Monday, October 13, 2008

Now that the Dow is up 500 points we can afford to follow Jesus

I'm thinking of a conversation in the Vice Presidential debate. The candidates were asked what they would have to give up now that the US is putting down 700 billion dollars and more.

As usual, all the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates were pretty vague. Joe Biden (Democratic VP candidate) said, though, that the administration might have to cut foreign aid.

If they cut foreign military aid, I wouldn't object. But the fact is that the US spends very little on foreign aid. In 2005, USAID's own site says that US foreign assistance was $27.5 billion. 14.2% of that went to the US Dept of Agriculture and 18.5% to the Dept of Defense. The former is probably the government purchasing food from farmers and giving it to poorer countries. The latter is military aid that probably went to purchase weapon systems from American manufacturers. In other words, just under a third of US foreign aid goes back to US entities, and the true amount of foreign aid is a drop in the bucket.

Even with the stock market crash, the US can well afford to follow Jesus' command: what you did to the least of these, you did to me.

Edit: No telling what's going to happen tomorrow, but the Dow was up 900 points at the close, not just 500. I guess we'd better follow Jesus really hard.

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