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How Much Relief Aid, Should the U.S. Supply to Japan?

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

(credit: Su-E Tan) Kent Shocknek
Kent Shocknek, anchors weekday prime-time newscasts on CBS-TV's KCAL9...
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Overheard in the check-out aisle: “We need to help them (Japan).”  “No; we should use relief money to shore-up our nuclear plants.”

Granted, a not exactly realistic response. If I know anything, it’s that not spending money on ‘X’ does not guarantee it will be available for ‘Y’. But it does raise the interesting questions….

How much should the U.S. become involved in post-earthquake relief? First and foremost, there’s the humanitarian issue. Can we agree that the U.S. is the most generous country in the world, when it comes to helping others? But how do  you make sure that our resources are spent best, and we’re not just throwing money into a fissure in the earth’s crust? At some point, there will be the sentiment like the one I overheard yesterday; that the U.S. should help where possible, but not at the expense of taking care of our own shores.

Add to this the economic issues that tie our two countries together,  and the fallout (no pun, believe me) of radiation travelling across the ocean to us, and I’d hate to be the person deciding how much help the U.S. can afford to offer… especially, when the clock is ticking on my decision.

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