Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Obviously Nobody Cares

There is much lament over the dearth of signups for the ONE letter to be delivered to the G8 conference despite a TV campaign asking people to simply go and sign up. All this says to me is that people really don't care. At least, people that aren't bleeding heart liberals with too much money and the guilt that comes along with it. Frankly when only 390,000 people sign up for something, you're obviously beating a horse that nobody cares about. I am intensely curious as to how much the domain name cost them. But that's entirely beside the point as you can't fault them for trying to market their message as effectively as possible.

If it really does just take just 30 seconds to sign up, and nobody is doing it, then either the proponents of The ONE letter are simply wrong about what Americans want, or they perhaps they lack credibility that their campaign is worth even 30 seconds of people's time. Personally I feel its the former. But, there's lots of people who feel otherwise.

At least it's nice to live in a country where people can spend their money trying to do something like the One if they want, and others are free to ignore them. I'll admit the visual appeal of their commercial made me jump back in my TiVo to listen to what they have t say, but after seeing the usual cast of characters, I knew right away it just wasn't of any interest to me.

I think that the real irony is that somewhere in a conference room someone came up with this awesome idea about how cool it would be to have this "one voice" that all of America cries out with desiring change "for the orphans", and frankly the idea fell flat on its face. I find the idea of committing one percent of the US budget to fight poverty to be laughable. They're talking about 24,000,000,000 dollars; $80 per man, woman and child in the US; $315 per family. I can think of a lot of things that the typical US family could do with $315/year that are far more important than paying for orphans in another country. Most importantly, let us not forget that Americans take their charitable contributions very seriously. In 2004, American families gave a record $248.5 Billion. We don't need the government to take more out of our pockets when we already give so heavily.

Sources: US charitable contributions, Giving USA Foundation; population data; Federal Budget info OMB.
(Of course, this was covered by BoingBoing as well, one of my otherwise favorite linkblogs)

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