I wouldn’t call it sickening. There are starving and homeless people the world over, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say, for example, “Haiti needs my money more than Japan does”.
FWIW, after their natural disasters, both my Australian and New Zealander friends have expressed the same feelings: “we’re first world countries, there are other countries suffering from the aftermath of disasters that aren’t, they need donations and aid more than we do.”
I’m willing to accept that the fact that I live in Japan biases me heavily.
Still, I feel there’s a difference between saying “Other countries need it more” and “Oh, Japan is rich so I don’t need to donate to them at all.” Also, even if one country as a whole needs money than another, suffering is suffering. This is not a game of Risk or a discussion of economic theory. This is people’s lives.
If we use the needy in the US as a rationale for not helping other nations, then we will never help other nations. Sure, we have homeless in the US. We don’t have entire regions suffering on the same scale as the Japanese. For those of you with religious beliefs, can you imagine St. Peter asking you “How many Americans did you help?” rather than “How many people did you help?”
You all make me feel like a chump. I donated $30 to Direct Relief because they have one of the lowest in overhead expenses. I never donate money at all. I don’t even give bums money or food, but I did this time.
Also check with your employer to see if they sponsor any charity programs. The company I work for is matching donations to the Red Cross’s International Relief arm by 100%, so my donation is more or less going twice as far.
Hell I just saw a guy saying he had lost everything but in his drive he had four SUV’s three fishing boats and a bullet train all parked there! ( obligatory sick joke)
Of course am gonna donate. maybe the value is that it makes me feel as though am actually doing something compared with the amount of cash that’s gets through to the end needy user. I don’t care whether they have a rich economy. I know the international charity organisations will mobilise and I want to help that cause wherever they act.
For once I agree with EvenSven The charitable societies that are currently helping need their resources maintained and I donate regularly to the red cross and am willing to continue to hep and wish them the best in japan
Except that in reality, we do need to play our own games of Risk, and use some kind of economic theory. People are suffering all the time. People are getting killed in Bahrain and Libya and Afghanistan and the DRC and Burma and Sudan and trying to recover their destroyed livelihoods in Haiti and Pakistan and living in slums Bangladesh and India and are forced into prostitution in Cambodia and the Philippines and are enslaved in Mauritius and are forced to be child soldiers in Uganda and trying to recover from devastating civil war in Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.
The amount of human suffering in the world is overwhelming, and as a single person with (very) limited resources, I actually do have to make a rational economic decision as to where my meager assistance should go. I can’t just give money to everyone. In the end, I have decided for the moment not to donate to the Japanese aid effort, because of all of the places with people suffering, Japan has the greatest ability to take care of itself. It is a wealthy country with excellent infrastructure and a functioning government. If it becomes clear to me that my $20 would be able to make a real difference, then I reserve the right to change my mind.
Well, strictly speaking, if you donate your $20 to the Red Cross or a similar organization it won’t go to Japan even if you want it to. It will replace funds which are spent in Japan, but in effect it will really being going to whatever disaster comes next.
In 1847, Choctaws living in Oklahoma were moved by stories of the Great Famine. So they collected $170 (or maybe $710–stories vary) & sent the money to Ireland.
This was not long after the Trail of Tears. I’m sure the Choctaw didn’t have much money to spare. And the Famine was not their problem. Surely the great & wealthy British Empire could take care of “its own” people!
I would say to all of you who are confident that Japan will bounce back from this series of catastrophes - Why don’t you then invest heavily on the Nikkei? You will help Japan in the short term, and when it rebounds and you sell off at a healthy profit, you’ll be taking hard-earned money from Japan back to your own country. There will never be an easier time to get in on the ground floor.
Personally, I believe in contributing to charities on a local, national and international level.