- 2,986 died in the September 11 attacks.
- About 26,000 civilians and 1,900 U.S. soldiers have been killed in the war to "liberate" Iraq in the past three years.
- Over 30,000 children die every day from starvation, malnutrition and preventable disease. That's 11,000,000 per year, not including the all the stick-figure children who manage to survive. Here are more poverty statistics.
- The U.S. spends 30 times (3000 percent, if you like) more on its military than on foreign aid. Looking at the above figures, I can't help but think the U.S. has its priorities slightly misplaced.
- I was pleasantly surprised to discover someone else putting Sept. 11 in perspective; people willing to do so seem rare.
I heard an interesting slogan at the event: "Solidarity, Not Charity". I strongly agree that the governments of our first world nations need to get involved in this. A small percentage of citizens donating a few bucks a year has not and will not end poverty. The problem is just too big for that; not only does the entire first world need to increase its spending on foreign aid, but foreign and domestic policies need to change, to mitigate factors that keep "developing countries" from actually developing.
For example, consider the agricultural subsidies first world governments grant to farmers. In poor countries, farmers generally don't get subsidies; furthermore, they generally can't afford large farm equipment, so they cannot reach efficiency levels of the first world. It seems to me that first-world nations offer subsidies in order to help farmers compete in the international market; but the net effect is keeping farmers in poor nations poor. First world governments should collectively agree to drop their local subsidies to help end poverty.
Update: This story suggests the effects of subsidy are more complicated than they seem. To Crypticity: I'm not sure what to make of it either.