Originally posted by Tulkas
I would agree. But, the people blasting the US for not contributing enough need to look beyond government totals. And as you said about giving according to conscience, people have conscience, governments do not.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but as I posted in the other tsumani thread, the estimate of private donations by Americans is about $200M
, which is very similar in absolute terms, according to that CNN table, to the private donations from Germans (also $200M) or Brits ($146M). Obviously our private donations are less per capita or as %GDP than either of those two.
Speaking of Arabs, a Saudi telethon
raised over $45M in ten hours. The Saudi people, then, also appear to be more generous than Americans. In order to match the Saudis for per-person, private donations, Americans would have to ante up over a half-billion dollars - never minding that the average American is more than three times richer than the average Saudi.
We simply don't have a monopoly on generosity when it comes to these sorts of things. In fact, in many ways we're less generous, given our numbers and our wealth, than others. Odd that this fact is most bothersome to the same sort of people who advocate eliminating foreign aid altogether.