It seems the disaster season is upon us again. And whenever other countries are hit with a disaster, we gleefully saddle up and ride to their rescue. When we get there, we spend money like drunken sailors on shore leave and finally retire, happy with our emotional excesses and indulgences.
A little while ago, we enjoyed the tragedy in Haiti. Now we get to revel in the earthquake in Chile. I wonder how much money we'll spend this time?
The truth is that people love a good tragedy. The history of mankind proves this; Shakespeare's dramas, soap operas, the nightly news, court TV.
But we still feel a twinge of guilt: If we're going to watch the disaster unfold, blow-by-blow, perhaps we should do something to ameliorate the guilt. So we send money, which gives us the excuse to self-righteously proclaim that we "care", which in turn allows us to enjoy the disaster from the comfort of home.
The problem is that we are currently in great distress, a vast number of us are unemployed, homes continue to go into foreclosure, and there's no end in sight.
This is certainly no time to send money overseas.