On Stinginess

I really don’t know what Glenn is getting so worked up about. He is persistently misrepresenting what was said. Is anyone fact checking Glenn?

Matthew correctly points out:

Besided that, a word on the “stingy” issue. What the UN official actually said was that rich countries including the US are stingy with aid money. Whether out of anti-UN malice, or simply demented America-centrism, this has been widely reported as the claim that the United States is stingy which has pissed people off. But no one said that. The US government is stingy with official aid relative to the size of our economy, but the karmic balance is evened by the fact that our citizens are much more generous than the rest of the rich world in terms of individual donations. We also provide some global public goods — clear shipping lanes and the like — for self-interested reasons that wind up benefitting everyone. Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t do more. Indeed, virtually every rich country should do more. We’re all stingier than we ought to be, especially in terms of doling out aid that history teaches would be effective like to fight disease and provide clean water in rural areas.

And as for levels of donations – perhaps we should wait six months to see how much everyone donated – looking back, rather than when the events are still unfolding.

4 thoughts on “On Stinginess”

  1. You know, at least 87,000 people have lost their lives and there are people out in the world arguing over which countries donate the most money? It’s not a competition. Or, maybe, it should not be a competition.

  2. Absolutely – but in some ways I guess it would be good if there were a competition, perhaps then yet more money would be donated.

  3. Stalin once said of the Pope, “How many Divisions has he got ?”

    Someone should ask that Norwegian guy at the UN who considers that America has been donating below its weight,
    “How many aircraft carriers has anyone sent ?” The answer is one, and we know whose that is.

    Everyone’s contribution to the relief of the Tsunami victims needs to be measured in more than just their finance minister’s dispatch of taxpayers’ money.

Comments are closed.