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It Depends on Your Point of Reference

Reported by Melanie - December 28, 2004

Stuart Varney, substituting for Neil Cavuto (December 28, 2004) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto, had a pleasant argument today with guest Ian Williams, the UN correspondent for The Nation magazine.

The topic of discussion was the amount of money being donated to relief efforts in Asia, and the amount of money given, in general, to the UN. Fox showed a graph which listed the US contribution to Asian relief at $35 million, Japan at $30 million, Australia at $7.6 million and so on, until the list ended with the UK at $1.3 million and France at $l36,000. (COMMENT: The amount the US is donating was increased from $l5 million just today. Other countries will more than likely increase their contributions too, if they haven't already.) Varney used the occasion to complain about France (of course) and to illustrate how much more we're giving than France, implying that we're a far superior country as a result. (If France pledges more, I wonder if Fox will ever tell its viewers.)

Let's put our $35 million contribution into a different perspective.

Reuben Mark, the CEO of Colgate-Palmolive, was paid $l48 million this year.
Richard M. Kouacevich, the CEO of Wells Fargo, was paid $38.8 million this year.
Shaquille O'Neal was paid $26,517,858.00 during the 2003-04 season.
One aircraft carrier can cost approximately $2.5 billion dollars.
$53 million to build a Community Hospital in Boulder, Colorado.

Rather than using what other countries are donating as the point of reference, maybe our point of reference should be expenditures like these.

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