over 2% of its Gross National Product, which is significantly more than anyone else, in the tsunami (except for Qatar, which gave almost 1.5%, but then that's quite a lot less in real terms, whereas Australia's economy is quite comparable to that of other countries). But Australia moreso gave-a-damn because it was "local", whereas Chile and Haiti are less "local" concerns (although maybe my point is defeated somewhat, considering the U.S. gave less per capita for Haiti than the tsunami).
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Re: Is America being too nice?

Postby Fume Troll » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:31 pm UTC

Quotes look fine to me :) . I was responding to your point about locality, there's no real correlation in terms of US aid (which was the point of the thread).

That's because I fixed them. You're welcome. -Az


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