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Mixed Feelings on Donating to Houston

What do people think when they get an appeal to donate to Houston hurricane victims? Retrogrouches (like me) should respond positively to an appeal for voluntary help. It's about as 'retro' as it gets; after all, in modern America everything is either mandatory or illegal.

Then too, many people see the pulling together of humanity as one of its more admirable qualities.

So why didn't I donate? A seditious thought immediately came to mind: how could a society that has unlimited money for fighting foreign wars or inflating various financial bubbles, not be able to take care of hurricane victims in Houston, through government aid? 

How many people had this reaction to the appeals for aid? I am not arguing that it is the best reaction.


Anonymous said…
The people in the best position to help are those local on the scene with access to boats and high clearance vehicles.

I'm not a big proponent of the Red Cross, who raised a ton of money for Haiti and had little to show for its fund-raising. And I wouldn't count on the government for sustainable help or even quick-acting help. It's really not what government is good at. What they do is fight foreign wars or inflate financial bubbles.

I want to help, but I cant go down there due to my personal circumstances. I want to help pay for the gas and meals of the people who are going down there with boats and high clearance vehicles, pulling people off their rooftops. Haven't found a good way to do that yet.

Anonymous said…
You bring up a situation that tugs at the humanitarian genes that we non-sociopaths carry. I’m more inclined to donate to forces of nature disasters that take place in impoverished parts of the world such as the Indonesian tsunami some years ago. I agree our government should foot the bill in most cases or at least provide low cost insurance for those folks in non-coastal flood prone areas. The trillion or so we have spent in the Middle East could have paid for a lot of coverage and there would still be a bunch left over to place solar panels on most of the solar suitable homes in the US. Shall I also mention the billion or so Mein Trumpf wants to spend on the fence at the Mexican border?

Anonymous said…
Because it's the kind and generous thing to do. I'm donating to the animal care organizations down there that are rescuing and caring for many pets affected by the flood.
Don in Okla.
That would sure make a difference, wouldn't it?, if your offerings were used directly by people in need, instead of sucked up by cubicle rats in a bureaucracy.
I remember perusing a book put out by Best Friends (Kanab, UT) that showed its volunteers rescuing animals after the Katrina disaster. Maybe they are at it again in Houston.
Anonymous said…
The only correct solution in this situation is to have our military mobilize to this disaster. This is what they are trained to do.
Ed said…
I have to disagree in some part with your Comment. The 'only correct solution'? I think not. The National Guard in TX and LA have been mobilized, perhaps other states as well. However, the government always mobilizes the Guard for disasters and they are not trained for such work. They are trained to kill people and break things - that is their 'job'.

The government, at all levels, is also very poor at helping people. I received an email this morning to all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers telling me that FEMA is hiring. From my experience in the Peace Corps that will be another big clusterfuck with people causing more problems than they solve.
I see your reasoning for preferring donating to impoverished parts of the world.
I'll bet they DO have some training that makes them valuable for disaster situations. And it would make most people feel good to see them saving lives, rather than the usual thing in foreign countries.
Ed said…
I stand corrected. My Reply was as bad as the original Comment. I should have said; I never received any training by the US Army that would have been valuable in a disaster situation. Nor in the Peace Corps.

You are absolutely correct that it would make most people feel good to see them saving lives as evidenced by the work of the Coast Guard which receives extensive training to do that.
It does seem like a good job for the Coast Guard. Besides, it has been awhile since a foreign invader landed on US soil and started killing, burning, and pillaging.