Don’t donate money to Japan

By Felix Salmon
March 14, 2011
Individuals are doing it, banks are doing it -- faced with the horrific news and pictures from Japan, everybody wants to do something, and the obvious thing to do is to donate money to some relief fund or other.

Please don't.

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Individuals are doing it, banks are doing it — faced with the horrific news and pictures from Japan, everybody wants to do something, and the obvious thing to do is to donate money to some relief fund or other.

Please don’t.

We went through this after the Haiti earthquake, and all of the arguments which applied there apply to Japan as well. Earmarking funds is a really good way of hobbling relief organizations and ensuring that they have to leave large piles of money unspent in one place while facing urgent needs in other places. And as Matthew Bishop and Michael Green said last year, we are all better at responding to human suffering caused by dramatic, telegenic emergencies than to the much greater loss of life from ongoing hunger, disease and conflict. That often results in a mess of uncoordinated NGOs parachuting in to emergency areas with lots of good intentions, where a strategic official sector response would be much more effective. Meanwhile, the smaller and less visible emergencies where NGOs can do the most good are left unfunded.

In the specific case of Japan, there’s all the more reason not to donate money. Japan is a wealthy country which is responding to the disaster, among other things, by printing hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of new money. Money is not the bottleneck here: if money is needed, Japan can raise it. On top of that, it’s still extremely unclear how or where organizations like globalgiving intend on spending the money that they’re currently raising for Japan — so far we’re just told that the money “will help survivors and victims get necessary services,” which is basically code for “we have no idea what we’re going to do with the money, but we’ll probably think of something.”

Globalgiving, it’s worth pointing out, was created to support “projects in the developing world,” where lack of money is much more of a problem than it is in Japan. I’m not at all convinced that the globalgiving model can or should be applied directly to Japan, without much if any thought about whether it’s the best way to address the issues there.

That said, it’s entirely possible that organizations like the Red Cross or Save the Children will find themselves with important and useful roles to play in Japan. It’s also certain that they have important and useful roles to play elsewhere. So do give money to them — and give generously! And give money to other NGOs, too, like Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which don’t jump on natural disasters and use them as opportunistic marketing devices. Just make sure it’s unrestricted. The official MSF position is exactly right:

The ability of MSF teams to provide rapid and targeted medical care to those most in need in more than 60 countries around the world – whether in the media spotlight or not – depends on the generous general contributions of our donors worldwide. For this reason, MSF does not issue appeals for support for specific emergencies and this is why we do not include an area to specify a donation purpose on our on-line donation form. MSF would not have been able to act so swiftly in response to the emergency in Haiti, as an example, if not for the ongoing general support from our donors. So we always ask our supporters to consider making an unrestricted contribution.

I’ve just donated $400 in unrestricted funds to MSF. Some of it might go to Japan; all of it will go to areas where it’s sorely needed. I’d urge you to do the same, rather than try to target money at whichever disaster might be in the news today.

Update: Some bright spark has set up a “Socks for Japan” drive. I’m not making this up. I trust that none of my readers are silly enough to send socks to Japan, but this is a great indication of how wasteful a lot of well-intentioned giving can be.

338 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Your point is well made, but many charities are now wise to the problem and specifically point out that overflow funds will be used as part of the general fund.

E.g. the British Red Cross appeal for the Christchuch earthquake says this:

“In the event that we receive more donations to the Japan Tsunami Appeal than the Japanese Red Cross and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement can reasonably and efficiently spend, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to humanitarian disasters both here in the UK and overseas. For more information visit http://www.redcross.org.uk“

Posted by patricio | Report as abusive

Felix,

Does your boss Peter Peterson know Japan is “printing money”. Maybe he needs to go on an emergency mission go tell them they can’t do that!

Oh, wait, there’s no such thing as “printing money” with a fiat currency and a floating exchange rate.

Posted by petertemplar | Report as abusive

Dear Felix,

perhaps you could explain the following to me, since I am by no means an expert in financial matters. Why are we to donate money to this or that NGO if Japan can just print that money ? Why would anyone donate for any one cause for that matter ? The only reason I can think of is that printing money actually costs a bit of … money. But since the central banks are so “generous” anyway, why should the population at large bother ? We can’t print money so we would actually give away value that can’t be replaced, unlike the banks which are only too happy to do so. I’m sorry but am I the only one trying to find an answer to this ?

Thank you!

Posted by fireflood | Report as abusive

Has anyone noticed the irony that Thomson Reuters is appealing for donations on behalf of the Red Cross for the Japan relief effort on its Twitter site?

Posted by globalnomad | Report as abusive

Reminds me of September 12th, 2001 when people started donating food (perishable and otherwise) to NYC. I remember a photo of some relief worker with stacks of cookies around them. As if all the Duane Reades somehow disappeared.

Good intentions are not always smart intentions.

Posted by dtc | Report as abusive

The help Japan needs is supplies of specialist search and rescue teams and equipment, not cash. It isn’t generally regarded a poor country – but then if the UK govt send overseas aid to countries with space programs and nuclear arms (India) then perhaps the world has turned upside down and socks are the solution…

Posted by FifthDecade | Report as abusive

The help Japan needs is supplies of specialist search and rescue teams and equipment, not cash. It isn’t generally regarded a poor country – but then if the UK govt send overseas aid to countries with space programs and nuclear arms (India) then perhaps the world has turned upside down and socks are the solution…

Posted by FifthDecade | Report as abusive

Only $400… you really are cheap. Where is your compassion?

Posted by TinyOne | Report as abusive

Fire,

No central bank can “print money”. That disappeared with the gold standard.

Ideally all governments would be efficient and ethical with foreign aid. Since they are not, donating to something like MFS is one way to make a difference.

Posted by petertemplar | Report as abusive

Hi Felix,
My name is Kevin Conroy and I work for GlobalGiving.org. Thank you for raising these questions as we also agree it’s important to make sure that international aid, be it for a disaster or another cause, is done in an efficient, transparent manner.

GlobalGiving has a long history of raising funds for international disasters and disbursing them to high-impact organizations. For instance, here are all of the projects we supported after the Haiti earthquake. http://www.globalgiving.org/haiti-earthq uake/ As a part of our platform, we require all projects to post reports noting what we’ve done with the funds. You can read about the impact these projects had here: http://www.globalgiving.org/haiti-earthq uake-updates/

For Japan, we set up a fund to collect donations from the public and will be distributing those funds to a variety of organizations on the ground. As of this moment, these funds with go to International Medical Corp, Save the Children, and Mercy Corps and their partner Peace Winds Japan. We are also sourcing grassroots organizations in Japan that are NOT getting the same kind of media coverage that the Red Cross is getting. It is our goal to support community-based efforts around the world and provide transparent updates. We will be posting more details to our fund as they become available.

We are very happy to discuss this with anyone. Feel free to email me at kconroy@globalgiving.org or tweet at us at http://www.twitter.com/GlobalGiving.

Thanks,
Kevin Conroy
GlobalGiving

Posted by kevinconroy | Report as abusive

Indeed this comment is absolutely nonsensical. I thought a reuters blog would have people writing who would understand a little bit about what they write.
1) Japan is NOT printing any money at all. (That would lower the exchange rate and increase inflation and be overall very bad to the economy. On the contrary, Japan is buying yens abroad. If you see the yen has actually increased value.
2) I donate money to organizations like the Japanese red cross that give money to the people directly. No matter how rich the country, and in Japan the people don’t have that much money (specially if you lost everything, money is always needed.
3) Of course there are lots of crisis areas in the world. I donate to japan because i have a particular relationship to japan.
4) the text begins with do not donate money, and then the writes says he has donate money.
I am not reading reuters blogs again, and i just bothered to go through the registration process because the article is revolting wrong.

Posted by francisco8104 | Report as abusive

I for one have no objection to charities like the Red Cross using the excess to ofset their own expenses. In order to donate money there has to be someone in that chair to take your money. Even if the person is free, the building, utilities, and insurance are not.This costs money. Japan is overwhelmed with needs right now such as food, water, potties, blankets, and medicine; the only way to get those items to them immediately is (you guessed it)money. So if Japans needs are met, then any excess can be put to the next disaster; where it occurs.

Posted by bixbysbigsur | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon, you irresponsible, self-righteous ass. I am looking at your blog post from the staffroom at a high school in Northern Japan. Your headline is extremely offensive.

Donate to the Red Cross and donate now:

http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/jap anquake2011.html

Posted by bschlabs | Report as abusive

“Japan is a wealthy country which is responding to the disaster.” So no countries of this plant should have helped U.S during Katrina, is that right?

9600 of my country’s people haven’t eaten anything since Friday meanwhile you are drinking Starbucks coffee and rich fat food… You disgust me.

Posted by megumi203 | Report as abusive

“Don’t donate money to Japan” is a terrible thing to say.
Obviously you have chosen the title of this article to get hits.

You’re basically saying don’t give them money, they are rich and can pay for everything.
As if to suggest they can afford to rebuild everything back to the way it was.

If you actually did any research, you will find they are actually in debt by 200% of GDP.
The only way the country could be described ‘rich’ is by it’s assets.
I’m not sure if you noticed, but a fair chunk of those assets are now gone.

Posted by mrgreen999 | Report as abusive

I can’t believe either the post or people’s response. The comments seem to indicate that people didn’t actually read the entire post, which indicates that donations are a positive, but donations earmarked to a specific target – “Japan-only” donations are not a good use of money.

On the other hand, most of the post is just begging for people to take offense. Seems awfully foolish to me. What could possibly be gained by offending people with inflammatory statements like this?

Posted by m741 | Report as abusive

BOJ may tehnically not be printing money, but it’s announced a JPY 15 trillion liquidity injection, which has the exact same effects and is often nick-named money-printing in media. Effects of this will be, in the long run, a weakened yen. francisco8104 above said that this would be bad to the economy, but matter of the fact is that both the BOJ and the GOJ have been trying to lower the high yen rate since the Lehman shock, but have been unable to because of political pressure from abroad. Japanese industry is very export-oriented and has taken a big hit because of the high yen. The same poster also said Japan would be hit by inflation because of this, but this will also be good news in Japan as the country has been battling deflation.

Jesper Koll, MD & Head of Japanese Equity Research at JPMorgan Securities Japan: “You are actually going to get an all out attack that actually is going to add to economic growth that may actually just do the trick of pulling Japan out of deflation”

Posted by morkas | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon makes outlandish statements to pump up a his own circulation. To say that Felix Salmon is an idiot would be an insult to all the idiots in this world. Felix Salmon cultivates more following even at the cost of people trying to cope. Good job Mr. Salmon. I would not call you a vulture because I do not want to insult the vultures.
You say government can print money to pay for the recovery. If it is to easy, why don’t you tell our own government to print more money to pay off the national debt, fully employ everyone, provide shelter for all our needy. You know it cannot be done. You pretend to be stupid on purpose to make your indecent remarks. To call you stupid would insult those who have no control of being stupid.

Enjoy you meals. Enjoy your meal ticket. It came at the expense of all those who follow your advice.

Smarter charity giving is important. Any body else would have worded better. Just think of all those extra Japanese missing out of water, food, shelter from the freezing cold, a life lost here and there. Felix Salmon of Reuters in a Felix Salmon.

Posted by nemesia | Report as abusive

Just who do you think you are, Felix Salmon?

How very dare you even think to belittle our country of Japan, let alone the work of these amazing charities and rescuers.

If you are giving your money begrudgingly (and boasting about how much) then we do not want your help.

Right now, the issue is not about nuclear power, it is not about apparent wealth. The issue is about respect and care and help for a nation traumatised by these awful events.

How can you even think of writing such a hurtful, stupid and pointless blog?

How dare you?

Posted by kasukabeshi | Report as abusive

Just who do you think you are, Felix Salmon?

How very dare you even think to belittle our country of Japan, let alone the work of these amazing charities and rescuers.

If you are giving your money begrudgingly (and boasting about how much) then we do not want your help.

Right now, the issue is not about nuclear power, it is not about apparent wealth. The issue is about respect and care and help for a nation traumatised by these awful events.

How can you even think of writing such a hurtful, stupid and pointless blog?

How dare you?

Posted by kasukabeshi | Report as abusive

The headline will grab eyeballs – which is a good thing, because the message is important. I only wish more people would actually read what the post says, and I wish people would stop making uninformed comments on matters they only have shallow knowledge of. The article is 100% correct.

Posted by morkas | Report as abusive

nemesis, why don’t you actually read up on economics 101? It’s common for governments/central banks to print up money in times of crisis. In the case of most economies, the long-term effects will usually be bad, but in the case of Japan, this could actually be great news.

Posted by morkas | Report as abusive

I’ll show my cards here; I work at Save the Children Australia and we’ve been working round the clock since Friday to help our team in Japan. From Haiti to Qld floodings, we’re responded to countless natural disasters and we’re learnt two things. First, the needs of children always get overlooked. Indeed, they are often not even counted on the ‘missing’ stats that get published by the hour. Second, dollars spent *before* an emergency in disaster readiness are worth many times more than a dollar raised after a disaster strikes. Which is why Save the Children work hard via our Children’s Emergency Fund to figure out the needs of families, kids and communities before the worst happens. Right now we’re setting up ‘safe areas’ for kids to be kids again, which in turn frees up the parents to figure out what on earth they are going to do next. It’s a cause worth giving to.

