Europe Should Learn To Say “Thank You”
Jan Egeland, a citizen of Norway and official of the UN charged with the disaster relief effort, was just plain wrong when he implied that the US was stingy with it's foreign disaster relief aid. His statement was based on the 0.14 percent of the US GDP given in foreign disaster relief aid, while Norway gives 0.92 percent of it's GDP. Norway's economy is dwarfed by the US economy so even at the lower rate of 0.14%, Americans still give more, far more. In fact, the US provides 40% of all disaster relief aid from all countries. What percent of the total dollars does Norway provide? I don't know but it's not much at all.
The system is different in Norway. Norway is a socialist country and taxes are much higher than in the US. The people of Norway don't give to private charities, they can't afford to, it's all done by the government. Private donations to private disaster relief organizations in America usually match, and often exceed the government's pledge so whatever the government gives from tax money, that amount is usually doubled by generous Americans giving to private charities. And that money doesn't include the aid and assistance that the US military is providing in manpower, supplies, and transportation. US military cargo planes were the first on the scene with hundreds of tons of food, water, and emergency supplies to the disaster area. When you add it all up, the US probably provides nearly 50 percent of all the aid given to disaster victims and their countries. Egeland’s remarks prompted a reply from President Bush to set the record straight and eventually Egeland retracted his remarks and apologized to the President saying he misspoke and didn't understand the American system. That didn't stop him from launching his criticism without researching his facts first though, did it. Of course he doesn’t understand the American system of giving, he’s a socialist and thinks that governments are supposed to bare responsibility for taking care of everyone, not private citizens.
When did it become America’s responsibility to take care of the whole planet, yet that seems to be what we are doing. The United States is the most generous nation on Earth and have always come to the aid of other nations in need. When this country passed welfare programs to take care of Americans who couldn’t or wouldn’t take care of themselves, it was a kind and generous act although not authorized by the Constitution. We started giving welfare to other nations in the form of “Foreign Aid” which is also unconstitutional. When disasters occur anywhere on the planet, the US is the first nation there with money and services which far exceed any other nation. At first, it was appreciated, but now it’s expected by liberals and socialists just like domestic welfare. Not only is it expected, but we are criticized for it not being enough. When was the last time someone said “thank you” to America for our help except the Afghans and Iraqis? How many millions or billions of dollars will it cost us to get a simple “thank you America” instead of “you stingy Americans don‘t give enough”? It’s a dangerous thing when citizens and foreigners alike begin expecting and demanding handouts from American taxpayers. It’s even more dangerous when political candidates start campaigning on the idea of legislating entitlements from the taxpayers dole.
What country sent aid to America when our World Trade Center was attacked? What country sent aid to America when Florida was devastated by a series of hurricanes? I don’t recall any of these socialist countries offering to help then, who are criticizing us now. Isn’t this more a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Only in this case, the kettle isn’t black, it’s green, as in “greenbacks”. When it comes to America, disaster relief is a one way street. We’re still waiting for France to thank us for liberating them twice.
This clearly illustrates the problem with liberalism and socialism whether it‘s domestic or foreign. You start giving them charity and they grow to expect it, then they grow to demand more and more as though it‘s their constitutional right to receive it. They get it into their heads that other people owe them a living and they are either not capable or not willing to accept personal responsibility for their own lives once they become dependent on the government and the taxpayers. They think governments should provide for them and be responsible for them, and believe others should think the same. How long would they have lived in the “old west” when there were no handouts, no charities, and no government entitlements such as welfare? “Personal responsibility” is not in their vocabulary.
And who are the people we are helping with our money and services right now? The part of the world that fell victim to the earthquake and tsunamis, including Indonesia, is largly inhabited and governed by Muslims, the same ideology we are at war with. It is because of their ideology that they suffered so much damage and so many deaths. Their religion keeps them bound to seventh century lifestyles and theocratic systems which do not allow for change and progress. We are trying to pull these countries out of the seventh century and into the twenty first century with democracy and capitalism so they can provide themselves a better living, freedom, and opportunity and for that, some of them want to kill us. The only reason for the vast devastation from the tsunamis was because of the primitive mud housing and infrastructure they live in. Were they living in twentieth century structures, the disaster damage and loss of life would be only a small fraction of what it now is. How many times will we come to the rescue of people who refuse to help themselves? How much of our taxpayer’s money will be unconstitutionally given away to people who don’t know the meaning of the words “thank you”.
President Bush has a reputation for doing the right thing and what is best for America regardless of public or foreign opinion. The money we give for the current disaster relief will not be going to the UN who can’t be trusted with it, but rather directly to the countries in need. What scares me is how close we came to having a president who cares more what foreigners think of us than what is the right thing to do for America. A leader who would give into the world’s socialists when they demand more of American taxpayer’s money would be disastrous to this country. People who believe that what socialists in European countries think of us is more important than doing what is right and affordable for America should never be elected to leadership positions. Americans will always do the best they can to help others, and without even being asked. But don’t demand more from us and don’t take us for granted, and finally, learn to say “thank you” for what we give you.