Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Donation funds, why do we pay them

  1. Sep 1, 2005 #1
    Firstly let me say that im not against donating to good causes or helping those in need, because there are plenty of people who need help right now.

    I was at the market just now and saw a slip for donating money to new orleans. I got to thinking that there must be slips like this everywhere in the united states. And then a problem came to mind...why do working citizens, who have serious expenses as it is, get called on to donate money? It has almost gotten to the point where people are expected to pay.

    But the problem is why cant the government pay for disasters 100 percent. They have the money, they already have citizens tax money which is supposed to guarantee every person several things that i personally feel were denied to some Katrina victims.

    I read in another thread, New Orleans was given like 3 million dollars, and then bumped up to 5 by congress when they needed 11million. Also stated was that the national guard was in iraq. I think this event has illustrated the disaster of the United States government system, which no longer functions for its citizens and has not for an incredibly long time. If people cannot find the direct correlation between the disfunction of events surrounding the disaster in New Orleans with the disaster of the Bush administration, they should no longer be allowed to think for themselves-a wasted brain is a terrible thing.

    the louisiana national gaurd was out killing people when they were needed at home, outrageous :confused:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2005 #2

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Private citizens donating to disaaster relief programs is new to the Bush administration???
     
  4. Sep 1, 2005 #3
    That 11 million was only for maintaining the levees themselves. The Army Corp of Engineers also asked for over a hundred million dollars to prepare for disaster in case the levees did breech. That was cut to 40 million.

    Since the government isn't doing its job, I guess private citizens are the ones that have to.
     
  5. Sep 1, 2005 #4

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Since when hasn't government cut funding to programs in the last couple hundred years? And I didn't know my red cross donation was going to the US Military....
     
  6. Sep 1, 2005 #5

    Art

    User Avatar

    It would be interesting if it was done the other way around. Tax dollars being spent on good causes at home and wars being fought using only voluntary donations for finance. I suspect there would be a lot fewer wars.
     
  7. Sep 1, 2005 #6

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yes there woudl be. Basically because 1 nation would take the initative and run over every other nation and .... well.. be a privately financed Germany. Of course, privately funded armies have no case studies to support what their actions might be... or do they? o:) o:)

    Im sure the OP will be berated by some left-wingers who believe in reduced military funding and small budget deficits and will argue that the budget cuts were Congresses way of helping the little guy by reducing the deficit.
     
  8. Sep 1, 2005 #7
    Charity and "donation" fraud is an up and coming industry. Ah yes capitalism at its worst.

     
  9. Sep 1, 2005 #8

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    One way or another, the money is going to come from us. No, the government does not already have the money - its not like there is a $50 billion disaster relief pot just sitting around waiting for the disaster: you and I are going to pay for this next year when we pay our taxes.

    Private firms often have different objectives than the government. One member asked about donating money to help animals. That's something the government will do little of. The Red Cross, for another example, will focus on medical needs, whereas the government needs to focus more on rescue, recovery, and law enforcement (at least at first).

    But the main thing is that at a time like this, it isn't the quantity of relief available, its the flow. You may have heard that LA and the surrounding states are bringing in 1,400 national guardsmen a day. Why not bring them in all at once? Because mobilizing them takes time - even if they are sitting in a warehouse in their trucks, ready to go. You can't just turn them loose on the city - soon they will become stranded just like the people they are supposed to be helping. They need a supply chain, a chain of command, a purpose. So sending money to the Red Cross, just adds another path for aid to flow into the region. Someone sitting in an office in Washington, writing a $10 billion check will not make a case of water magically appear in NO 30 seconds later. It just doesn't work that way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2005
  10. Sep 1, 2005 #9

    Art

    User Avatar

    Although my original post was somewhat tongue in cheek there is actually a long history of privately funded armies and wars. The crusades being one example or in the modern era groups such as the IRA. There are also of course the privately (and secretly) funded armies such as the Contras.
    I guess the point I was originally making was I wonder how many of the advocates of the current war in Iraq would support the war if it was funded by only those who supported it and who had to pay for it directly.
    It seems perverse that some people believe spending money to save lives in their own land should be voluntary whereas spending money to take lives in another country should be mandatory.
     
