I was listening to a report on NPR about the presidential campaign which ended with the footnote that the owner of a prominent resort casino in Las Vegas was pledging $100 million to a candidate (technically, he said he was giving to defeat a candidate which kind of gives away which side he’s on). I repeat: $100 million.
This individual is worth $24.9 billion. According to Wikipedia (which is not totally reliable, but gives a decent sketch of a person), his philanthropic gifts amount to about $157.5 million (about 0.6% of his worth). I could get up on a soapbox about this, but instead let me ask: What else could be done with $100 million?
•Commercials say that you can feed a starving person for $3 a day. Let’s make it $5. At that rate you could feed nearly 55,000 people for an entire year.
•Sponsor 20,000 water projects through charity:water and give roughly 5 million men, women, and children in Africa access to clean water.
•While we’re on water, you could buy 1 million biosand filters through Blood Water Mission which would serve about 15 million people.
•Buy and distribute 25 million books to promote literacy.
•Sponsor over 238,000 children through World Vision.
•Buy tickets to a baseball game for over 333,000 kids in each of the 30 cities that have Major League franchises.
•Through Heifer International, you could give one of the following to people in need:
-Over 833,000 sheep
-Over 666,000 llamas
-400,000 water buffalo
-Over 833,000 goats (the list could go on)
•Build four state-of-the-art schools.
•Buy 10 million bed nets to protect against malaria.
•Fund 4 million microloans to help small businesses across the world (and that money would be paid back).
•Cover the weekly expenses of caring for a baby (diapers, wipes, etc.) for over 96,000 families for a year.
•You couldn’t buy the world a Coke, but you could buy everyone in the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon a Coke. After that, you could still buy Cokes for your favorite 356,736 people in the state of Washington.
But you know, I’m sure airing a bunch of attack ads is about the same as any of this.