Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Tsunami and American Long-Term Economic Interests 
I've made it pretty easy, here. So if you haven't donated, just click the Amazon Honor System link to the right.

Captain's Quarters and a bunch of other blogs are joining up with the idea of making January 12th "Give Day" or something like that. The idea is you give whatever your take home pay is on that day to the Asia Relief.

Me, I think here, in the richest, most productive country with the most fortunate and productive people in the world, most people can probably do better than one day's pay, if they really set their minds to it.

I believe the reaction of the first world to this disaster is among the defining events this century. And the disaster is on a scale that threatens to disrupt the economies of the developing world. A developing world, I should point out, upon which, a generation or two hence, we will be relying on to develop a functional middle class to provide a ready market for all the 401(k), Social Security, and other retirement equities we will be selling as our larger generations enter retirement.

We will also be relying on the emerging middle classes in Indonesia, Thailand, and India to create demand for American exports in the future.

The destruction and economic dislocation of the American Civil War set the South back an entire generation for more than a century. It has only begun escaping the economic doldrums in the last couple of decades.

It is in America's long-term best interests to intervene mightily now, in order to preserve the fabric of coastal societies.

Not to mention in order to isolate the more tribal areas of Muslim Indonesia from destructive influences from Al Qaeda and the Saudis. The people will remember who was there to help and who stood on the sidelines.

A generous private and public response - to include debt forgiveness in private markets -- is in America's long-term strategic interests.

It's also, in my view, the right thing to do.

Splash, out


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