You can follow :

- our work on the ground through our one of our emergencies team in Japan.

http://www.savethechildren.org.au/blogs/ 957-the-spectre-of-a-nuclear-incident-lo oms-large-in-tsunami-affected-japan.html

Or on twitter @iansave

For my part, I’m happy to keep building the case for supporting and investing in the children in Japan and their families.

Posted by kenn.coleman | Report as abusive

Irresponsible “journalism”, at best. Reuters, shame on you! How many people will read just the headline and say, “Hey, I read in Reuters that we shouldn’t donate!”

As for the “Japan is a wealthy country …” line, gee, so countries should not have come to America’s aid during 9/11 or Katrina? After all, we are (or at least were) a “wealthy country.”

As much as it pains me because so much of the information this “writer” writes is incorrect or misleading, I agree with his point on unrestricted funds. HOWEVER, he shows that he has not done his homework and does NOT understand that “Giving” has evolved. People and organizations have learned. Many organizations will say that “surplus funds” may be used toward other humanitarian efforts, thus releasing them from the restrictions and chaos that earmarked funds can create.

To write and publish an article of this nature at a time like this when people are suffering and mourning is heartless and inhuman.

Posted by AzumaWind | Report as abusive

Incredibly irresponsible headline. Yes, I had to read the article twice over to verify that it was sensationally phrased to grab attention and hits. Let’s be honest here, in the age of tweets and Facebook shares, not everyone is going to go through an article with a fine tooth comb. Many will just gloss over it.

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion in a blog, but to entitled an article “Don’t Donate Money To Japan” and then five paragraphs down: “That said….important and useful roles to play in Japan. It’s also certain that they have important and useful roles to play elsewhere. So do give money to them — and give generously!”

Much like misdirected funds, this is misdirected journalism.

And yes, like a few other commenters said before me: I’m sure the thousands of people in the Japan right now, in their dark hour of need and grief will appreciate Mr. Salmon’s call to the world – from the comfort and warmth of his blogging desk, well-fed, and hydrated- to NOT help Japan the only way so many of us are able to.

Posted by h30134 | Report as abusive

Hi Morkas

You agree with Felix Salmon because you took Economic 101? And this is your basis for your expertise in deciding to decreasing aid Japan. People are dying right now for want of water, food, shelter. Do you think that some babies might still be trapped? Do you really want to give your voice to this abomination?
Hitler’s Germany printed money for their war. Required a wheel barrel of currencies for a loaf of bread. You do have the deep understanding of economics… right?

Posted by nemesia | Report as abusive

Hi Nemesia, no, I’ve studied way beyond Economics 101, but you obviously have no grasp of economics whatsoever which is why I suggest you should start out with the most basic course. You also have no grasp of history – Germany was struck by hyperinflation in 1922 during the Weimar republic and had nothing to do with WWII, a decade or so before Hitler rose to power. Again, inflation is a possible outcome, but in Japan’s case, it could do the country good. Hyperinflation is extremely unlikely. -> http://www.cnbc.com/id/42079500

Posted by morkas | Report as abusive

Totally agree, i made the same point a couple days earlier on my blog
http://neouto.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/j apan-will-be-ok-save-your-sympathies-for -other-causes/

Posted by neouto | Report as abusive

Good on you Felix. Let’s try this summary:

Given that natural disasters strike unexpectedly around the world in rich and poor countries, what is the (a) most effective and (b) most ethical way to (c) prepare for and (d) respond to these events?

(Which may or may not be “black swans,” an argument for later.)

Seems clear that donating regularly to an NGO relief organization of your choice (perhaps Medicins Sans Frontiers, Red Cross, Mercy Corps) is good preparation, although a policy argument could be made that wealthy countries should fund relief preparedness and response through multilateral organizations (that is, taxes). You could sit at your dining room table and read at your leisure about each organization’s goals, governance and history before making a decision.

I am skeptical of organizations that appear to use catastrophes such as earthquakes as fundraisers.

(Felix’s suggested course of action is analogous to plopping some set amount of money regularly into your investment account, instead of reacting to every market swing.)

Posted by SelenesMom | Report as abusive

I don’t care what you write in the article, anyone at this time who titles an article “Don’t Donate To Japan” should be fired. If you want people to donate to legitimate organizations, title it “Please Donate to Legitimate Organizations”. I DID read the entire article and I am glad you donated, but who knows how many times over your donation will be canceled out by people reading the title of your article and deciding not to give money. You should be ashamed of yourself for even considering the title you used.

I live in Nagasaki, Japan (luckily far from the damage), and we are doing everything we can do collect and donate money. They need cash desperately. There are hundreds of thousands of people stranded in the mountains without food, water, or electricity. There are planned 2-3 hour power outages across a big slice of northern Japan, which will no doubt cost more lives. I’m all for the free exchange of ideas, but the idea that anyone could even suggest that people not donate money right now makes me sick to my stomach. Please, change the title of your article before it costs more donations, and thus more lives. This is serious.

Posted by efranz | Report as abusive

You people think Japan is going to have inflation??? Wow. Staggering.

They are a rich, productive country like the US. They are not Zimbabwe or the Weimar Republic. Their debt is meaningless given their sovereign currency.

Posted by petertemplar | Report as abusive

my comment is somewhat off-topic:

you close-minded human (not by judging)..this happening is not about where the money will go and what for will it be used..as long as it’s for Japan..it’s for Japan..let them be the one to decide where the money will go and how will it be used..the issue is about lending aid or whatever help you could offer to the needy… i live in Philippines but even though are country is still in verge of development.. we developed the characteristic of being hospitable enough even though life is hard.. that is why many of us immediately sent letters of approval/visitation saying we are to step in Japan for extra health care services and rescue operations.. we show much respect and hospitality to foreign countries not just because of their achievements but because we were taught so since we were a child which considers all populace.. and even in school..some of my teachers even brag how this or that country and its people stand-out.. that is why they try their best to train us not just to equalize any of those countries but for us to live in a better future.. our system is not good as others..true..but that doesn’t mean we don’t know or feel anything… your blog seems to be off when it comes to being open-minded… everything is not just about the economy, wealth, knowledge, how great who or which and how high could one be..
most of the time or maybe all the time.. it will take all of us (ourselves and others) to bring dreams to reality.. same as to make that land a better place to stay.. you won’t reach the stand where you are now without the presence and encouragement of those people around you..

no matter how intelligent you are..without the sense of understanding and of the idea of being wise in making decisions.. it won’t take you far.. at least try to lean back and see the roads you’ve already passed at times..those experience will be help you keep you moving..

Japan will stand again.. not just because their wealthy and talented but because they have each other and their not ashamed to consider help from other nations.. know always that you are included in my prayers.. ^_^ God Bless and take care.. Japan..

one more thing i really want to go to Japan a long time now.. that’s why I am trying to learn their language in advance if ever i thought of getting my doctorate for mechanical engineering..”if i graduate finely”.. ^_^ I am still in 3rd yr college though..18yrs old..

to Mr Felix.. try to open your self-up a little bit then you’ll see a great difference in the way of your thinking..if you think that your money is not well spent and is questionable to where it will go then don’t use it..period!.. and CHANGE THE TITLE OF THIS BLOG!

:after all: blogs are about suggestions/comments of what you feel or think..right? ^_^ no bad grudge or ill intention intended.. for my post..

Posted by susapo12345 | Report as abusive

This has become relevant to some of the comments:
http://www.overcomingbias.com/2011/03/ch oose-help-or-show-concern.html

Posted by dWj | Report as abusive

Incidentally: I remain with Felix in the pro-sincerity camp.

Posted by dWj | Report as abusive

Well Felix, now that the anger has subsided, I can comment. Terrible headline, even though you probably are smug that some agree with you.

People really are desperate to help, and those who are intelligent know enough to ensure they are donating to a charity that will do the most good and not fly by night organizations. That is really all that matters. They are following their hearts.

Now I do understand your point about donating to causes that go where the need is, and there are always disasters and people going hungry all over the world… even in your back yard. But people should ALWAYS be contributing to those organizations. If it is a one time donation, nothing you say will change that. People are either giving or they are not.

One thing I do know, as a humanitarian, is that telling people not to give, gives one more reason to not give at all.. and that is just irresponsible.

Knowing you are so well read and yet throwing in that horrible headline to attract more attention is even more irresponsible. You are read by people who have money to invest, and so should be speaking as such and giving advise, but not all will understand the message. Most won’t read the article. And many that do will also not give because they are inherently selfish and could care less (other then the markets are nosediving…) and less so that you gave selfish thought credence

Lastly, as you are drumming up support for a fund you believe works better then most (being you only listed one) you haven’t been paying attention. Reputable charities that provide emergency disaster relief have clauses which funnel the excess funds to those in need. Many also come together in a coalition in times of need to ensure money goes to emergency response as well as taking care of needs following the disaster (which are sometimes the heavier toll)

Being you were happy to note you gave $400 (which is a pretty paltry sum given your salary and I would be embarrassed to have added) and have not also bragged about your “other” year-long contributions so it would show your money is where your mouth is… shows you are not as charitable, or knowledgeable, as you think.

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive

I do think the title of this piece is a very poor choice.

The advice itself – to give generously with unrestricted donations – seems sensible. However, my partner, who works as a therapist in mental health, brought up several psychological aspects that are missing from a purely economic analysis:

First, donors want to help people they see on the news as having lost their homes, their families, everything. There is an emotional need to make that connection and to try to provide help as directly as possible. Raising funds around a specific disaster taps into that desire and probably raises more money than more general fund-raising would. If people feel they are connected to a cause and can direct the funds to where they feel the most need, they are more likely to donate. Thus the direct appeal for a specific disaster will raise more money than a more general appeal would.

Secondly, there is a psychological dimension to receiving aid from around the world. We saw that with Katrina in the US – knowing that people were donating from all over the world made a positive difference in how people affected by the disaster felt. Even if that support was insignificant in the overall recovery effort, it still sends an important signal.

More important is to make sure that aid is actually directed to what is needed in Japan (and other places in need), rather than by what donors in other countries think is needed.

John

Posted by Ragweed | Report as abusive

People, the title was merely to grab your attention. You don’t need to make a fuss about this. Writers, news reporters, etc. use that method all the time. Are you going to argue with every one of them? Then please stop being ignorant.

I thought this writer was being a jerk also, but as stated at the end of his article, we see that he’s actually donating his own money anyways. He was simply stating that we can try to be good Samaritans and donate to “feel good” about ourselves, but it may not be helping the main cause. He’s advocating that we do a little research as to where we’re putting our money, so that we’re not donating it to some random cause that won’t directly help Japan.

Now that ordeal about Japan being rich was ignorant in my opinion, and I say that because not many of us know Japan’s economy.

@mrgreen999 Your statement about the Japan’s assets is narrow-minded. For example, I borrow $100 billion, and I make something somewhat spectacular, so in my assets, I only make $25 billion. I’m still in debt to pay off what I’ve borrowed, but with the billions I have, I wouldn’t be considered rich? Maybe this is a bad example, but try to look it at from different perspectives. Japan decided to be in the kind of economy (technology, media, etc.) they were in before the disaster, but they’ve grown a name for themselves that makes them renown. So, yes, I would consider Japan to be ‘rich’ (just not as ‘rich’ after the incident).

Posted by expo_marker | Report as abusive

It’s Africa you should avoid donating money to. Yes the pictures are very heart rending but the reality on the ground is that very little ever gets to the people who need it and we are creating a dependency culture in a number of countries. I have lived in parts of Africa and what it needs is honest governance not donations. Better to put pressure on politicians to freeze the assets of corrupt African leaders. The trouble is that the Chinese do not care who they deal with and will pay off anyone they need to.

Posted by pavlaki | Report as abusive

@hsvkitty, that was a well-reasoned and thoughtful response. I doubt that Felix’s salary is all that impressive, but $400 did strike me as an odd number. Perhaps it was the liquid funds immediately available in his budget.

To others, I’ve never got the sense that Felix trolled for page hits. I think he’s advocating strongly, something that he often does. In the case of Haiti, much of the donated money hasn’t even been spent yet, and is often at cross-purposes, because of earmarks. Felix is not always right, but he’s not shy about arguing a defensible position.

Money isn’t an immediate problem in Japan. The Japanese government, and other governments in a position to immediately help, aren’t asking whether they can afford to do so. But a donation today by anyone other than a government with the ability to project rescue forces and to establish and maintain a logistics line won’t help for months.

On the other hand, Felix, a disaster is often what it takes for people to give at all, or give more if they are already doing so. Don’t ignore the psychological benefits of such earmarks. It’s really here that your post strikes me as tone-deaf.

Posted by Curmudgeon | Report as abusive

I spoke to charities and they seem to be largely stymied in getting aid into Japan at this time. Hence it appears that, for the moment, such groups are not able to provide direct, meaningful assistance in Japan.

It seems to me that, for now, the Red Cross is the best choice. But I decided to donate DIRECTLY to the Japanese Red Cross, rather than funneling money through the American Red Cross to their Japanese affiliate.

