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Likely to be an unpopular thought

Was just looking at photos of the devastation in Haiti and like some people on my FL who have recently volunteered time to help people less fortunate, I am reminded that my life is pretty darned awesome. 

I wish I could do something to help the people in Haiti.  I don't really have cash to spare and I wouldn't be sure the best charity to give it to anyway.  I hear a telethon is being planned, to be hosted by George Clooney and I find myself getting really really angry.

Right now, unemployment in the US is around 10%.  In some states, it's more than that.  Americans are losing their homes to foreclosures at an insane rate.  None of this is news right?  And we all should help where we can when there's a natural disaster. 

What makes me mad is that these celebrities are going to go on television and ask us all to donate what we can.

But what has George donated?  He makes $25 million  PER FILM.  That's $25 million for about 6 months of work.  How many films has he made in the past 5 years? 

The AP put out a story that Madonna $250 thousand to help the people of Haiti — and she is urging her fans and friends to do the same.  Yeah, um, Madonna?  That's like your weekly bottled Kabalah water tab.  Is that the best you can do? And you urge your fans to do the same?  Then again, you're the singer whose concert tickets aren't available for less than $300. 

Gisele Bundchen, supermodel, donated $1.5 million to the Red Cross. She reportedly made $35 million last year, said she was inspired to help after seeing the catastrophic damage done by the earthquake. Generous, yes, but if she made $35 million last year, how much will she make this year.  

My big question is, for people who make more money in a year than most people can spend in a lifetime, why not more?  Why ask fans and regular Americans to stretch their already stretched budgets? 



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
People live to their means. Someone who makes that kind of money SPENDS that kind of money.

I don't disagree with your sentiments I just understand that even though it looks like a drop in the bucket to us perhaps it's not to them when they are spending to match their earnings.
Jan. 16th, 2010 04:47 am (UTC)
By using their celebrity status, they bring numbers, and their is power in numbers. They aren't suggesting that everyone match their donations dollar for dollar. By getting many people to give a little bit each, the total is much greater than if a few people donate a little.

Having said that, where are Bill Gates, Oprah, any of the Walton family, etc, etc, etc, who are ALL worth so many BILLIONS of dollars, that if they donated a BILLION dollars, they would earn it back next year in interest alone. Wouldn't a BILLION dollar donation from Walmart make a dent in the Haitian crisis?
Jan. 16th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
I agree completely. Personally, I feel like they get out in public and ask for us to send our precious few dollars so they won't feel guilty about not sending more.
Jan. 16th, 2010 05:21 am (UTC)
I think we don't actually know where help comes from and goes in the US. I think there are not as many as we think we are in the situation the Haitans are in - yes, there are homeless, on the street. I am not trying to down play the help that is needed, and I often wonder why we don't do more *here* rather than sending so much abroad.

That said, when the shit hit our proverbial fan, and our masses were hurting, the celebrities and the other countries DID rally. They did. As always happens in the case of major catastrophe, there was some clusterfuck to get thru before help got where it needed. That's happening in Haiti to.

We all do what we can do when it is needed the most - like in this case - because if we were in their shoes, we'd be praying/hoping for the help, too. I don't believe that the rich are the only ones to look to in times of need. Everyone does that to them ever day, and that's why they give what they can, when they can.
Jan. 16th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
i agree with you.

I am cynical, but I think the main purpose of these large, televised, celeb-studded, non-anonymous give-a-thons is to make the givers feel less powerless in the face of tragedy; we'll supposedly feel that life can be made more fair by our reaction to it. Kinda like (as I explain to my daughter) why some people believe in god - so they can hope for fairness later, necause life now is so unbearably cruel and unfair.
Jan. 17th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
I'm pretty blown away that disaster relief is tied to entertainment events and individual charity. Seems an odd way to provide humanitarian assistance, but that's the way things are marketed to Americans: as entertainment, as voluntary aid. Don't worry; Haiti, like New Orleans, will roll out of view before too long and we'll have something else to worry about. Hell, how long was Haiti bad, but not this bad, and how many gave a dime?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )