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Asshat Of The Week - Jan Egeland

Jan Egeland, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, bemoans western democracies as "too stingy". Selected quotes from his now infamous "stingy" press briefing. Via BBC NEWS, CNN, CNN (again))

"It is beyond me why we are so stingy. Really. Christmas time should remind many Western countries at least, how rich we have become," he said.

"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy."

"If, actually, the foreign assistance of many countries now is 0.1 or 0.2 percent of the gross national income, I think that is stingy, really," he said. "I don't think that is very generous."

He suggested that governments "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more"

In an interview Monday night with CNN, Egeland reiterated his view: "It bothers me that we -- the rich nations -- are not becoming more generous the more rich we become."

The average rich country gives just 0.2 percent of its national income to international solidarity and international assistance, he said.

"We keep 99.8 percent to ourselves, on average. I don't think that's very generous," he said.

Now he's claiming that his comment were misinterpreted . Perhaps he might note that the UN website carries the video of his press conferences, and that his claim is refuted by the UN's own video archive. It's pretty hard to misinterpret Egeland's words.

What must really bother Egeland is that we all do not live in socialist welfare states where our wages are taxed at 75% tax rates. In that Egeland utopia bureau-weenies like him could enforce his own agenda with the government controlled fruits of our labor.


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Comments (29)

The U.N. once again proves ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

The U.N. once again proves that you don't have to be a rocket scientist to hold a job with them. Did he really think that insulting the United States was going to shame us into giving more money? Instead, it's making the U.N. look more and more like the money-whores everyone thinks them to be.

Yea I heard about this on t... (Below threshold)

Yea I heard about this on the radio. He actually commented that if only our nations had higher taxes, we could give more. The United States is giving, what, 5 million? 15 million? I forget the figure, but we're giving tons of $$$ in releif aid to the affected countries for the disaster.

Shame on him and Shame on the U.N. for allowing him to continue to speak for them.

Hmmm. Western democracies ... (Below threshold)
chattr:

Hmmm. Western democracies (are there any western countries not democracies?) are too stingy.

I haven't listened to the Under-Secretary-General's inetrview. What did he say about

Sri Lanka said refusing IDF aid team [Israeli Defense Force]?

[crickets shirping?]

Why is it anyone's responsi... (Below threshold)

Why is it anyone's responsibility to provide aide? I'm not against it, but each time someone says a comment such as accusing a country of being stingy I wonder why we even bother sending out millions of dollars and six Air Force cargo planes full of food and supplies the same day the disaster took place. Did we recieve aid during the hurricane season from other countries?

Isn't it about time that UN... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

Isn't it about time that UN headquarters were moved to Paris, Oslo or Copenhagen? And while we're at it, let's just by-pass all that US funding for the UN and give it direct to the Red Cross, so these little twits can tax their own asses.

America, F**K Yeah!

Initially, we only committe... (Below threshold)
julie:

Initially, we only committed to 15 mil plus supplies and the planes to deliver them until we had an opportunity to size up the situation and determine how much and what was needed. They now threw in another 20 mil for a total of 35 million. Of couse, there is also the donations through private charities which has yet to be calculated. I heard the european union coughed up a measly 4 million. Jerks.

I vote for moving the UN to... (Below threshold)
Ernie:

I vote for moving the UN to Paris. Kick them out of New York!

Well, considering this is o... (Below threshold)

Well, considering this is one of the worst disasters of the past several decades; considering that the relief effort will be enormously expensive due to the vast geographic region affected by the Tsunami; considering the fact that the US is the most prosperous country in the world; considering the fact that some of our most important allies and trading partners in Asia have been devastated by this tragedy, $15 million as an initial amount is woefully stingy.

Consider the fact that Bush is spending $40 million on his inauguration ceremony while people throughout Asia will be living amongst bloated corpses, having little access to fresh water, and will be at risk of epidemic diseases.

It's no wonder that people can wonder about the US's priorities.

Dude is an asshat, no doubt... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Dude is an asshat, no doubt, but might I make another suggestion for asshat of the week?

Well, America Joe, since th... (Below threshold)
julie:

Well, America Joe, since the entire European Union only came up with a total of $4 mil, why aren't your questioning their priorities? As, I already noted, the $15 mil was the initial offer until we knew more what was needed. It is now up to $35 mil plus another $34 mil in private donations by Americans. Oh, by the way, how much have you personally given to the relieve effort??

This is why I keep the UN's... (Below threshold)

This is why I keep the UN's Webcast URL in my toolbar. There's no telling what vile idiocy is spewing from Turtle Bay that needs to be witnessed.

