The American Con$cience

What does it say about us that we think of money as an appropriate band-aid for any number of national and international issues?

Look, for instance, at Darfur.  What have we really done, as a nation, to help those people?  Held some protest marches.  Donated to charities such as the Red Cross and UNICEF.  And recommended ever more stringent sanctions. 

Bush Threatens New Sanctions on Sudan – Washington Post

And yet, it is still happening.  That most horrifying of crimes:  Genocide.  But the American conscience is clear, because of the money we have donated, the sanctions we have enforced in order to create monetary difficulties for the Sudanese government.

Crisis in Darfur – United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Another issue is global warming.  Want to continue driving that gas guzzling SUV with a clear conscience?  Fork out about 150 bucks a year to have someone plant some trees and install a couple of windmills in order to offset your emissions and you’re home free, and officially green.  Band-aid applied.  Never mind that you could just buy a hybrid, or even just use E-85 or something similar.

Money helps in a lot ways, I’m not saying it doesn’t.  Look at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  They’re money helps thousands and thousands of AIDs patients in underdeveloped countries.  And the Red Cross aids millions of disaster victims both here and abroad.  So, by all means, donate.  Give generously.  But, keep in mind that, is some cases, money makes a very poor band-aid.

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