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Tsunami relief: Unprecedented response

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posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 05:48 AM
I did not gave any money to help, and I am not feeling pressured to do it.

I think that the "unprecedented response" is because the region affected was a tourist region, and many of the people who are now giving their money to help are people who know that part of the World or that would like to spend some time in that part of the World.

This does not mean that all people are giving their help because of this, but I think this may be a reason for the great response from the normal people.

Also, the media coverage is important, people do not give money to help causes they do not know about.

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 06:12 AM
ROFL, yeah mate, thanks for that correction. I was thinking myself, hang on how can the US tax payers make $5.9 trillion from a 10% donation, when even the US GDP gives less with 10%. Ah well, I just woke up
when I started that post - 5 AM in the morning.

However it would be over $10.6 trillion if the top 25 rich countries gave 10% of their net earnings.

Repost, with correction, but the point still does not change. Just the math on US side and the fact that the web site I used for the data was giving a per annum income, not a monthy income. It's easy to be confused when you see just $500 per year income.

Bikereddie, no I did not give 700. If I did, I would not have been "bragging" about it. I will not mention what I did give or not give. I was pressured by peers. Further, anything can be discussed. Yes, even death tolls and the politics of situations. This does not make you any less compassionate, it just means you are a detached observer with your feet firmly in the ground, and your eyes latched onto the world.

What I am trying to stress here that millions are in need of aid and always have been. Yet, I don't see 25 million being raised by British or Americans in a day for them. What will happen when the media stop reporting? I expect it to drop by a landslide to an insignificance like it has always been.

My point is, if we maintain efforts like this as a society, the poverty in our society will quickly become history. If we stress to our governments to utilize our tax $$$/ for healing, rather than warring, poverty the world over will be eradicated. However, and I beg my pardons from those who do contribute regularly, I feel this is nothing more than a show that will be over in a couple of months and we will return to spending it on pizzas and clubbing.

I am interested in a long-term solution to eradicating poverty. I am looking beyond the surface. We need a consistent system in place as a society to aid the poor in our countries and in others. We can do it, if society as a whole lifts it's finger to put into action. What do we have to lose? A few beers? A few nights at the clubs? A few pizzas?

I read recently in the Sikh religion that each man should give 10% of their net earnings to charity. Let's just see what a mere 10% could do:

Note: I am not including holidays in my calculations. As they are neglible in the grande scheme of things. The figures are all approximations and do not
claim to be accurate. This is a very crude calculation to only illustrate a point:


The income per capita is approx 1100 per month
10% is 110 per month(approx 27.50 a week)
110 * 30,000,000(middle class estimate)
= 3.3 billion per month or approx 39.6 billion per year

The income per capita of the upper(upper-middle) class is approx 2000 per month
10% is 200 per month
200 *12,000,000
= 2.4 billion per month or approx 28.8 billion per year

Total: 68.4 billion or $131.9 billion per year

Now that figure is just the giving power of the UK public if they only gave 10% of their income to charity. That is more than 100 times what the
UK government(GDP: $1.66 trillion) donates.

If the UK government gave 10% of it's GDP: 166 billion or $320 billion:

The total power of UK to give is: $431 billion

The number of countries with around(margin of $100b's) the same giving power: France, Germany, Italy, Japan.

This means just five rich countries(not including US) have the ability to give way over $2 trillion in aid. They are not called rich for nothing.


The income per capita is approx $3,133 per month
10% is $313 per month(approx $78.25 a week)
78.25 * 130,000,000(middle class estimate) Source:
= $10 billion per month or approx $120 billion per year

The income per capita of the upper class is approx $6000 per month(I will take the higher figure)
10% is 600
600 * 11,000,000(upper class(top 5%) estimate)
= $6.6 billion per month or $79.2 billion per year

Total: $199 billion per year if they only gave 10% of their income

NOTE: The US population is 290 million, I have only considered the working middle class and upper class.

That is the US public giving power if they only gave 10% of their income to charity. That is more than 10 times than what the US government(GDP: $10.99 trillion) donates.

If the US government gave 10% of it's GDP: $1.9 trillion, then:

The total power of US to give is: $2.1 trillion.

The 6 top rich countries have the ability to give more than $4.1 trillion combined in a single year.

What would $4.1 trillion do for the poor in the world? To put it simply, it would wipe out poverty everywhere in less than five years.

In the poor countries, $500 is enough to sustain for a year and is the average national income. $2000 per year is more than enough for the poor to be able to stand up on their feet. How many poor people can be given $2000 each with a $4.1 trillion aid? 2 billion people.

That would be the eradication of poverty in the top 21 extreme poor nations(per capita income less than $1000) in the first year.

