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  • Tuesday, April 26, 2005


    Global Poverty

    I've been aware for a long time of the disconnect between American's perception of their charitable works and the reality of private and government donations. We suck at donating yet think we're king donor of the world.

    There is an attitude, fostered by the hypercapitalists and those interested in killing as much of our government as possible, that being poor is a moral failing. This goes along with the American myth/mirage/dream: If you just work hard enough, you will be rewarded with money and status. Almost total BS but we're indoctrinated with it.

    The following is from Failing to Curb Global Poverty by Sean Gonsalves:

    ''Americans do not believe this, but it's true. Americans believe, when they're asked in opinion surveys how much aid we give, they believe first that the official aid is roughly 25 to 30 times what it actually is, and they believe that the private giving is many times more than the official giving. Both of these are simply wrong,'' he said.

    The official giving this year will be about $16 billion of development assistance in a $12 trillion economy. That's about 0.15 percent of our gross national product.

    Private charity will offer about $6 billion. If you add it all up total U.S. giving is about 0.2 percent, or about 20 cents of every 100 dollars.

    In Monterrey, Mexico, Bush attended the conference in which the U.S. and other governments signed the Monterrey Consensus, agreeing ''to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income as official development assistance'' - the international standard the Bush administration signed up for.

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