That’s a bit harder than you would think. The Japanese Red Cross website is either down, or does not have an English language version.

Google to the rescue. Google has set up a special donation web page where you can give directly to the the Japanese Red Cross. A minor disadvantage is that you have to use a credit card, but it certainly seems to be a secure website. I don’t like paying cc charges to make donations, but this seems to be the best and fastest way to contribute.
http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/jap anquake2011.html

If you are more comfortable going through the American Red Cross for Japan efforts, here’s their link:
http://american.redcross.org/site/PageSe rver?pagename=ntld_main&s_src=RSG0000000 00&s_subsrc=RCO_BigRedButton

But note that it is not clear that the your money will indeed go to Japanese relief efforts — they have a disclaimer.

Posted by Richard-Rider | Report as abusive

All I can say is, “Salmon…..You ‘Nin-Com-Poop!” You have swam in the pool of artificial intelligence too long. Your mind, eyes, and heart are covered with scales and barnacles. Once those scales become so thick a fungus sets in. This causes the underneath to weep, turn red, and itch. A deep cleansing dip in the common sense pool will ease and may even cure you.
This group scrambling to be in the elitist intelligencia (this includes journalists, Republicans, Democrats and anyone else who struggles to be in the ‘high brow’ society) are infected and it is time for them to be quarantined!
My money, earned the hard way and not printed, will go to Salvation Army and Samaritan’s Purse to help the Japanese people.

Posted by ZaneT | Report as abusive

I think you might be generalizing a little too much when you criticize disaster-specific funds. I agree that the ones opened after the Haiti and Japan earthquakes are likely to be inefficient and ineffective, and there are better alternatives to consider. But, as much respect as I have for MSF and the Red Cross, large organizations can still form disaster specific funds. UNICEF and other UN affiliated organizations come readily to mind.

Maybe your gripe should be with accountability of charities, rather than their authenticity? A lot of these charities which claim to specifically help Japan have no accountable measure of saying so. MSF avoids this liability by indicating that they have discretion over the disbursement of funds, and similarly organizations like the Red Cross have worked towards developing some measures of accountability (though in the case of the Red Cross I’m not entirely certain they’re transparent).

Posted by sanchk | Report as abusive

All I can say is that the amount of money donated to Japan ought to be of the same magnitude as the amount of money that Japan donated to us for Katrina relief.

Posted by Idiotmitten | Report as abusive

Found this….

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said that it would provide $200,000 to the American Red Cross to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. Japan also identified needs in affected regions via the U.S. government and provided up to $1,000,000 in emergency supplies such as tents, blankets and power generators if they receive requests from the U.S. for such assistance. Private and corporate donations totaled over $13,000,000.[33] One Japanese individual, Takashi Endo, donated USD $1,000,000 from his personal funds to Katrina relief efforts.[15]

There you have it. Limit our donations to $15,200,000.

Posted by Idiotmitten | Report as abusive

What a piece of digusting crap. Too bad I couldn’t think about the “it’s a wealthy country blah blah BS” at the time of September 11th. I – a European- gave $100 to the American Red Cross to help shocked Americans.

Therefore Mister Salmon, I beg you to write a letter of recommendation based on your noble arguments, I ask for a refund. Shame on you !!!

Posted by balsasan | Report as abusive

I agree that we have to be sensible about how and to whom we give money for charities of any causes. But I must say that the writer’s logic about giving money is too simplistic and short-circuited. Please let me throw one basic concept of economics. All monies circulating the world basically equal to all values (goods and services) that exist in the world. We cannot add more values just by printing more money. We use money in lieu of materials and human actions. Printing a lot of money only decreases its value as currency. There are countries historically that did just that in war times and some third world countries. And we know the result—bagful of money to buy a loaf of bread. There are times when governments add money into their economies for good reasons. US did that recently to stimulate its economy after recession. And Japan is doing it now. But they are only for short-term boost of economy and not for a long time solution. All reasonable governments know that and they know they have to do so carefully.

We send money because it is most effective way to send materials. If someone wants to give groceries to his family in Mexico for instance, he sends money instead of buying groceries himself and ship them abroad because he knows his family will have more food that way. Same applies here. Saying it is useless to give money to Japan because it is a rich country and its government is printing money is like saying people in the world did not need to send all relief they sent for Katrina victims because US is the richest country in the world and US government can prints all money needed to help the victims. In fact, it is same logic as saying we don’t need to pay taxes because US government can prints all money needed for all social services and that national deficit does not matter because our government can print more money.

Giving money helps. It is up to you to whom and how you give money. Yes, let’s all be careful, and check how charities actually use the money we give. But your goodwill is not useless if you decide to act.

Posted by hwatanabe | Report as abusive

It is absurd to say that Japan does not need money right now. That money turns directly into food, water, and supplies. If you do not think Japan needs money, you have not grasped the magnitute of this disaster. This is the fourth biggest earthquake in recorded world history, followed by tsunamis that hit the top third of the pacific coast of Japan, some rising up to 20 meters and traveling several kilometers inland, destroying everything along the way. 5 days later, strong aftershocks are continuing and causing more damage. The Japanese stock market fell by 10% yesterday.

Any country would need money after something like this. I don’t want to compare, but this really is Katrina on steroids. It is much, much bigger.

Posted by efranz | Report as abusive

When my brother broke his femur I ran 8 miles each day to visit.

Now my brother Japan has been in a terrible wreck.

I have been out of work two years and have depleted my 401k.

I have just donated another 50 dollars to the Red Cross and hope to God if there is anything they need that the Red cross can figure it out and not waste this effort.

There is not much more I can do since I can’t swim the pacific and I am challenged in other ways.

I wish everyone comfort in accomplishment, an extra smile, fresh coffee, water or chocolate, a delicious meal & treat, warmth, safety and security for those you care for and more is easily found and enjoyed by you.

God bless and all my hopes and prayers are with you Japan.

Posted by phyvyn | Report as abusive

Mr Sapmon has no idea what he is talking about.
I found this comment ESPECIALLY interesting “..organizations like Save the Children will find themselves with important and useful roles to play in Japan…So do give money to them — and give generously! And give money to other NGOs, which don’t jump on natural disasters and use them as opportunistic marketing devices…”

I have been doing Humanitarian work with NGOs since 1993.
Including wars in Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and disasters like the Tsunami, Pakistan Earthquake, among many other countries.
And I can tell you that Save the Children is on e of the absolute NGOs that totally..”jumps on natural disasters and use them as opportunistic marketing devices.
They are consider the masters of the game of “Spin”.
Use the disaster to the full extent to milk the most money.
Mr. Salmon is a babbling idiot who knows nothing about what he is talking about.

Posted by sirfish | Report as abusive

And yes, I have worked with them, and I know first hand how they operate.

Posted by sirfish | Report as abusive

I registered for an account SOLELY to tell you what a pompous douche nozzel you are. No one is jumping up to self promote… except you. A biblical level disaster has happened in Japan and people SHOULD GIVE MONEY and whatever else they can. What the hell is wrong with you?

Posted by Maralily | Report as abusive

A slice of lame in the soda.

Posted by CPA1976 | Report as abusive

greenacres, your comment is well-received and i def agree..just one thing tho – “Japs” is a fairly (very) derogatory way to label the Japanese..unless that was your intention you might want to edit in the future

Posted by justhinking | Report as abusive

Liberals. The “compassionate” ones!

Posted by here2do | Report as abusive

@justhinking – If greenacres knows that much about Chinese and Japanese conflict, then he/she knows that “Jap” is a derogatory term. It was intentional, IMO.

Posted by here2do | Report as abusive

I found Felix’s argument quite sensible. Tyler Cowen, who linked to it, has an odd criticism: that the people who read Felix are (or were, before they read his argument) moved to donate to relief of Japan, but can’t be moved to donate to more mundane, everyday relief of suffering in poorer countries; so the effect of Felix’s making his argument will be to reducing charitable giving overall. This strikes me as disrespectful of Felix’s readers. (On the other hand, judging by the comments above, maybe Tyler is onto something!)

Posted by Philon | Report as abusive

I like many others have only registered to comment on this. I stumbled across this page and after reading this, I am utterly disgusted .

Whilst I agree that people need to take care when donating to these charities to ensure that the money is well spent, attempting to discourage people to donate to help Japan is atrocious.

I completely agree with greenacres. Japan committed gruesome genocide during war, (in particular the Nanking massacre in the late 30s). Many of the survivors are still alive, yet dispute the inhumane actions that were committed, the Chinese have generously donated money to help out.If the Chinese are willing to help out dispute history, surely you can get past the fact that Japan is a ‘wealthy country’ and sympathise with what has happened.

You may not believe in the efforts, but you should not be discouraging people’s efforts even if it is ‘Socks for Japan’.

The states is the richest country in the world, and when Katrina struck the Japanese donated money.

Posted by kathc | Report as abusive

@Philon completely agree about felix’s argument about the lack of efforts in the everyday relief, and the care people need to put in about selecting charities, but headline of ‘don’t donate money to Japan’ and one of the reasoning being wealthy is just wrong.

Posted by kathc | Report as abusive

Just like Gilbert Gottfried and his hateful Twitter rant, this is another not-talent hack trying to cause some noise while people lay in the street dying.

Posted by Drumlaw80 | Report as abusive

Hey, do us all a favor and go out and witness for yourself what you are writing about. Then if your opinion still stands, write about it, so we can use you as example and show others how much of an idiot you are.

Posted by JaeinChung | Report as abusive

…And I just registered to make this comment despite all the other retards who can’t even read beyond the headline.

This is an excellent article, which doesn’t suggest to people NOT to give, but encourages them to GIVE to responsible, sustainable and long-term established, recognised charities, such as MSF or the Red Cross, rather than new NGOs which mushroom after a particular disaster. And NO – the point is not just to give, whatever and whenever (even to scammers!), but give GENEROUSLY to the needy what they need at the right time.

People should be generally more aware of what the charities or NGOs they sponsor spend the money on, so well done, Felix!

Posted by IanGood | Report as abusive

Sometimes love is all there is. I am sure that people of Japan and Haiti will be thrilled to take to heart your expression of global understanding and compassion. You sir are a arrogant Western overindulgent douche-bag

Posted by tresfun | Report as abusive

Felix, your sensational headline ruined your very good point about charity. Japan does not need charitable donations, it is very wealthy and will be just fine. How many of the people writing hateful comments directed towards you donated to Pakistan during the floods last summer? Those Pak/Afgan families probably *still* have no homes. Those people suffered, but, it wasn’t so sensationalized, and “those Arabs are all terrorists anyway”. Ha. People are giving to Japan because they identify with their Toyotas, because old Japanese people are cute, because they liked Lost in Translation so much, and because the Japanese are “like us” in so many ways. All you reflexive Japan givers/Felix haters, look around at the whole world (read Felix’s whole article too), and think about where your dollar can really help the most. You might discover something about the world far away or you could discover that you own local battered women’s shelter could use a few extra cots. Or maybe you’ll discover something about yourselves.

Posted by skamerika | Report as abusive

What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, impossibly ignorant piece were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this page is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Posted by iblamesociety | Report as abusive

Seriously? C’mon Reuters…you can do better than this. Use some responsible editorial oversight and at least put something more thought-provoking or original than this. The nerve of this blowhard to say the farmers, fisherman and elderly from one of the poorest parts of Japan who have also lost everything don’t need socks, food or any help from others. Historically, the Japanese have been one of the most generous donors to those in need around the world. I have faith in people that we will return the favor in their time of need.

Posted by edksiez | Report as abusive

I think what is wrong with this article is ONLY the headline.
Correct me if I’m wrong but in short, the body text told us to donate to organizations which are responsible n reliable, instead of just donating to any charity that has ‘Japan’ written on it.
To be fair, many organizations consume/absorb a certain percentage of the donations before directing it to the intended place.
This article sort of makes me want to double-check the charity I donated to, just in case the money is never gonna make it to Japan..

Posted by turtle0909 | Report as abusive

Felix, please remember that, whether donating money, socks or choosing a title, the exercise of intelligence is equally important. Otherwise, I agree with what you have said in your article.

Furthermore, should you be sincerely interested in the relief efforts, I heartily invite you to my home, here in Japan. It is safe for now. Feel free to contact me according to your convenience.

Posted by AlexKovac | Report as abusive

Please get off your soap box.

A major poblem for Japan right now is the weather and there is risk for hypothermia. There is also a lot of debris, many of which are sharp and good source for infection. That is why socks is a low-cost, effective donation. Your rush to judgment against socks shows your ignorance about disaster relief.

Please look at the overhead of some of the organizations you recommended. Smaller organizations with a long history are often more efficient than the bigger charities. People have to do research before donating but big does not mean better. In fact, right now the biggest need in Japan is the dropping of staples, warm clothes, and blankets to parts of Japan that cannot be reached easily or fast enough due to infrastructure destruction.

You have a very small mind and heart to believe that giving to Japan means not giving to someone else. Many people gave to Haiti, Pakistan, the gulf states, and despite the economic hardships, are dinging deeper to find money to give to Japan.