1. Sirerra Leone: 5 million
2. Ethopia: 67 million
3. Mayotte: 186,000
4. Somalia: 8 million
5. Tanzaina: 36.5 million
6. Cambodia: 13 million
7. Congo - Democratic republic: 58 million
8. Burundi: 6 million
9. Eritrea: 4 million
10. Comoros: 652,000
11. Tuvalu: 11,500
12. Yemen: 20 million
13. Madagascar: 17.5 million
14. Mali: 12 million
15. Kiribati: 100,700
16: Afghanistan 28.5 million
17: Rwanda: 8 million
18: Guinea-Bissau: 1 million
19: Zambia: 10 million
20: Nigeria: 137 million
21: Liberia: 3 million

Approx: 435.5 million would be lifted out of poverty

This leaves us with approx $3.7 trillion. $10 billion for each country for basic infrastructure, sanitation and medicine would be more than enough. This would bring the total to $210 billion for these 21 extremely poor countries, leaving us with approx $3.5 trillion to spend on 1.75 billion from other nations:

This would cover the rest of the top 79 poorest nations as well as infrastructure, sanitation and medicine. That's an eradication of poverty of 33% of the worlds population in a single year. The rest, and note I have not mentioned India and China, and that is simply because they have enough economic power to take care of their own population.

If the top 25 rich countries met their giving power, poverty would be completely eradicated in a single year.

Just how many of you want to end poverty for good? Just how many are willing to give up just some of those expensive habits for just a year, so that billions in the world can have the basic needs? Those who do, are the real generous, kind hearted, responsible and moral citizens of this world. Those who give away pity in the form of peanuts, because that is what we give at this moment, should bite their tongue before saying they are "generous"

[edit on 31-12-2004 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 07:04 AM
Sigh... guess I'll unpack that suitcase.

I agree with you, I think that a lot more effort could be put into helping those less fortunate than ourselves. That people die every day, because we don't care enough to make sacrifices. I used to do bookkeeping and clients would drop off receipts for $2500 just for lunch. It made me sick. Out of sight, out of mind... if it's not happening to us, well, it's not really happening. If everyone in my office skipped Starbucks on the way to work just once a week, that would be close to $500 a month right there. While that may not seem like a lot to some people, I wouldn't turn my nose up at it. I mean really, how may lives could basic sanitation and access to clean drinking water save around the world. Things we take for granted, like at least one meal a day, denied to millions across the globe, and we can waste money on the stupidest things. Years ago, I traded shifts with a co-worker intsead of just taking it, because I knew he couldn't pay his rent without a full cheque. I didn't think it was any big deal, but at the end of the day, the owner came up and asked me why I didn't just take his hours, so I explained. I will never forget the look of disgust on his face as he said 'what, you feel sorry for those starving ethiopian kids on tv, too'. How can people be so callous?????

I think before we can solve the problems of the world, people need to be a little bit more willing to look at things from other viewpoints. You don't have to agree, just to know what they are is a start. One thing that I think could really help is for the US and Canada to stop subsidising farming to such a large extent. I understand people are farming, but they could grow something else besides food. Then, we go over to Africa, where they really need an industry and food, and help them get set up. Then we can buy the wheat off them, it's not like we can't afford it. They need to earn their own money to start investing in their society, and farming is about the only hope they have of doing it. OK, so my idea puts some farmers out of business, and the price of bread goes up a dollar, but millions of other people would be going to sleep with something in their belly, and maybe a shot of dragging themselves out of the nightmare they're in. And isn't a democracy, which we all claim to love, where everyone has a voice and not just the wealthy elite? Because no matter how bad you think you have it, if you live in one of the western nations, you don't hold a candle to them.

And to answer the original question(s), yes I donated and no I wasn't pressured into it, called my bank which always sets up trusts for anything like this and had them transfer an amount. And in those times when I am unable to support a cause financially, I give my time instead. A few other religions have a 10% tithe, the catholics, I think, and some of the more fundamental Jewish. I do think the media has a large part in raising the funds when these things happen. Most people gloss over things that don't directly affect them or don't want to think about things that make them uncomfortable, so we need the media to remind them of what's really important.

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 07:34 AM
Duzey, yes if we gave up some of those luxuries we take for granted, we could easily contribute $500 per month. However, the truth is, that just a mere 10% or $300 will be enough.

Here in England, 10% of our average monthly income means 110, that's 27.50 in week, or just one night at the club with the lads. Yeah, I can relate to your stories of being sick that people would rather spend it on booze and strip bars, than help a hungry and homeless man.

Yet, what makes me even more sick, is those rich, who can spend 500 on a single burger from a famous food outlet(It was on TV) The truth is if we had the intention to help the poor, there would be no poverty anymore.

This is why I am rather amused by the Tsunami relief. It's just an amazing show of compassion for otherwise incompassionate people. The fact of the matter is there is people in help in our own countries too. Don't they say charity begins at home?

If only there was 23 million a day for those hundreds of thousands dying in Africa everyday. It's not as if we are oblivious to the fact that they exist.