  11. Sep 1, 2005 #10

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If we combine that with voluntary funding of all other government programs, I'm all for it! :uhh:
     
  12. Sep 1, 2005 #11

    Art

    User Avatar

    If the Russians had realised how slowly the US forces can mobilise in an emergency they'd have invaded and had the place locked down in no time :rofl: In fact if I were Castro I'd be making my invasion plans now. Afterall if you only have to beat 1400 troops a day it would be no problem. :biggrin:
     
  13. Sep 1, 2005 #12
    +1.....................
     
  14. Sep 1, 2005 #13
    What the hell does this have to do with capitalism?
     
  15. Sep 1, 2005 #14

    Art

    User Avatar

    Actually they do. It is called the Emergency Reserve Fund and it exists specifically to provide timely financial assistance in response to domestic disasters and emergencies. It requires a 2/3 majority vote in the legislature to release money from this fund (also called the rainy day account) :tongue2:
     
  16. Sep 1, 2005 #15

    Art

    User Avatar

    I think the common thread is greed.
     
  17. Sep 1, 2005 #16
    I can only say that when the real America still existed, the military could have had plane loads of c rations on the way to the disaster area in a matter of hours.

    During the cold war every military installation had thousands of cartons of C rations (meals in cans) available. We didn't have to wait for orders to come down from FEMA. One quick call from the Pentagon and help was on the way.

    The rations are now MRE's and a lot tastier.
    However, the military no longer keeps a surplus. The surplus MRE's are auctioned off to the public. They would have been very helpful this week.

    FEMA relies on private contractors who must first submit bids. The bids must then be approved and contracts signed. Only then do the contractors start to procure the goods that are needed.

    Emergencies and Bureaucracies do not mix. That fact has become evident this week.
     
  18. Sep 1, 2005 #17
    That's a common thread for quite a few things.
    Charity organizations are socialist in nature.
    I'd say this speaks more about socialism than it does capitalism.
     
  19. Sep 1, 2005 #18

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Actually since Congress is on vacation, Bush requested that money be approved without waiting for the normal vote.

    Congress Sending $10.5B in Relief Aid

    "Congressional officials said $10 billion in relief aid would go to FEMA, the government's first-line defender in case of natural disasters. The remainder is ticketed for the Pentagon, which has dispatched ships and other assistance to aid in the relief effort.

    In a letter to Capitol Hill that accompanied the request, Bush said the situation "requires immediate action by the Congress to ensure that the federal response to this disaster uninterrupted." And he put lawmakers on notice that the $10 billion was only a first installment, with another request expected after a fuller assessment of the storm's impact.

    With the Republican-controlled Congress officially on vacation, top leaders said they would pass the relief measure without waiting for lawmakers to return to the Capitol. Instead, they announced the money would be cleared _ by Friday _ without the formality of a vote, as is often the case on non-controversial measures."


    "Over half a billion dollars a day is being spent by FEMA," said Cochran, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee."

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/09/01/national/w151358D87.DTL

    I guess the thread OP isn't keeping up with what's happening?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2005
  20. Sep 1, 2005 #19

    Art

    User Avatar

    Or maybe he's a little ahead. Bush has asked his father and Clinton to head a drive to raise private donations to help with the disaster which I presume is why the OP is asking why it isn't 100% funded by the gov't.
     
  21. Sep 1, 2005 #20

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, as they did with the Tsunami relief. Any additional money that comes in from the private sector only adds to what the government does. Why would you expect the US government at this particular time and this particular storm to be the ONLY source of donations? I believe that is unheard of and doesn't even make any sense.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?