Why is someone who experiences suffering in a rich country is worth less than someone suffering in a poor country, and what does it say about you that this is how you see the world?

Posted by readerabc | Report as abusive

This is posted in the top right corner of the page.

FELIX SALMON IS A REUTERS BLOGGER. ANY VIEWS EXPRESSED MAY OR MAY NOT BE HIS OWN, BUT IN ANY CASE ARE VERY UNLIKELY TO BE THOSE OF HIS EMPLOYER.

I would hope on every level that Reuters doesn’t, in any way shape or form, share this dipsh!t’s views. I can’t even imagine why in the world they would let a misinformed douche like this post on their site in the first place.

Posted by makone4 | Report as abusive

I’m Japanese and now living in Japan.
I’m very, very sad what you said.

Come to Japan as soon as possible.

Posted by Salliy.K | Report as abusive

I nominate Felix Salmon as the most anti-humanitarian for 2011. You call yourself a journalist? That is what I wanted to major as a second career but I’m already an engineer. What do you have against the Japanese people? Are you racist against them for some reason? What ethnic background are you? Just in case you’re not smart enough to know, that was a rhetorical question.
Economics, investigative journalism both obviously are not your forte. Japan is in an economic recession, you missed the boat on that count. If you saw the tsunami take out the vehicles and saw Mercedes and Porsches then you have better eyesight then I.
I know there’s no point in beating a dead horse but, you should consider a career change because you suck at this one. It’s no wonder that Reuters would have a disclaimer right at the top of the page. They paid you for this? OMG they are suckers. Talent must be in very short supply.
I wonder why posted comments have the “Report as abusive” button when articles such as your hate-mongering swill doesn’t? And look at these stupid “House Rules”, “We try not to publish comments that we think are offensive”. I won’t waste my time reading Reuters anymore.

Posted by politich8r | Report as abusive

First of all, I would like to present my deepest condolences to all Japanese people. As for the article, I unnderstand for someone to register his reservations on the title which for me is provocative to a certain extent, especially that it may seem like punishing the victims. However, when it comes to the content, we must be fair. Japan is indeed a rich country and doesn’t need money. Hence, he didn’t mean to offend Japanese people. In contrast, he tried to address the point of the efficient allocation of these resources, backed by the idea that people usually donate more to countries experiencing natural disasters, so it’s kind of event-driven charity whereas people around the world, do not even need such events to be in need of help. More importantly, the rise of new NGOs (with no clear objectives) after such events raises question about their nature. Finally, I insist that the title is shocking but the content is not as bad as the headline.

Posted by Mohamad.H | Report as abusive

I am so happy to read such a sensible article.
Well, it’s true that, Mr. Salmon, you have probably pushed a bit too far in making the title of your article eye-catching, but readers with ability of reasoning wouldn’t get carried away and not appreciate your very sensible analysis (on this note, by reading the many comments posted, I’m utterly surprise to see how easily people get carried away with emotions and sentiments which blind their eyes and stop their cerval activities).

It is very clear in your article that you are NOT saying not to help Japan, but merely just pointing out to a very important and true fact that if we want to give, and if we believe certain relief organisations are really doing what they claim to be doing (and it’s the donor’s job to find out and hold them accountable, by the way), unrestricted donations are always the best way to help victims in need.

As simple as that. And you made it very clear.

Bravo! I cannot agree with you more.

And by the way, for those who are so upset by this article (thinking that the author is advocating NOT to help Japan, which is not true): what are you doing to those suffering caused by one form or another of humanitarian crisis which did not manage to make to the first page of your newspaper in your country? Are you also angry that people are not doing anything to help? And are you ?

Posted by petitcochon | Report as abusive

Felix, your blogg should be the headline in every news. Sending monies to charities that have no expertise or for specific crisis is a waste of money. Chernobyl, Katrina, Haiti, etc are all names linked to massive humanitarian disasters are also linked to bogus charities or rather landlords of hunger and misery that pray on both the victims of natural disasters / wars and their gallubble donors. Too many times I travelled (for business purposes) in the company of ‘charity’ workers that indulged in business class pampering and found ‘refuge’ in four and five stars hotels.. I worked in 1990 (as a volunteer) with MSF in Romania after the December 1989 uprising and I can vouch for their expertise, professionalism, accountability and integrity. The same thing can be said about the Red Cross, Oxfam (the list may be extended).
So ‘YES’, donate to these organisations, donate blood and avoid all the scums that see opportunity in disaster.
Thanks Felix!

Posted by paulxk | Report as abusive

I think Simon has an excellent point. We should donate all the time, not just when some place has a severe crisis. Lord knows even when Japan is having it’s worst days (like right now), these are probably better than the best days in some of these poor African countries.

I don’t think the fact that Japan is a rich country is a good reason to deny them aid, but I also think we should try to help anyone who has hardship, not just those who fall victim the terrible natural disasters.

Posted by Andao | Report as abusive

why should we

Posted by speedy2 | Report as abusive

Everyone is saying, especially media outlets, not to Donate to groups that aren’t as well known as Red Cross as you may be getting ripped off. Maybe that’s bull to
cover up Red Cross ripping people off with their donations?

Posted by dann77 | Report as abusive

Your post really angered me. I am an American and I think people should be able to help whoever the hell they want to help and not the people like you tell us who we should help. While there are other parts of the world that need assistance, and there always will be, suggesting not to help Japan because it is a wealthy country and it can just “print money” is a load of ****.

Its people like you that have to get out of our way. Everyday it seems there is a new intellectual in our face at Rueters or the NY Times who knows better than all of us. Reuters seems to want to impose their global vision upon all of us and it always seems to be the wrong vision. I hope you get assigned to cover the reactor problems in Japan close-up and die a slow cancerous death. Its no coincidence that you have the same last name as a fish species because you STINK! And BTW Reuters is no longer part of my RSS Feeds.

Posted by JackS1 | Report as abusive

Guess !!! A columnist does not necesarrily be champion in every field. Moreover the headline used is totally negative. Just because someone is using a sensational headline, it will not guarantee that people will agree with the content in the article. You should have come up with strong statistics to prove your point here. On the contrary, your article is just limited to Red cross and selected prominent NGO’s. I totally disagree with your point that NGO’s which are not popular or known globally are not honest. At least your article implies that.

Posted by santoshvm | Report as abusive

i registered only to comment on this as well. here’s my comment: what.. a douchbag.

Posted by tonebobb | Report as abusive

I’m from Hiroshima, Japan. I couldn’t believe when I found this article.

people are suffering and surviving in this disaster caused by this earthquake and tsunami. so many people lost their families, children, and houses to live but they have to survive and get thru this tragic situations.

if you have time to write this kind of silly article do something what help victims in need. but I’m sure they wouldn’t need any help by people like you.

greenacres, “Japs” is very derogatory term. who do you think you are?

Posted by fromjapan | Report as abusive

I Agree with the article – dont send money to Japan; Japan is wealthy and can create liquidity.

I disagree with poor countries – poor countries dont have the wealth and resources internally. Helping wealthy countries is different than helping Haiti. For example – coats and rain gear. Its much more efficient for the 95% of Japan that wasnt impacted to donate physical goods up north versus clogging up airports. Every disaster means something different.

If you think Im being cold think again. I have two small children and my wife is going to Tokoyo tomorrow and where she will setup an emergency center in Kobe. What does she do? International transfer pricing for an accounting company. Japans year-end books close on March 31st and the situation is a mess. She’s dropping everything for her Japanese clients because if the financials arent released on time then the Nikkei will get hit and borrowing rates will go up – many people on the Japanese team are not at 100% and a few are missing. Her US clients are not happy but thats her sacrafice. As she put it – if everyone hussles on this then it literally could save 100′s of millions of dollars in borrowing costs – which makes it easier for the Bank of Japan to print money. So is it worth a bit of radiactivity risk – yes. We also have a Japanese friend who is an artist living in a studio and when her mother arrives for 2 months that she can stay in our slightly larger 2bdr apartment in manhattan.

Theres ways to sacrafice – the technical argument to this article is correct; perhaps a more humane title would have been a better introduction. Here are some examples:

1. Open your home for temporary displacement.
2. Contact your companies operations in Japan and see what you can for the company so local staff can volunteer
3. Go to Japan and help with the cleanup
4. Medical Staff are needed now
5. Builders will be needed in 3/4 weeks.
6. Find a Japanese friend and give them money to see if they can donate it to a local japanese charity that is moving goods in the domestic market.
7. Find out about survivors and write letters translated in japanese with small gifts for elderly. Sounds silly – but the number one killer after 20 days will be emotional abandonment and hope. Many Japanese elderly do not have large families and if they do they will be at work in another city. Living in a temporary shelter or camp is very depressing.

Im sure there are many more ways, these are just my ideas.

Posted by John2244 | Report as abusive

Felix:
I am so disappointed with your column. Even though I do understand some donations are inefficient, but when people die in an earthquake, whether in Haiti or Japan, it is equally a tragedy.
Your article feels like stabbing victims in the back; there is no civility. I do not wish to stop what you think but your timing to express it is wrong. Now Japan is brutally hurt. They need money to rebuild houses, infrastructures, factories, farms and so on. So what if Japan is a rich country? A Japanese life is not worth any less (or more) than others. And they still need our help.

Posted by Hannari | Report as abusive

I think people are overreacting to this post. I don’t agree with the specifics of everything he says, but it’s not like he’s saying to leave poor Japan hanging without any support. Essentially, the message here is to think before you act, so that the money you donate actually gets put to good use.

Is his headline sensationalized and unnecessary? Yes. Is he being cynical in his view on organizations like Globalgiving and what they will spend the money on? Yes.

But in the end, he’s donated $400 to Doctors Without Borders/MSF. Just because the money isn’t specifically earmarked for Japan, doesn’t mean it won’t be used there.

Also, greenacres, your racial slur is disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Posted by Mags91 | Report as abusive

This is just poorly written. His idea isn’t stupid:

DO donate, but when you do so, don’t earmark your money and say it should go to Haiti relief only, or Japan only.

From what I’ve read, that’s pretty wise. I like Doctors without Borders but have heard less becoming things about Save the Children. Either way: 1) do your research and find the organization that you feel will do the best with your money; 2) don’t specify your money has to be spent on a certain disaster; 3) donate!

Voila!

Posted by miarno | Report as abusive

Don’t forget another donation: blood. If you are fit and healthy enough to donate blood (and the vast majority of us are), celebrate that fact by sharing your good health. Blood donation has even been found to decrease heart disease in men, due to the effects of circulating iron levels on tissues. Start now and continue as often as safe to do so. In the years ahead the world is going to be faced with the effects of radiation exposure on those in the fallout–which will certainly mean bone marrow suppression and resultant life-threatening anemias. The trauma victims need blood now, and the radiation survivors will need it later.

Posted by Merkinidjit | Report as abusive

You are a disgusting person. Promoting overlooked charity is great but urging people NOT to help? What are you? I hope you and your family suffer the same fate, but this time no one cares.

Now that this post has exposed your sickened morality, you are the last person on earth to lecture anybody on where their compassion should be given to.

Posted by schumannistic | Report as abusive

Felix, IMO, your legitimate message was lost in the hubris and condescension in the tone of your piece. I recall after 9/11 that the Red Cross was inundated with so many funds earmarked to help 9/11 victims, that all giving to general causes (and there were other causes going on at the time) ceased, and the company actually had to put out a call for people to STOP giving to 9/11 and just give general contributions. It makes sense.

But your delivery of the message was lacking in tact, and your reach for sensationalism with your headline brought people to your piece with a jaundiced eye.

Next time, make your point – don’t belabor it, and make it in a mature, sensible way. You raise an important issue – too bad it was raised in such a careless way.

Posted by kanorcott | Report as abusive

Felix you are clueless. Do better research. For instance the Salvation Army, an organizarion with a strong reputation, has been embedded in Japan since 1895. You are trying to say do not donate to such orgs? Plus to fall back on the donate to the general fund of an org as the only way to contribute cash has you sounding like a California politician. Go write for a local tabloid, not Reuters.

Posted by TechSentinel | Report as abusive

No one is actually responding to the content of the article. He makes supported assertions if you would just read the article.

Posted by rtjoy | Report as abusive

Felix, it’s not only about what you say, but also about how and when to say it. It is true that Japan’s Central Bank is printing billions of Yen and it is also true that unlike other economies, the deflating Japanese economy will probably benefit from the extra money supply in the long run. But at a time when even half-decent people are saddened by the enormous suffering caused to ordinary Japanese by a earthquake-tsunami-nuclear triple whammy, to say “don’t help them” or anything remotely equivalent is just bad taste.

Posted by ivr | Report as abusive

Perhaps Mr Salmon resents the huge salaries paid to CEO s and other ‘staff’ of these NGOs and organizations like the UN? But name-calling and abuse accomplish nothing.

Posted by DrRoy | Report as abusive

The simple truth is, good Samaritans do not check the income level of their neighbors before helping.

Posted by JG3 | Report as abusive

He is right about one thing…give to the Red Cross as they are already very active in relief efforts in Japan. I have personally never seen a commercial for the Red Cross and I appreciate that b/c it shows that they do not waste donation money soliciting for more donations. Who in the world does not know who the Red Cross is, or what they do, right? That being said, donate to them even if nothing disastrous has happened in the world. I believe they do what is right with donation money unlike many of the other wealth redistributing “charities” out there.