[edit on 31-12-2004 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 08:16 AM
I wish people could realized just how much impact a single person can have, at home and abroad. To realize you have the ability to change another persons life for the better is amazingly empowering. Where I am, we are having a big homeless 'problem'. The different areas just shuffle them around to make people stop complaining. In one area, they closed all the shelters, bussed them to another municipality, and then announced that they had solved the homeless problem. And while these idiots are bickering and playing games with peoples lives, there is a true saint that is known to the street people as 'Mom'. Every day this lady, herself on a disability pension, goes around collecting food and donations from businesses and individuals, then goes home to prepare what she will be serving 50 - 75 street people a night. She helps them with their resumes, lets them use her phone number on job applications, and just generally cares about them and what happens to them. Every couple of years something happens, she gets evicted because they want to tear the building down, and she can't afford to pay the rent for a place with a big enough kitchen, or her old car breaks down and she can't afford to fix it. Both times, the media covered the event, and it resulted in a church letting her use their large kitchen area in the first case, and a local dealership donating a car in the second. But aside from this, she is never heard of, and people forget she even exists.

So, if the media is the only way to remind people how much difference one person can make, and that there are tradgedies here, in our own back yards every day, then it should be used to do so. We just have to force them into it. So next time you see someone helping in a way that can inspire others, or something you feel people can help with, call your local news station. They love the touchy-feely human interest story, the one that will generate an emotional response. They have reporters who specialize in these little moments. I think for the most part, people do want to help others, but with all the charities they get confused. They worry about how much of it get to the actual needy, if it will really make a difference. So when they see something like this tsunami all over the news, they want to help because they see the need is genuine. But, they will forget. And they will forget because it is not on the news. People assume that if it is happening, it's on the news.

As a side note to my ramble, I did receive an email from a person I don't know very well at all, have perhaps met once or twice, as a general announcement that he and his girlfriend, broke as they were, had donated $300 to our local food bank, and that if we contacted him, he would arrange to pick up any donation we might want to make, and deliver it for us. This made me uncomfortable on so many levels, I couldn't even begin list them. Extremely innapropriate.

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 08:29 AM
I'm not against having a charity tax so that there's a regular supply being donated, but I also think that places like starbucks, nightclubs etc could help by putting an extra couple of pence on their prices which is then donated to charity as well, that way people get their pleasures while at least giving something back but it's all dependant on how much disposable income we have. Personally I'm wary of too much self sacrifice, I work hard for not very much and the little things like a night out or a DVD I feel I deserve and make life a little more productive. If you try to make people forego things through a sense of guilt they only get resentful so it doesn't work.

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 08:38 AM
I would never want someone to give to a cause because they were given a guilt trip. I only advocate making people aware of the extent of the problem. It is up to each individual to decide what s/he can give to charity, or not to at all. But it doesn't always have to be money. Got old clothes, towels, blankets? Maybe an old winter jacket that's out of style, or a couple of cans of soup you don't really like very much? If not, how about a kind word or a smile as you pass a homeless person. My own personal rule is to give something every day, even if all I can afford is a compliment.

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 08:53 AM

Originally posted by ubermunche
I'm not against having a charity tax so that there's a regular supply being donated, but I also think that places like starbucks, nightclubs etc could help by putting an extra couple of pence on their prices which is then donated to charity as well, that way people get their pleasures while at least giving something back but it's all dependant on how much disposable income we have. Personally I'm wary of too much self sacrifice, I work hard for not very much and the little things like a night out or a DVD I feel I deserve and make life a little more productive. If you try to make people forego things through a sense of guilt they only get resentful so it doesn't work.

I'm also against too much self-sacrifice. However, can you really say foregoing a single night out in a week is a sacrifice? You still can get your DVD's; you can still have an active social life; you can still go on vacations; you can still eat as much food as you want; you can still pay all your bills. It barely affects you.

Yet only 10% per taxpaying citizen will be enough to take millions out of poverty in a single year. So in the end no one loses; everyone gains. It's a true bargain.

[edit on 31-12-2004 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 01:27 PM

However, can you really say foregoing a single night out in a week is a sacrifice?

More like a single night out in a month
but yes I know what you're saying but the best intentions start to fizzle out after a while that's why I think the leisure industry could have some kind of charity contribution built into the structure. Imagine how much a busy pub nightclub could make adding even a few pence extra, ditto DVD rentals just on a weekend alone. Of course there's the question of people not being willing to contribute either to certain charities or none at all. I don't know how they'd work that one out but I'd be happy with it.

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 06:56 PM
thanks for doing the maths on the 10% tithe Indigo_Child - the figures are staggering.

Yes poverty has always been there and it has taken a terrible catastrophy to make us realise how fortunate we are, and put us in touch with the compassionate and generous within ourselves.

How many terrible disasters do we need before we change permanently from selfish to generous? How dire do things have to get before we get our priorities right, and put our money to good use to heal and to eradicate poverty? It is grossly indecent when obesity is on the rise in some nations and starvation is causing death in others.

Of this tsunami disaster, the greatest tragedy would be if we do not grow and evolve from it, and if we let ourselves slip back into complacency.

[edit on 31-12-2004 by c_au]

posted on Jan, 2 2005 @ 03:37 PM
I haven't been pressured by anyone, but I will admit that this has been one of the only times that I felt like I would be a better person if I had more money. And by more, I mean any.

My desire to make a donation, is knowing that whatever it is that I am not able to pay for or eat or whatever, it is still heaven compared to what is going on in SE Asia.

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