There isn’t a day that passes by now where I don’t see a continued commercial for raising money to save Haiti. I feel awful for the people of Haiti over this terrible tragedy, but I keep coming back to the major issues we have going on in our own country.
Americans donated $150 million in the first four days after the Haiti earthquake, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Donations to Hurricane Katrina efforts in 2005 only totaled $108 million in the first four days after the disaster, the chronicle said. Who knows exactly how much money we have donated between the U.S. Government and American citizens, but doesn’t anybody find it strange that we raise more for other countries than our own?
We don’t know the exact numbers, but one study had the unemployment rate last year in Detroit at 28.9% (Source: The World Newser August 28th, 2009). At those levels of unemployment, you ultimately have a tidal wave of foreclosures, crime, and poverty. I haven’t heard of George Clooney doing a telethon to help support the relief efforts in Detroit. At 20%+ unemployment, that is about as big of an economic earthquake as we have seen in many years. Where will the relief effort come for cities in the United States like Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo?
We need to start getting serious about our country being a business. If you worked for a Fortune 100 company, you have probably noticed cutbacks on bonuses, fringe benefits, and charitable contributions from the company. That is because they realize to grow their business you need to be able to grow profits. I’m not sure we have realized that yet. Maybe will just keep printing money. If we do, we might as well text HELP!, and give some to Detroit.
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Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
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