Posted by kepi | Report as abusive

He is not saying “don’t donate to Japan at all” but is saying if you donate….do not do it in a way that EARMARKS your donation to only one cause…

Posted by mraphael824 | Report as abusive

I agree with Salmon. It is disturbing how donations to Japan has become something trendy, while other areas that are in great need are overlooked. What about malaria, which kills up to 5 million a year? Or the ongoing drought in Pakistan? Or the millions of children that die from unclean water? Japan is a wealthy developed country that has the resources for recovery. Human suffering exists in other places, yet they will ignored and never to be addressed. ‘Doctors without borders’ is a great idea and people should think more in the line of this article.

Posted by Nite | Report as abusive

Great article.

Giving japan socks is like donating to Bill gates a $10 bill for a heart surgery. It’s quite stupid. There are thousands of other poor people out there who can really use that $10. Where that $10 could actually mean something.

Japan has all the money it needs. If any one of these people really wanted to help japan specifically they’d fly there and clear some rubble up. But ofcourse not, sending their damn used socks helps clear their conscience and they can tell their co-workers how sorry they are and about their great donation to a worthy cause. Wow, we’re such good samaritans.

Somebody said Katrina was donated to. So what? Where was the American govt to help the people in Katrina? Have you been to New Orleans? I was. It was a wasteland for more than a year after the disaster. So much for being the biggest economy. The US probably threw all the donations into Iraq for killing civilians. Bah. What a farce. I doubt that’s how Japan will be one year from now. They don’t need anyone of us. They are strong people. All they need is our prayers and our cheers. Not a smelly sock or our filthy stolen dollars.

The columnist wants you to donate to poor and troubled people. There are people on this planet who don’t have homes everyday. There are people who don’t have water everyday. Not because of a natural disaster. But because they’ve been raped by western civilization for centuries. It’s a human disaster.

Nobody is saying we’re not sad for Japan. Ofcourse, we are. That doesn’t mean we have to be stupid so as to look good in front of your neighbors because they’re stupid too.

@kanorcott Bah, it has to be so frustrating to have to keep delivering even the truth using ‘tact’. In an ideal world, ‘tact’ would have to be reserved for lies and deceit. ‘Tact’ is what people use to scam money. Now because of all these retards, this writer with a completely valid point has to sugarcoat the truth so a bunch of retards can swallow it easily. How shameful is that?

Posted by onomatopoeia | Report as abusive

You’ve got to be joking. This blogger has done serious damage to the reputation of Reuters. I couldn’t care less about such lame posturing generally, but this is so offensive. No-one is saying there are not many problems in the world, and many deserving causes, but do you not think it does harm to dissuade people from donating to any good cause? A horrible small minded thing to suggest during a private conversation, let alone on a news website. Shame on you.

Posted by nekobasu | Report as abusive

i don’t care about what evidence you have supporting your opinion. giving an article such title at such time is absolutely unacceptable. YOU SHOULD BE FIRED!!

Reuters, please fire him.

Thank you

Posted by FelixSalmonAss | Report as abusive

“In the case of Hurricane Katrina, donations exceeded $108 million during the crucial first four days.”

IS UNITED STATES A POOR COUNTRY? WHY DID THE WORLD HAVE TO HELP AMERICA?

Posted by megumi203 | Report as abusive

I’m the “bright spark” who set up Socks for Japan. Why not read our information before disparaging the effort? We realize that socks are not primary support and we’re not attempting to supplant the sock supplies from larger groups and government. We’re also not accepting donations from inside Japan because there are other groups set up for that. We’re providing a base near the disaster zone where concerned foreigners can send care packs for distribution to victims.

We’re providing the victims with evidence of care, a clean pair of socks from elsewhere on Earth enclosed in a bag with a note of support with a translation into Japanese. This is not meant to replace other means of support, it’s meant to provide an additional way to help out. Survivors of the 1995 Kobe quake said notes of care provided them with some of the brightest spots on their hard journey back to normalcy.

You know what else? Victims on the news here in Japan are requesting socks and underwear right now. You may scoff at the notion of a small group of volunteers making a difference, but we’re gathering, sorting, and distributing thousands of pairs of socks to people who need them without interrupting the work of larger organizations. This kind of direct aid works and is good. The kind where individuals send boxes of various goods unsorted to teams who are busy is unhelpful. However, being able to say, “We have 5,000 pairs of mens’s socks individually packed in plastic bags with enclosed notes of concern” is helpful. We can pass the boxes on to other groups or self-distribute when given the OK and told where to go. This is efficient. It does not create unnecessary work for anybody. It helps victims.

If anybody dislikes our idea, then please support Japan in another way. If you’d like to learn more about our additional means of providing direct, meaningful support, please read up on us at http://socksforjapan.com. Also, the socksforjapan page on Facebook shows photos of the immense effort underway, and the joy people on both sides of this effort are finding.

Let’s get this great nation back on its feet — in fresh socks!

Posted by jasonkelly | Report as abusive

How ridiculous is this article? Does that mean that the next time something happens in the US or any part of the RICH western world, we should just watch and not help? They are rich anyway, why bother is the argument right? Or does that only apply to Japan? It seems so unfair that everytime something happens around the world, Japan is called to give aid money and then when they need it most everyone looks the other way. Very sad… No wonder the rest of the world has looters except for Japan. Everyone else is out for themselves. Perhaps Japan knows this and therefore have to care for their own. No one else will. Very sad for humanity.

Posted by loneranger9 | Report as abusive

@onomatopoeia

It’s not about being PC or pussyfooting around the issue – it’s about sensibility and tact. If you have a legitimate point to make that you are attempting to get people to agree upon, your best option is honey, not vinegar. It is time-honored and works wonders. The vinegar in this piece was a bit too much for most, and Mr. Salmon lost his audience while trying to make a very valid point.

As for your own post – you, too, were making a valid point until the last paragraph, where you couldn’t resist calling everyone who disagreed with you “retards”, an offensive term if ever there was one. If a position is valid, it shouldn’t be necessary to denigrate the other side in order to support it.

Posted by kanorcott | Report as abusive

This article is biased. It is insensitive and ridiculous to assume people in Japan don’t need help. When people loose their homes, their loved ones, have no where to go, no water, no food, it doesn’t matter whether they are rich or poor – every one needs help. It is shameless to claim his donations in this blog – it is putrid.

Reuters should know better than letting immature authors like Felix Salmon vent their frustrations on its website.

Posted by RaviP | Report as abusive

I am a Japanese living in the United States. The first thing I would like to notify you is that 90 % of Japanese online users are able to comprehend your article, and I am sure your sensational headline have caused anger, humiliation, and sorrow to those people, including myself. I am not sure, but you might be also from one of “wealthy” countries in the world. How would you think if your country was under such a devastating circumstances but someone wrote the same article, whose headline is “Do not donate money to ‘your country’s name’?” Happy? Probably not. Congratulations to call lots of attention with it, but if you could please be more considerate when you write a note online, a lot of people would appreciate the point you made here.
From the intro of your article, it seems like your whole intention was rather to offend people than to make a good suggestion about donation.

I see your point that you need to choose carefully where you donate your money so that it would just end up not being used for restoration of Japan. But I wonder if Japan would not need any financial support by donation because it’s a wealthy country. Because of regular blackouts in Tokyo until the end of April and future restoration of many cities destroyed by tsunami, Japan will owe a lot of debts, and there would be a huge damage in Japanese economics. Felix, do you have a good legitimate reason why you think Japan doesn’t need money at all?

Posted by makiyuri | Report as abusive

There’s a bit of fine print on the Red Cross website that seems to me to nullify your whole argument:

‘On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.’

Also, the guy soliciting socks is on the GROUND in Japan, distributing them directly, then and there — I really don’t see what’s stupid about that.

Posted by mattjblythe | Report as abusive

If Felix made the same argument about Israel there would be an outcry from all the news organizations. Don’t give to Israel because they get the bulk of the US foreign Aid and they don’t need it. But because it’s Japan, everyone will thinks he is cool for giving a new perspective. Wow! Life is not fair.

Posted by loneranger9 | Report as abusive

Thank you, Simon.
My mother is Japanese, and I grew up there-Kobe, if you know where that is-heavily affected by the Great Hanshin Earthquake of ’95. And until you breathe air saturated by the smell of charred bodies that were trapped in wooden buildings, until you see your childhood home shattered, until you almost lose your life, please refrain from being so publicly judgmental. My mother was so psychologically affected that her menstruation did not stop for a full year after. Try dealing with that when you are fiercely trying to protect your children, walking for hours in search for food with which to feed us. She never once complained. We needed diapers. We needed sanitary napkins. We needed socks. And can you even fathom why? The store shelves were empty, that’s why. What is so silly about needing socks in January, when all the gas and electricity has stopped? And there are no walls or a roof to shield you from wind & rain? It is not a question of a country being wealthy or not. In ’95, “only” a few thousand perished. In the aftermath, more died-not from physical harm, but mental. Some victims could not cope with the loss of loved ones, and eventually took their own. Ultimately, houses can be rebuilt, cars purchased again. But not our dead. Your cynicism brought back the pain we all suffered then, and ripped open wounds I thought had scarred over. So, thank you, for demonstrating your utter ignorance. Yet, having experienced it myself, I would not wish even you to suffer through an earthquake.

Posted by HeartBroken | Report as abusive

You can do whatever you like with your money Salmon but to write an article about what others should do with their money during a time of crisis is low. I have lost respect for you and your journalism.

Posted by sleepyhead22 | Report as abusive

First of all, at least half of the people here have no idea what they are talking about, because they don’t have a clue how Relief Aid functions. So, before putting blame on a guy who is actually trying to convey an opinion of many relief workers in the field, please to some research and then re-evaluate what’s been written here.
donating money for a certain cause, constrains the money to that cause, and legally they can not be used for another cause, hence the comment that in this current situation donating money is far from the best option. If a lot of you do want to stay ignorant about such issues as problems with constrained aid money do so, but simply be aware that your point of view has nothing to do with being humane, but rather with being ignorant and having no idea how humanitarian efforts work.

Posted by intrepidkid | Report as abusive

you disgust me.

Posted by gildasu | Report as abusive

You know, looking for a valid point in this article is kind of like searching for survivors in a disaster zone — they may be there, but you have to dig through a lot of s**t to find them.

I applaud your (eventual) point that people should be discerning when donating to relief organizations for this or any number of other horrible things going on in the world. However, I’m puzzled why you would take a good point like that and shovel it over with arguments such as, “Japan can print money, so money is no problem for them!”

I’m also puzzled why you would feel it necessary to belittle the efforts of anyone who feels moved to organize help for the victims of this disaster. Does it make you feel better about yourself? Blogging is a fine thing when it’s done to inform, but what you’re doing isn’t helping anyone.

When discussing your blog with anyone, my advice about reading it will probably be, “Please don’t.”

Posted by Matollen | Report as abusive

Wow Felix, I bet you felt like a big man didn’t you, typing this up on your Macbook while sipping coffee?

Posted by DougAnderson | Report as abusive

The reconstruction would take at least a few years, if not longer; and many victims would be needing help from Red Cross and others for as many years.

What “legal restrictions” are you talking about in here? Must the money be spent within a year or so?

The Japanese Red Cross officially says on their website that they appreciate the aid from other countries. In the long run, the more money they have, the better assistance they can give to those victims.

Sure, news organizations should monitor and investigate how the Red Cross uses the money, but looking at it now and concluding that Japan doesn’t need money sounds a very short-sighted argument.

And yes, Japan is not Haiti. So, don’t compare. If you want to make a valid argument, you should tell us how the relief aid was spent when Japan had a massive quake in Kobe in 1995 and how effective or useless the international donations were in the end.

Posted by keyjay | Report as abusive

I am disgusted by this article on many levels but ESPECIALLY that Felix would have the gall to tack on a disparagement of someone else’s effort to help people who are in a crisis.

Posted by sjhindallas | Report as abusive

Felix needs to take Economics 101. Printing more money does not equal more money. Printing more money equals inflation. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Japan can’t just make more money to pay for the damage.

Posted by takyono | Report as abusive

If the money is properly & timely used for the survivors, I’m ok for donation. However it seems the Japanses gov does not care about theie people, as long as the Emperor is ok. The Korean emergency crew should have stayed overnight in the airport to get the approval from Japanese gov. They refused emergency food offering from Korean food companies saying that they want Japanese product only. We (Koreans) just wanted to help as the closest neighbor despite of bitter history. OK. Anyway they have food stuff going bad in the warehouse guarded by loyal employees – why they can’t just distribute the food using choppers and drop from the air for the survivors? Are they planning a perfect plan? – and will it take several months??

Posted by Nabi | Report as abusive

Dear Felix,

You are a bad person and you should feel bad.

No love,

SWL

——-

Dear Reuters,

Why does this person still have a job? He’s an established idiot who makes YOU look bad. Please remove him from his position posthaste.

