The United States of America Should Take Care of Its Own First
Yes, I said the United States of America should take care of it's own first.
Before we spend our precious dollars taking care of the rest of the world.
Let me say this before you crawl through your monitor to strangle me. I am not heartless. In fact, the images we've all seen on our televisions of children starving bring me to tears. I cannot fathom a world as progressive as ours and yet people are still starving and dying from preventable illness. But, it is a reality.
Some Shocking Statistics
- 925 million people do not have enough to eat. 98 % of them live in developing countries
- The US government averages donations of $30 million in Official Development Assistance (ODA)
- Americans privately gave at least $34 billion overseas — more than twice the US official foreign aid of $15 billion at that time:
- International giving by US foundations: $1.5 billion per year
- Charitable giving by US businesses: $2.8 billion annually
- American NGOs: $6.6 billion in grants, goods and volunteers.
- Religious overseas ministries: $3.4 billion, including health care, literacy training, relief and development.
- US colleges scholarships to foreign students: $1.3 billion
- Personal remittances from the US to developing countries: $18 billion in 2000
So, what's my point?
My point is, we spend a lot of money taking care of people around the world. As a society, we are generous. I've never doubted that. It's just that every day I listen to politicians pointing fingers at each other as they play the blame game for our economic crisis. "It's the Republicans". "It's the Democrats". All the blame in the world isn't fixing the problem.
This morning I heard once again that Obama is blamed for the unemployment rate being so high. Hello People! One man did not do this. Our own irresponsible greed did this. We are all responsible, to some degree. While thinking about this, I remembered something from my childhood.
Looking back, I think my Dad was smarter than all the politicians in office today. But let's get back to the reason for my writing today.
Out in the country where I lived as a child, neighbors took care of neighbors. Families, biological and extended, stepped in when one needed a little help. Churches provided meals and shelter for their members when times got tough. Looking at the numbers above, it seems that the citizens of these United States are still quite charitable. So, why don't we stop blaming everyone and do something about the problem.
Look at the dollar amounts above. How far would those dollars go if they were kept in the United States and used to help keep a family member or a neighbor off the welfare rolls?
- Why are we providing 1.3 billion dollars in scholarship aid to foreign students when graduates of our own high schools can't afford a college education?
- Why are our religious organizations donating 3.4 billion dollars to provide health care and literacy programs to foreign countries when our own kids are on Medicaid and illiterate?
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".- Albert Einstein
Perhaps I'm preaching to the choir here on HubPages because I've met some incredible, socially responsible people here. I just cannot understand why those we elect to public office can't see what we see. How much money would go back into restoring our own economy and helping citizens of the United States of America if we kept our money within our own boundaries? Could we restore our reputation in the world because we took care of our own? Will we become a nation known for letting it's own people suffer while we pretend to care about other countries? Are we destined to just keep playing the blame game and turn our backs to the pain here on our own soil? Maybe we should change our name to "The United States Citizens for the World".
Offer shelter to the homeless
© 2012 Linda Crist