Sunday, January 16, 2005

I have noted before that US government assistance to the tsunami victims seems to be roughly the same as Canada's, though Canada has approximately 1/10 as many people and roughly 1/10 our GDP. Today's edition of the Guardian publishes some data on private tsunami-related giving; numbers below are in pounds/person:

Norway £7.06
Sweden £6.44
Netherlands £4.90
Australia £2.80
Germany £2.77
Saudi Arabia £2.14
Canada £1.99
Austria £1.67
Britain £1.65
Greece £1.11
United States 58p
France 43p

The United States would drop even further relatively if the data were adjusted to account for its higher GDP/person.

Now let's say you were a right-wing hack. How would you respond to the above data? Hey, here is an idea: rather than measure donations per person, or donations as a % of GDP, why not create a wild ass index that would put America first?

Say hello to the Amazonian Compassion index, courtesy of TechCentralStation, which, according to its creators refutes charges of American stinginess by measuring donations done through amazon.com. Guess which country comes out first?

(via Tim Lambert)

6 Comments:

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Man, this gets me steamed. I've been getting comments over at my blog which also try to lie with statistics about US giving. In case you haven't read it already, I'd recommend taking a look at Daniel Drezner's post on the subject, which shows that on non-emergency giving (which is probably the most important kind), the US isn't as bad as some of its wealthy peers, but isn't nearly as good as the most generous of them. This is true for private as well as public giving.

I wish that anti-US types and TCS-types would spend some energy on making useful donations instead of exaggerating numbers and constructing useless indices. Won't happen, though.

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger alex said...

Hmmm, do you mean this post? I thought he was arguing the opposite, that the US is not bad with disaster relief, but lags far behind in non-emergency foreign aid (though not if you redefine foreign aid to include things like immigration policy)?

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger angela said...

do you think that maybe you could get off your lazy ass and post something new

 
At 7:22 PM, Blogger angela said...

wheres my post, hmm? do you want me to leave you for someone with a more frequently updated blog

 
At 11:28 PM, Blogger alex said...

that would be terrible, but i have nothing ot say :)

 
At 8:34 AM, Blogger angela said...

it was an empty threat and dont you know it :)

 

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