Thank you,

-SWL

Posted by Shipwreck_light | Report as abusive

If you don’t want to donate don’t. Do not tell other people to shelve their empathy and charity. You appear to be ignorant of the consequences of catastrophes and the long term effects. No matter how wealthy a country normally is, it is not wealthy during a crisis, actually series of crises, like this. In a few years and with help to take care of their people and recover from the damage it will likely be wealthy again. Unlike Katrina where even the US failed to adequately help, this is not a small part of their nation. Unlike Katrina, these areas are critical to the economy of the whole nation. Unlike the US, the Japanese will not just walk away from their people like the American government did to the poor victims of Katrina.

This article is cruel and thoughtless and indicates that the author is actually pretty ignorant. I doubt he can just print anything he wants under the Reuters’ banner so Reuters itself must have okayed this. I am shocked and disappointed. It simply is not this man’s business to say that money gets left over so don’t give any. It is not his money and, for the most part, the money goes into the pot for the next crisis. That next one could be the big one on the West Coast. Shall we all just let the people rot because there may be too much money? In a long life I have never seen a crisis that had too much money and was cleaned up in months.

Posted by CalgarySandy | Report as abusive

Absolutely disgusting. Cold logic applied at a time of real tradgedy. First an apology. Then a resignation if not fired first.

The primary area of damage was done in small fishing villages in Northern Japan. The country as a whole may be fairly wealthy, but we’re not talking about Ginza or Omotesando here. Wake up.

Posted by salexe | Report as abusive

Lest this gem of a comment by intrepidkid is drown by barrage of ignorant criticism:

“First of all, at least half of the people here have no idea what they are talking about, because they don’t have a clue how Relief Aid functions. So, before putting blame on a guy who is actually trying to convey an opinion of many relief workers in the field, please to some research and then re-evaluate what’s been written here.

Donating money for a certain cause, constrains the money to that cause, and legally they can not be used for another cause, hence the comment that in this current situation donating money is far from the best option. If a lot of you do want to stay ignorant about such issues as problems with constrained aid money do so, but simply be aware that your point of view has nothing to do with being humane, but rather with being ignorant and having no idea how humanitarian efforts work.”

Posted by SnakeOilBoom | Report as abusive

Reuters,

Please send this Ipad monkey to Japan to cover the reactors. Better yet ship him off to Yahoo. He has obviously spent to much time in a cube. Or maybe one to many martini’s during his lunch hour. A little fresh air would do him good.

Posted by Azoetia | Report as abusive

FELIX SALMON IS A RACIST!

I keep reading this article over and over again and it is complete biased BS. Felix Salmon is a RACIST! He is intentionally targeting the Japanese people and trying to disrupt any aid and donations to Japan. At the end of the article he tries to cover it up by saying that it’s the type of organization that you donate to etc. and that he also donated some money etc. However the first part of his blog concentrated on the reasons why you shouldn’t donate to Japan. Because they are rich, can print money and that most organizations are set up to help countries that are more IN NEED. Either way, he keeps stressing not to help Japan. Why? Because he is a BIGOT! He Needs to be FIRED!!!!!!!!

Posted by loneranger9 | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Salmon,
Here is a picture of volunteers handing out the well-demanded socks. The line went outside the building.

http://www.asahi.com/photonews/gallery/1 10317eq-1/110317eq-1-01.html

Fuel, food, blankets and other basic necessity are in grave shortage.

Also, the purpose of Japanese government printing billions of yen was more to stabilize economy and avoid inflation. The victims of the disaster will not see these money.

While your point about the need of due diligence is valid, your lack of respect to the philanthropic efforts as well as your self-righteous tone turned your article into an example of poor journalism.

Tamiko

Posted by itamiko | Report as abusive

Here is a new title for your article.. “Don’t read Felix Salmon – He’s a stinky fish”

Posted by npsent | Report as abusive

Someone sent me this link, and it sounds rational on the surface. But the advice doesn’t resonate with the constant stream of news from Japan stating they have no supplies, no food, etc. No, it’s not money they need but in the short term – and IMMEDIATELY – they need basic supplies like food, warmth, medical supplies and fuel. That costs money. Because roads are so damaged and fuel is so short, it’s not possible for other parts of Japan to get this aid quickly to the refugee centers. But disaster relief agencies from around the world have the experts and the gear to get to the areas with relief supplies and other aid. And that costs money, NOW.

Posted by HelpJapan | Report as abusive

Interesting article.
Of course the headline is totally rubbish.
As a Humanitarian worker, who has worked for many years, in many disasters, wars, catastrophes, etc, I find it very bizarre that the majority, (okay, nearly ALL) of the most crack-pot and flaky, Organizations come from the USA.
NGOs, who are more interested in distributing bibles and Jesus than they are aid (Samaritans Purse, Tear Fund. To name just a couple of the Radical FundaMENTALS) and even the Scientology wackos in Asia after the Tsunami.

So people, YES, do think, before you give.

Posted by sirfish | Report as abusive

Thank you Felix Simon, for a voice of reason in the midst of the current hype. I won’t be donating 10 cents.

Posted by lexcontra | Report as abusive

Dear Mr Salmon, you insensitive smart ass piece of crap, I hope you suffer some similar personal tragedy that effects your immediate shelter and livelihood. I will reference this article to my face book friends, I hope that whatever notoriety that provides you will be offset by the the bad PR that Reuters will also receive for keeping a scumbag like you on their staff. You and your employers disgust me.

Posted by cirom | Report as abusive

Humans do what humans must. Consider, Mr. Salmon, my small donation as paying it fwd– perhaps it will come back to us in Alaska when the Next Big One hits, maybe not. But I’m human, and I’ll bet on the compassion of my fellow humans every time.

Posted by praetor01 | Report as abusive

headlines are to get people to click them, just as everything else on the internet

Posted by xanadu | Report as abusive

ATTENTION Richard Baum, Global Editor for Reuters. Could you please provide an official corporate position on this article. Please don’t hide behind some journalistic freedom of speech position. Does Reuters agree with the “opinions” offered by this member of your staff.
The common courtesy of a response would be appreciated, if you actually give a damn and are not too busy of course.

Posted by cirom | Report as abusive

Someone should tell Felix Salmon you can’t troll people on the internet when you are working for someone to major. LOL someone fire this tool, please.

Posted by Radelta | Report as abusive

This is all I need to know:
The average Japanese citizen has over $50,000 (US) in savings.The average American has less than $1,000 in savings (and is overextended, credit wise).

It’s a case of the janitor sending money to the company CEO, financially speaking – he doesn’t need it.

Posted by Know-It-All | Report as abusive

Screw you Reuters. I am going to spread this to every Japanese person I know….In fact, everyone I know. Time to spread some really negative biased stuff about your garbage organization.

Posted by letdown | Report as abusive

Japan is a country in dire need.

Send food, water, and medical supplies.

Help get some system set up that water can be piped, hosed, anything – to cool the ponds.

I suppose to fund Red Cross might most or some of the money to Japan – in the form of food, water, and medical supplies.

Posted by audreypapke | Report as abusive

Wow. Salmon, your heart is as tiny as your brain. Maybe even smaller.

Should run for President on the GOP/TP ticket. You’re perfect.

Posted by xbjllb | Report as abusive

Oh yeah all 300 of my friends on facebook will share this garbage article with their friends and so on. You SUCK Reuters. I hope this damages you.

Posted by letdown | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon,

You…are an unequivocal, in no uncertain terms, moron.
Suck my sock.

Posted by gknnth | Report as abusive

To the small brain ass hole that wrote this article, I hope no one comes to your aid when your have a problem. You should be fired for writing an article like this. I hope Reuters fires you!!., or are you a freelance writer that sucks!!!. I thought Reuters was better than that, I guess not!!!

Posted by ddsclub | Report as abusive

Richard Baum, Global Editor for Reuters is more of a moron for letting the first moron write this crap. Anymore more morons at Reuters thinking about writing moron articles? “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

Posted by gknnth | Report as abusive

Holy Toledo! I can’t believe the link to this story was in google news…and that it took me to Reuters!! What short sightedness and hypocrisy! He’s talking about organizations show boating tragic events to bring in donations…but isn’t that time to strike; isn’t that good marketing in a business sense? How these organizations use the money is what’s important and where we find accountability.
Is the Red Cross now using this event to get money or is Felix Salmon using this tragedy to show boat is grievances with these organizations?

Posted by jondavid | Report as abusive

@know it all.. Whatever the average Japanese did or didn’t have saved isn’t the issue. The point is the right now, there are hundreds of thousands whose lives have been destroyed, do you honesty think they still have those savings. Do you think they can just go down to the bank write a cheque and its all back to normal.

Posted by cirom | Report as abusive

It’s amazing how small-minded some of these comments are. Felix Salmon is not saying “Japan doesn’t deserve to be helped,” but that’s what a lot of the comments seem to be responding to. He’s simply challenging the belief held by a lot of Americans/people in the First World that just throwing money at some charitable cause is necessarily doing good. Donating money to an organization that does not have an effective plan of action is WASTING RESOURCES. Though we have good intentions behind our donations, and the Japanese effected by the disaster definitely deserve help, it’s not necessarily helping.

The article also brings up the relevant point that non-profit organizations are in a better position to create positive change in areas of persistent hunger, poverty, conflict, etc. These situations effect, literally, billions of people around the world and deserve just as much attention from charitable people in the rich world. But people seem to think that it’s more noble to focus on whatever major disaster is on the news.

Wishing ill on the author of this article is reactionary, not helping anyone, and to put it bluntly, just shows how idiotic you are. There’s nothing wrong with using “cold logic in a time of need” if cold logic is what helps us understand how to do the most good for the most people. Bravo, Mr. Salmon.

Posted by sapet298 | Report as abusive

Hmm… according to the fine print below (House Rules): “We try not to publish comments that we think are offensive”

Obviously, Reuters has not applied the same conditions to their writer, Felix Salmon.

We can add him to the list of people who have recently attempted to cash in on the death and suffering of the people in Japan with “humor” and shock value. Hope he loses his job like some of the other idiots.

So, what’s up Felix? No response?

Reuters – fire him so that he may learn from his mistake.

Posted by noisy | Report as abusive

Sorry Mr. Salmon, I’m still donating. Despite your venom, philanthropy is alive and well with many of us. Anyone who could view the reports of the pain and suffering in Japan and not want to help, is not someone of integrity or compassion.

Posted by FlWorker | Report as abusive

i can’t believe it is reuters … journalism sure has taken newer – lower and cheaper levels just to gain reader’s attention. What if this would have happened to you Felix ? Are you a beneficiary of MSF donations or have some other monetary vested interest ?

Posted by Devopam | Report as abusive

sapet298, ah yeah, there’s nothing wrong at all with shock-value titles to get more clicks for his article at the expense of others’ feelings. I mean it’s just “cold logic” after all. Right? Oh, and let’s make fun of someone gathering and handing out socks to cold victims while we’re at it.

must be a good friend of the author or like-minded devil’s advocate.

Posted by noisy | Report as abusive

Well Felix, I hope you’re enjoying all the attention you’re getting – I presume that was your intention when you decided the headline and content of for your article. The people of Japan need support and at this stage. They need to know they are not alone, that the global community is with them. The survivors have been through a mag 9.0 quake, a massive tsunami, and now what looks like multiple nuclear meltdowns. This is an unprecedented disaster. Your response: this article? Enjoy your lime and squash – others are sitting in the snow, with no possessions, little or no food and water, no options, wondering now if they will die from radiation poisoning.

As for Reuters giving this guy a public platform to express himself? A few days ago you ran an article entitled: “Stop worrying about nuclear power, you idiots” which was also based on a serious lack of awareness (the title was serious – no sarcasm was intended). You are no longer a source of well researched journalism. You’ve become a sideshow of cheap tricks to get people to visit your site. You should be ashamed. I’m through with you as my news source after the lack of responsibility you’ve shown in response to the ongoing events in Japan. Others are doing a much better job. I only hope none of you are ever have to experience what the people of Japan are experiencing now.

Posted by dcom | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon…

Your words and article are ill timed, ill advised and clearly shows you have very little respect for the fact that your opinion are broadcast worldwide through Reuters and what damage it may cause.

As such you may have a direct impact on aid that would have helped save lives or at least improve them. If someone wants to give socks to people in Japan to keep their feet warm what is wrong with that?

You have crossed over the line of good sense and human decency.

I read the disclaimer Reuters makes about bloggers opinions not reflecting the viewpoint of the Reuters Corp.

Now I understand why… However they are responsible for being a conduit for your extremely wrong message sent at the wrong time and place. Therefore I am writing to all the corporate contacts I can find at Reuters asking you be removed from their web site as a blogger, writer or what have you.

I am providing the link here for others to follow my example. I hope you have the good sense to apologize to the people of Japan, Reuters and the international readers for your spiteful and disgusting article. Japanese culture is too polite to respond to you sir, so I am doing it for them.

To impune someone who is giving a means of comfort to the people of Japan even if it is socks, scarfs, blankets or even words of comfort is so low and so offensive that it deserves nothing less for you to lose your job.

Here is the page where you can contact Reuters through email. I encourage everyone who agrees with me to do the same. In this way we hopefully show Reuters they have to be responsible for what they allow to be published.