Although it's amusing to see ex-Senator Danforth frustrating the fourteen euroboobs in the UNSC now and then with a veto and then an explainer in the stakeout.

I am dismayed at the lack o... (Below threshold)

I am dismayed at the lack of personal virtue and individual stinginess of the average Norwegian and Europeans generally. The average Norwegian or European donates a fraction of what the average American does to charitable causes. I'm sure this disaster is no different. The U. S. government will contribute more money than any other country (possibly several times over). And individual Americans will exceed the government in their private donations.

It may be possible to have a people without virtue and virtuous institutions just as it is possible to have a virtuous people and virtue-less institutions. I wouldn't bet on either one.

1) How much does this UN cr... (Below threshold)
shark:

1) How much does this UN cretin donate to charity? Those UN jobs have nice salaries.

2) Why don't Kofi and Kojo donate the oil for food money they stole oops I mean earned legitimately.

I heard him talk tonight sa... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

I heard him talk tonight saying the press, et al, misinterpreted what he said; then he said it again and all I can say is HE MEANT WHAT HE SAID.

asshat.

Cindy

The US has sent 35 million,... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

The US has sent 35 million, troops, navy ships and of course all over this country are all the aids groups for catastrophes sending money and goods, flying planes to the areas that need things like now.

This man is an ass and should stay out of NYC?

When are we going to get rid of the UN?

Cindy

I heard a while ago that th... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I heard a while ago that the toll of "giving" from the Scandanavian countries and then also from France, was a palty pittance. Oh, yeah, seats of intellectual and spiritual prowess, rigghhhttttt...France committed some paltry amount (I wish I had the figures, but from what I heard announced on FOX a bit ago, it was dismally and actually stingy).

The U.S. spends a huge amount of money out of our DEFENSE BUDGET on a regular basis to aid and assist the world and people overlook that, try to discount it as not "real" giving, while it consists of emergency food supplies, a lot of manpower and services and emergency equipment, all of which are just taken for granted, if not even often disparaged.

Billions of dollars each and every year in cars, trucks, planes, ships, telephones, computers, troops and other staff, construction equipment, rations -- fresh water and food -- not to mention all those doctors, medical supplies and services, all at the ready each and every time some disaster strikes.

And here the U.S. took care of, ALSO, by itself, the recovery from wildfires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, freezes, heatwaves, droughts, terrorism, illegal immigration...

I was curious what aids and helps the U.N., France and other nations provided during any or all of these events in the U.S.? Someone said that Canada helped with the hurricane damage in Florida, but then, that had a lot to do with the fact that a LOT OF CANADIANS OWN PROPERTY AND VACATION IN FLORIDA...more than anything.

The U.N.: remind me if anyone can what it is that they actually do? I mean, other than aid and abet terrorists and money launderers and drug lords and corrupt dictators and wear a lot of turbans and satin capes and such?

What about all those millio... (Below threshold)
-S-:

What about all those millions left over in Kerry's political fund, can't the DNC send that or at least some of it to Africa, or maybe India, Thailand, maybe?

Maybe Teresa could send a few boxes of clothing or some cake mixes, since she lays claim to her African roots...I was wondering if she'd packaged up any supplies yet to send to Africa's East Coast?

I'm glad to see that the E.... (Below threshold)
Ken Hirsch:

I'm glad to see that the E.U. has also raised their pledge to 30 million euros.

To put some perspective on this, the U.S. federal government is projected to have 1.798 Trillion dollars in revenue for 2004. That works out to $3.4 million/minute. So the $15 million dollars is four and a half minutes of tax revenue.

Or, to put it another way, for a person making $100,000 per year, the equivalent percentage works out to 83 cents.

Ken: What's stopping YOU fr... (Below threshold)
julie:

Ken: What's stopping YOU from giving more?

Nothing's stopping me; I've... (Below threshold)
Ken Hirsch:

Nothing's stopping me; I've given quite a bit more than 83 cents and I don't even make 100 grand a year.

Then maybe you should save ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Then maybe you should save your pennies and go back to school because the creative accounting you employ to advance the same old, same old argument that U.S. Bad! is ridiculous.

What would this asshat know... (Below threshold)
Conservanatrix:

What would this asshat know about burdened taxpayers? UN salaries are tax free and also include generous allowances for housing and education. I would love to know how much of his tax-free income "Mr They Want to Give More" donates to relief efforts.

-S- but don't you know, Te... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

-S- but don't you know, Teresa thinks they should just run around naked, it is the tropics, don't you know....

