Updated Ratios of Aid

Given the increased amount of aid promised by the US government to the tsunami victims, I felt it was time to update my earlier post about the ratio of government spending in Iraq versus relief for the Indian Ocean disaster.

Both operations are — ostensibly — to aid afflicted peoples (given the fact that no WMDs or al Qaeda ties were found in Iraq). See my previous post for how the numbers of (pre-invasion) dead in Iraq are derived.

This comparison assumes $200 billion in expenditures (so far) in Iraq and $350 million pledged for the tsunami victims; 3,000,000 dead in Iraq and 135,000 (today’s number) in the tsunami; and a population of 23,374,691 for Iraq (from the CIA World Factbook) and 5,000,000 homeless in the tsunami (from the Yahoo story above and one which I didn’t have previously).

That’s a per capita expenditure per death of $66,667 in Iraq and $2,593 for the tsunami, a 26:1 ratio.

Or (after all, we can’t save the dead) $8,556 for each Iraqi made “safe” from Saddam and $70 for each homeless tsunami victim. A 122:1 ratio.

Happy New Year! Remember MLK Day!