It will also send a message to Felix Salmon that he needs to think more carefully before he slanders people who are trying to help others in need without first thinking what effect his words may have on others in a public forum.

http://thomsonreuters.com/news_ideas/med ia_contacts/
http://thomsonreuters.com/news_ideas/med ia_contacts/#corporate

I am also calling corporate tomorrow to let them know that I am not crank reader or some vindictive psycho but someone who has lots of media contacts and have done PR campaigns for major companies and corps before.

You sir have gong far beyond what is acceptable journalism. I pity you for your lack of sensitivity, knowledge and in general good taste. Goodnight Mr. Felix and good riddance.

Posted by helpforjapan8 | Report as abusive

Hey Salmon, it worked, your catching provocative headline, made us read the article. Thats what its all about right? Getting a response, proving to your employers that you’ve got what it takes to get the numbers. That good for business right ? You know, attracts the advertising etc etc. You’re such a professional. Wow bet you mom’s real proud too.

Global Editor Richard Baum, you’ve got a keeper there in that Mr Salmon. Way to go Dick. I’m still waiting for a response though. I mean you are in the news business so I’m guessing you are aware of this article and the corresponding comments. Go on surprise us, show some decency and offer your comment, I’m sure you can if you really really try.

Posted by cirom | Report as abusive

Let me tell you one thing, you must be a sorry person! ANYONE who would turn their back on another human just because you THINK you know they don’t need it is a sorry excuse for a human!! I live in America and last May when we lost everything in a flood this town came together and helped each other poor OR rich it didn’t matter we helped each other. When the time comes and you need help you better remember your words when these kind people who cant even find things they need for I.D. or insurance or even proof of where there house once stood turn their backs on you! SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!! You should only have to go through half of what they are!!!!!! Yes you need to be fired!!!!!!!

Posted by stormywillow | Report as abusive

@noisy I’ve never heard of Felix Salmon before reading this article. However, I don’t believe in viciously attacking someone for expressing the idea that efforts to help a group of people may be doing more harm than good.

Posted by sapet298 | Report as abusive

thanks helpforjapan8! I’ve already sent a complaint to one Reuters account but will copy to the contacts you provided.

If interested, you may be able to reach Felix at Felix@felixsalmon.com – that is until he disables the email.

Posted by noisy | Report as abusive

Hi sapet298, it’s all about timing and compassion. he could have written an interesting article that examines the complexities of non-profits, disaster-relief and effective use of funds but he, instead, made a conscious choice to use shock-value at the expense of others and still made fun of the group donating socks. and you feel bad for him? really?

Posted by noisy | Report as abusive

Wow, most of the haters on here most likely haven’t donated anything anyway. Just a bunch of keyboard warriors trying to make themselves feel good. The author makes completely valid points, yet you live in your bubble as if you know how to solve large-scale emergency problems. Maybe the title is off-putting; what in the article, however, is false? Get over yourselves, click another story and live your life.

Posted by chefhusker | Report as abusive

As a bookkeeper for a non-profit, where earmarked funds complicate and limit our ability to provide services, I like the suggestion to donate unrestricted funds. Thanks for pointing out how limiting specific relief fund donations can be for the organizations.

Posted by unrestricted | Report as abusive

As a professional fundraiser, I appreciate the broader analysis of philanthropy that has been shared in this article. I particularly appreciate the specific detail given to restricted vs unrestricted funds. It is in my opinion that unrestricted donations to an organization that does work that is core to the donors philanthropic goals and values always make the make the donor happiest.

If one cares about offering assistance to those blindsided by a natural disaster then just donate to ANY organization one trusts, whether they advertise or not, that does that work. Donate to Red Cross or MSF now, but please don’t restrict the funds to Japan–even if the organization asks that. Give freely.

Posted by Louisvillewoman | Report as abusive

I think the author makes great points, though apparently needed to go into more detail to explain them. Any time you give money to a nonprofit, your money can be used where it is most needed if you do not specify where it should be spent, versus earmarking it for a specific purpose. Even, for example, if I donate to my alma mater — I can donate to a specific athletic program, scholarship, etc….but an unrestricted donation allows the school to use the funds for basic needs such as building maintenance or electricity bills. Not glamorous or high-profile things, but necessities. I don’t think any of us would deny that the damage to Japan is horrific, but I don’t think it is discriminatory to suggest that other parts of the world may be more in need of financial assistance.

In addition, while I’m sure the person collecting socks for Japan has his heart in the right place, and even the basics are needed for many people there right now, it doesn’t seem very efficient. By the time I buy a pair of socks, package them up and pay for international shipping, it seems like a donation of the same funds to a local charity who could buy bulk and not have the international shipping costs could make my money go much further. Say I spent $10 or $15 USD to buy and ship a pair of socks. If I gave that same amount to a charity in Japan helping with the relief, they might be able to purchase and donate three or four pairs of socks. When individuals feel strongly about making donations specifically for this cause, I would think most would want their contributions to make the maximum impact possible. Buying and shipping a pair of socks seems like a nice thing to do, but not the most impactful.

Posted by dc9992011 | Report as abusive

I think a much better title for this article would have been “Give wisely to organizations aiding Japan” or “Give to organizations that truly are in need”. The title given is simply sensational, unnecessary, and, based upon what the author is actually saying in the article, misleading.

Posted by sjyd | Report as abusive

I agree with the poster who said you ruined a good message with a provocative headline. And like a few others here, I have worked in nonprofits and understand and appreciate what you advise about general support. @mattjblythe: The Red Cross put that fine print there because, you may remember, they got in a lot of trouble over a disaster – I think it was Katrina – when they were accused of not using every penny donated for Katrina right there in Louisiana, and had to defend themselves.

Posted by Justonce | Report as abusive

Most people want their money to go to something tangible. I think it is great to give to something specific, especially if something “moves” you to do so…but people need to remember that earmarking funds often takes away an organizations ability to operate in an efficient manner. People rarely want to give to support the operating costs of an organization, but these things are a vital part of being effective.

Posted by heropinion | Report as abusive

Fuck You.

What an asshole you must be, writer of this article.

So your premise is basically…”Japan is rich and can print money…so don’t send shit to them”.

I think you must be a spoiled little punk who has no clue about suffering.

I’m sending a LOT of money (more now) to Doctors without Borders.

I can assure you that there are THOUSANDS of people who need direct help in Japan.

We here in the USA are also relatively ‘rich’ and can print our own money.

So….I guess you advocated NOT helping people in New Orleans a few years ago, huh?

Again…FUCK YOU…you spoiled little punk.

Posted by wasom | Report as abusive

Sadly, a poorly written article with even poorer timing. Donations from the heart are not about headlines. The magnitude of the horrific events were captured on video and it doesn’t seem real until you see the faces of the people that are suffering from unimaginable loss.

People are in immediate need of the very basics in life, I applaud bright spark for taking the initiative to help, bright spark gets it-we are just here to help each other.

No country, no city, no people can get through this tragedy without the help of others.

Mr. Salmon, if you had a well-intentioned point, it never came across…and then you closed your article by mocking bright spark.

Again Mr. Salmon, we are just here to help each other…

Posted by globalamerican | Report as abusive

I’m glad the last few comment authors actually bothered to read the article. The previous 20 comments (by noisy and earlier) just demonstrate how clueless and reactionary so much of the internet population is. He didn’t say don’t donate! He said don’t donate specifically to whatever sensational disaster is plastered all over FOX news and youtube! Donate “Wherever the Need is Greatest” (that’s what the checkbox usually says on the donation form). That’s what I did for both Save the Children and the Red Cross. While we’re all watching crazy videos of tsunami waves washing through Japanese cities, which is absolutely tragic and my heart goes out to the people suffering there, there are still people suffering in paces like Haiti, Afghanistan, and North Africa. Places where, as Felix points out, there isn’t already a first world economy and infrastructure to support and help the people in need. Yes the headline was a bit of an attention grabber, but the point he makes is correct and somebody needed to say it. It’s just too bad the masses are too thick headed to get it, even when you slap them with it.

There is no getting through to some people.

Posted by PaulWh | Report as abusive

People who have written aggressive comments about this article simply misunderstood what the article wants to say. I too was about to make a donation to Japan, but after reading this article, I changed my mind. I hadn’t realized until now about restrictions in donating to a specific cause. From now on, I will be doing unrestricted donations. The article’s idea is absolutely valid and it is not about NOT donating money to Japan; it is simply about making donations wisely. And please: learn to read WISELY!

Posted by pbeza | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon is 100% correct. Donate your money to a known and trusted org. Like say The Red Cross. Japan is a rich and power country where the average Japanese worker earns $35,000/yr. They have the world’s best earthquake recovery system. If you donate to an Org. like the Red Cross you know your money will get to the source you want it to go to. If you donate only to Japan its possible your money will get lost in a vast bureaucracy with no experience of distributing funds on a priority basis. The Haitians have not yet received one cent of the USA $billions donated to them last year . just an example of how right Felix Salmon is.

Posted by GalacticCat | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon is 100% correct. Donate your money to a known and trusted org. Like say The Red Cross. Japan is a rich and power country where the average Japanese worker earns $35,000/yr. They have the world’s best earthquake recovery system. If you donate to an Org. like the Red Cross you know your money will get to the source you want it to go to. If you donate only to Japan its possible your money will get lost in a vast bureaucracy with no experience of distributing funds on a priority basis. The Haitians have not yet received one cent of the USA $billions donated to them last year . just an example of how right Felix Salmon is.

Posted by GalacticCat | Report as abusive

I’m going to comment again on this:

Felix Salmom..you are a spoiled little punk.

I really cannot BELIEVE that Reuters is allowing this crap to be published, let alone the fact that this writer still has a job there.

Felix? You just caused me to give TWICE as much as I was initially going to, just to make up for the fact that thousands of brain-dead moron Americans will latch onto your hateful headline and decide not to give anything.

Posted by wasom | Report as abusive

Everyone’s already given you the appropriate amount of hate for your ridiculous title, so I won’t go into that.

But even the content of your article is pretty appalling.
It seems you have two main points: 1)Japan doesn’t necessarily need that much money and starving kids in Africa definitely need it more 2)If you give money to an organization that doesn’t know what its doing, its gonna be wasted.

On your first point: Really? This earthquake/tsunami may turn out to be the most costly natural disaster in history with an obscene amount of destruction, do they really not need the money for rebuilding? Sure there are starving/diseased kids in Africa and it sucks (maybe it sucks even more than 14,000 Japanese wiped out in 20 minutes), but does that mean no one should donate any money unless it always goes where its most sorely needed?

So no one should donate money to help inner city schools get better facilities/donate money to find the cure to that disease that killed their mother/help rebuild someones house after it was flattened by a tsunami, simply because THERE ARE STARVING KIDS IN AFRICA AND THEY NEED IT MORE!?

And your second point is not really a point at all. If you donate money to a clueless organization then they are going to waste it? Thanks Einstein. Obviously if you donate, you should make sure the charity knows what the hell its doing, tsunami or not.

Donating money is NOT investing. We don’t always want (nor will likely ever get) the most bang for your buck. We donate to a cause because it had a strong personal effect on us and we feel we can help that cause. And the Japanese DEFINITELY need a helping hand right now, regardless of the numerous other causes out there you deem to be more ‘worthy’.

Posted by lochmonster | Report as abusive

salmon wrote this using japan’s problem to propel himself forward and get a response. i HATE journalists who try to be all controversial. in a situation like this when thousands of people have died, and many more are left cold in snow, without heat, food, electricity and water, and worse now with a nuclear problem, this is not one of those times to try and be a smart alec.

there are so many ways, as a professional, for him to generate a response and pageviews, if he had any talent in writing at all. instead, he went the cheap route and did a low blow. i lived in japan for years and have so many friends there who are suffering. i don’t need someone telling the world, on a website like reuters, not to donate. if he meant to say “donate to proper organizations”, then he should have said it loud and clear and to the point, like anyone with the right mind would. instead, salmon chose to use a title such as “don’t donate to japan”, which makes me sick to my stomach.

i have a blog myself and i have also contributed articles several published magazines (albeit on a different genre like lifestyle and fashion, and an amateur level), so i understand the need for writers to have a title that might be shocking and eye-catching. however, this is not the time to be doing this. you want to generate a response in times like this, you write a piece that touches the hearts of people, that alerts them that there might be fake organizations out there trying to get at our donations, and you provide links to organizations that are evidently and properly helping japan right now. you don’t tell people not to donate socks, because god knows in the dead of winter in a cold place like northern japan, one would want some thick socks to wear because they have no roof over their head!

japan might not be a third world country but it isn’t a wealthy country like he said – it was already trillions of dollars in debt, and each of these nuclear plants are costing them like a billion dollars. if they are printing hundreds of billions of dollars right now to try to pump money in the economy, it is still not a good thing in the long run for the japanese economy.

when you donate to a cause, these huge organizations have to send money towards that cause and i don’t believe it gets filtered to other things. there’s no point in telling people that they shouldn’t wait till a disaster like this to donate. the fact is the disaster is NOW and japan needs all the help it can get. and besides, anyone who actually donates to a non-major organization just has to know that there is that risk there, and that’s their own responsibility to check how genuine it is.

the bottom line is this: people have lost their houses. they have lost their families. it is winter and snowing. they have no clothes. no food. no water. they have NOTHING.

please offer any help you can. skip on a week of your starbucks coffee and donate that money instead. treat others like how you would want to be treated. they need our help now and we need to give it.