America Joe - you're an idiot. Comparing a budgeted item with one of the largest natural disasters of our time is plain stupid.

shark - question, why doesn't France donate more? because they don't have the 1.4 billion a year in Oil for Food revenue anymore, since we shut their supply off. but of course if those UN idiots would've KEPT some of that $$, it wouldn't have gone to relief anyways....

Ken - nice apples and oranges accounting summary. you compare how much that initial donation was as a cost per minute of the Feds total revenue. So, I'd guess that you'll be bitchin' that they will now have to go back to congress to ask for more $$, because the emergency reserves for disaster relief were already pledged somewhere else? They're tapped out. But we won't say, oh no, we're over budget, no can do.

Oh, stating that you give more to charity than the govt does as a percentage shouldn't make you feel proud, it's your responsibility. It's not the govt's responsibility to do everything for everyone.

I am a Merchant Mariner, an... (Below threshold)
Patrick:

I am a Merchant Mariner, and I have spent my entire career transporting cargo stenciled with "From The People Of The USA". Sailing to every third-world asshat port that one can imagine! I think that the time has come...that every single item from Q-Tips...to Jello...to 50 kilo sacks of wheat flour...to batteries...to typhus vaccinations...to even the lowly dental floss!...I truly feel that the time has come for EVERY SINGLE ITEM OF HUMANITARIAN AID be EMBLAZONED with the "STARS AND STRIPES!" Perhaps then...those recipients of our true care and of our truly genuine empathy...will one day understand. As for the "insight" of Jan Egeland?...Well, my Golden Retriever "Tara" has more knowledge of foreign affairs than does the entire "Under-Secretary of Inter-Relation Sub-Committee of Foreign Affairs of Inter-governmental-Sub-Affairs of Quasi-Internal-Sub-Continental-Of The Committee "of The Committee" of the Sub-Committee of the "COMMITTEE"...For the Committee and by the Committee! Perhaps Jan Egeland should return to the "REAL WORLD"...Perhaps the time has come for the relocation of the UN from New York to perhaps? Oslo? Or perhaps Trondheim? ANYWHERE but on US soil! And Perhaps we Americans should not contribute over 90% of that body's operational costs! Hey Jan...Wake Up And "Smell" REALITY!!!

I wrote about this very sub... (Below threshold)

I wrote about this very subject in my post on my blog today.

These comments by this UN offical disturbed me greatly, and I went to look up some of the facts.

The UN doesn't count any aid given to Africa for AIDS relief. The UN doesn't count any of the food we give to the world, which by the way, we give more then anyone.

The UN really doesn't want to count the private donations, which account for 2.2 of our Gross National Product, the measuring system they and Europe are so fond of.

European Union member state... (Below threshold)
Brooke Heaton:

European Union member state contributions to foreign aid are significantly higher than US as a percentage of GDP. While the US gives .1% of its GDP, Europan states are giving an average of 3% Measures have been taken by the European Commission to up this to .39% and ultimately up to the .7% goal established at the Monterrey, Mexico meeting of the OECD (and agreed to by the United States!). One might wonder; if the EU continues to outstrip the US in foreign aid what effect this might have on our already withering image as a global leader? Well, if the effects aren't already clear to you, just look at the vote on invading Iraq. Those lesser developed countries on the Security Council at the time weren't getting the majority of their assistance from the US, they were getting it from the EU. Read about it.

Hey, Spain is giving more t... (Below threshold)
Ni:

Hey, Spain is giving more than the USofA; 50 million euros. Can we tolerate this, my conservative folks? Let's invade them!

1. Jan Egeland did *NOT* me... (Below threshold)
Erik:

1. Jan Egeland did *NOT* mention any specific country!!!! In the article above, there is NO mention of ANY country whatsoever!!!! Geez!!!!! Where the HECK to people get their "information" from????

2. Norway gives FAR more per capita than the US!!!!
I noticed that an uninformed person on this site wrote that US citizens give more than Norwegians. What has the dumb oaf been smoking??? Here's the TRUTH:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/eco_eco_aid_don_cap

http://www.scandinavica.com/culture/society/UNreport.htm

http://www.google.no/search?q=cache:G3UDPvrvh3kJ:www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/faculty/oswald/aidusmarch2002.pdf+most+generous+countries&hl=no

Get a friggin' clue about REALITY!!!!

If even 50% of all the comm... (Below threshold)
Jay:

If even 50% of all the comments above reflect the views of Americans, which I hope is not true, then we are really in trouble. How ignorant, xenophobic and just downright embarassing. This is not about conservatives and liberals, it's about being human folks.




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