Posted by gildasu | Report as abusive

wow i had to comment on this again. i never took economics in school and know nothing about finances, but even i know that printing money now to try to pay for the immediate loss is not a good thing for the japanese economy in a longer run, and leads to inflation, which means these people who now have to deal with radiation and who have cracks in their houses from the earthquake, or worse still, no more house because of the tsunami, will not be able to afford a simple rice ball to feed their hungry stomachs.

so how is it that even i know about this simple logic and this guy doesn’t? the more i think about this article, the angrier i am.

Posted by gildasu | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY from Reuters for this hateful, disgusting piece of shit that he slung out there as ‘journalism’ at a time when THOUSANDS of Japanese people are in SERIOUS need and will be for some time to come.

In fact, I think I will personally see to it that I do everything in my power to try and have him fired.

He needs to be working for ‘Entertainment Tonight’ or something….

or maybe just slinging burgers.

Felix….you’re a punk and a hateful one at that.

Ric Swanson
Austin, TX

Posted by wasom | Report as abusive

Who the hell is this guy’s boss?

I WILL find out.

Posted by wasom | Report as abusive

Please don’t? Please don’t???
What a mean soul. I hate to believe such a nasty people does exist in our community. I don’t care whatever ill-mannered philosophy this person has but, if this person wants to address his thought to public, I quietly advise him to be matured enough to pay respect to the broken heart people before he opens his mouth. I also would advise Reuters not to degenerate yourself into a cheap billboard for bragging journalists.

Posted by JunkTaicho | Report as abusive

Felix, I 100% agree with you. You have my full support.

Posted by MYC | Report as abusive

The article has some valid points. But the headline really made me sick. That is just cheap journalism. I didn’t realise Retuers is sinking so low these days. Why? too much competition from Fox news?

Posted by HunnicGomes | Report as abusive

While some of your sentiment seems like grandstanding, I agree.

The last thing most countries hit with disaster need (immediately) is money. The entities that are sending actual support need the money.

In Japan’s case, this is mostly being done internally but this is a nation that really has little need for our pennies in a bucket (look in your driveway and tell me what brand of vehicle you see there, or what TV you have, or what stereo, etc, etc ,etc).

Even if (and I find it highly unlikely) Japan needs financial contributions, they’re still in the ‘digging out bodies’ stage. The money people are sending is currently going no where and doing nothing. Or worse, being sucked into bogus disaster charity scams.

Posted by Balthozar | Report as abusive

Jeez Louise, America is sinking into a miasma of cynicism.

The author of this article may have the best intentions in the world, but the headline is disgusting, perverse, and revolting. It is a half-step away from the guy who said that he was glad the human toll was greater than the economic toll.

And trying to leave a comment here, I almost have to provide a retinal scan just to soothe Firefox’s worries about connecting to MY OWN Facebook page.

America is suffering from a moral meltdown far worse than Japan’s nuclear reactors. A morality of decency, honesty, and compassion. A morality that has NOTHING to do with tax breaks for the wealthy or whether two men who love each other can get a certificate at city hall, but EVERYTHING to do with respect and fairness.

We are each responsible for the future of America. But there will be no America left for you if you let the bullies walk away with the goodies.

Posted by EQReynolds | Report as abusive

The point of charity is to GIVE. If you give expecting thanks or with the intention of following the money around to make sure it’s spent the way YOU intend, you are NOT giving…you are lending with expectations of getting something back. It’s also an insult to assume that people will not check out the agencies through which they make their donations.

Posted by allyanaz | Report as abusive

we care about the people of japan , that’s why we give money to charity for that specific purpose. as shows last year, people do not care about pakistan and we do not want our money diverted to help people we don’t like. even haiti, our money just goes into a black hole from which nothing good will come out. but with japan our donations and our economic support will help rebuild japan better than before. they are hard working industrious people who have always been generous to others. now is the time of their need and everyone, no matter how poor or rich must give to help them.

Posted by thatguy123 | Report as abusive

Does “obviously didn’t read the article before commenting” count as “abusive”?

Posted by CarsonChittom | Report as abusive

Wow Obviously the majority of people responding here did not actually read this story they just skimmed… Way to go Morons!!! Try going and actually reading the story now.

Posted by Gobba-gobba-goo | Report as abusive

The comments to this blog has provided a very sad commentary on our collective intelligence and ability to have a civil dialogue based on understanding of a very well thought out and logical statement made by Felix Salmon.

For those of you that chose to comment on the Title of the blog rather than on the content here are some bullet points.

A. When donors earmark specific donations to a specific disaster it can lend itself to a surplus for one disaster and a shortage for others.

B. Money is not in short supply in Japan as it is a wealthy country and perhaps you money will do some good but it’s likely it will just sit in a pool and do nothing if all an NGO can do is spend it on Japan

The Bottom Line
“Don’t donate to ‘Japan’” but DO donate to a charity (such as Red Cross) and allow them the power to distibute the funds as necessary. PLEASE donate UNRESTRICTED FUNDS to good charities. It will allow your money to do more good and free it up if its not needed to support the Japan disaster.

That is all the author was saying and it makes perfect sense. If you reacted negatively to the headline then perhaps you need to check yourself and your capacity to seek to understand others before jumping to conclusions based on your initial response. Your initial response may be flawed.

Posted by ezyoneAZ | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon had every intention of ruining Japan with his blog. He pleaded over and over again DO NOT DONATE TO JAPAN. In addition, he went on and on about his reasons why.. because they are rich etc. Yes, he wasn’t against donations to poor third world countries but just not to Japan because hes says they don’t need it. He is DESTRUCTIVE and EVIL!
All the posts that are saying that he is great are probably his friends and family scrambling to help him out because he needs to BE FIRED!!!!!!!

Posted by loneranger9 | Report as abusive

Thank you Helpforjapan8! I loved your post. I will post it again so everyone can make sure to contact Rueters!!!
PLEASE CONTACT RUETERS AND FIRE FELIX SALMON!

Felix Salmon…

Your words and article are ill timed, ill advised and clearly shows you have very little respect for the fact that your opinion are broadcast worldwide through Reuters and what damage it may cause.

As such you may have a direct impact on aid that would have helped save lives or at least improve them. If someone wants to give socks to people in Japan to keep their feet warm what is wrong with that?

You have crossed over the line of good sense and human decency.

I read the disclaimer Reuters makes about bloggers opinions not reflecting the viewpoint of the Reuters Corp.

Now I understand why… However they are responsible for being a conduit for your extremely wrong message sent at the wrong time and place. Therefore I am writing to all the corporate contacts I can find at Reuters asking you be removed from their web site as a blogger, writer or what have you.

I am providing the link here for others to follow my example. I hope you have the good sense to apologize to the people of Japan, Reuters and the international readers for your spiteful and disgusting article. Japanese culture is too polite to respond to you sir, so I am doing it for them.

To impune someone who is giving a means of comfort to the people of Japan even if it is socks, scarfs, blankets or even words of comfort is so low and so offensive that it deserves nothing less for you to lose your job.

Here is the page where you can contact Reuters through email. I encourage everyone who agrees with me to do the same. In this way we hopefully show Reuters they have to be responsible for what they allow to be published.

It will also send a message to Felix Salmon that he needs to think more carefully before he slanders people who are trying to help others in need without first thinking what effect his words may have on others in a public forum.

http://thomsonreuters.com/news_ideas/med ia_contacts/
http://thomsonreuters.com/news_ideas/med ia_contacts/#corporate

I am also calling corporate tomorrow to let them know that I am not crank reader or some vindictive psycho but someone who has lots of media contacts and have done PR campaigns for major companies and corps before.

You sir have gong far beyond what is acceptable journalism. I pity you for your lack of sensitivity, knowledge and in general good taste. Goodnight Mr. Felix and good riddance.

Posted by loneranger9 | Report as abusive

For starters, what’s with the title? Seriously. Has Mr. Salmon ever heard of yellow journalism? Secondly, I get the fact that donations don’t always find its way to victims. It’s unfortunate, but it cannot be used as an excuse to withhold money when there clearly are people who need help. Donors just have to be careful when selecting which organizations to donate to. Third, Japan is a wealthy country, indeed. However, they definitely need money RIGHT NOW. Printing money will not solve anything; Japan needs money from abroad. If something similar happened on the West Coast, would the author say that people shouldn’t donate to the United States because it’s a rich country?

Finally, this opinion piece is just plain cold and disrespectful. People died in Japan, families have been torn, and rescuers are risking their lives to save whomever they can reach. Not to mention, radiation is a huge concern at the moment. In the midst of chaos, how can someone downplay the severity of the situation by saying “don’t donate money to Japan?” I just can’t believe it.

Posted by DaveWinkler | Report as abusive

I think this blog is irresponsible. Yes when you read the whole blog he supports some giving, and I understand the caution over giving in response to crisis as so much money comes in that is often mismanaged or difficult to manage.
But seeing it posted on Facebook and people commenting – oh was going to give to Red Cross but now won’t – means this blog is sending the wrong message with its headline that includes the words ‘don’t’ in relation to ‘give’.
Reuters – Really? do you think you need to use writers that want to hype or shock in order to get folks to read you.
And his reference to some bright spark and the socks campaign – that’s unnecessary and if he’d read the article it says the local prefecture is calling for socks to be donated to the local shelters.

Posted by Listening | Report as abusive

I don’t disagree that the whole process of raising and distributing money raised by charities might be flawed or inefficient. But to then conclude and indeed recommend that therefore one should specifically not give money to Japan as this journalist did, or to ridicule other people’s attempts to help, is at best insensitive and making the situation worse. To view the scenes of human tragedy on such massive scale and then not offer financial assistance because Japan is (was) a rich country, or other areas need it as well, or charities have proved inefficient in the past is really cold to say the least. A rich country? they haven’t asked for help? are you kidding me. Tell that to the people rummaging through what was once their homes. Maybe they should just go to the nearest ATM machine and draw out everything they need. But lets not have a few thousand people still looking for dead relatives get in the way of those pesky financial facts shall we, lets show those inefficient charities that we’re not stupid and won’t fall for their tricks. That’ll teach them right?
He explained the advantages or disadvantages of where to donate the money and point is well taken. But clearly some needs are more urgent than others. I did read the article fully, I did get it and still get that it was ill timed and the point made in a provocative journalistic manner, benefiting the reputation of the author no doubt more than any point he was so nobly trying to make. Ridiculing the sock gesture, no matter what difference that effort would actually make, was also tacky as in doing so it ridiculed the basic human desire to help in whatever way possible.

Posted by cirom | Report as abusive

Mr. Salmon makes some excellent points here, and the fake outrage expressed by so many of the people commenting here is in and of itself a sad commentary on the intelligence of the reader.

Posted by BTC | Report as abusive

I just want to add… I read the article 3 times…

- The first time because I could not believe it was on the Reuters site.
- The second time because I wanted to make sure I understood the authors POV
- The third time because I still could not believe it was on the Reuters site.

Although some have tried to paint this article by Felix Salmon as good advice and cry foul that the author is misunderstood. I beg to differ. It is clear he has laid out some very clear advice on what he considers the point of his article. Look no further than the headline. But if you do it is clear he is giving a backslap of the hand to small and large emergency aid charities who are actively trying to help the people of Japan.

In the interests of transparency and fairness Here is the letter I sent to Corporate. I really hope some action is taken. As I stated in my letter silence implies consent.

Erin Kurtz, Calvin Mitchell III, David Girardin, David Crundwell, Tom Gilbert, Jolie Hunt, Erin Kurtz, Jo Crosby:

How is it that Reuters allows this writer to publish this article and headline under the Thomson Reuters corporate branding? Really the point of the article and headline is in extremely bad taste and it will damage the credibility of Thomson Reuters as a fair and balanced new service.

I am referring to the article by Felix Salmon called “Don’t donate money to Japan”.  Also his slander of the company/persons providing socks to people in the disaster zone is not only wrong but heartless.  Although he is trying to make a point to donate wisely (maybe… It’s very hard to tell from the way the article was written that he intended to do that at all …) it takes him most of the article in a very non-direct way to even come anywhere close to that point.  

And most people reading the article will accept it on face value for what the headline says… “Don’t donate money to Japan”. Would a better headline be maybe: “Donate Wisely to Japan”?  Imagine you are stuck in a shelter in Japan and you somehow were able to read ”Don’t donate money to Japan” on the Thomson Reuter web site… What would you think about Thomson Reuters then?  I might add the Japanese have always given generously to both the United States and other countries in a disaster.

If the only reason for allowing this article/blog to exist under the Reuter monicker is to drive traffic to the Reuters.com web site… well you have succeeded. I predict the article will go viral and erode confidence in the Thomson Reuters brand. This may not be the intent you desired. Not to mention the damage this article causes to the victims of the multiple disasters in Japan and to the people who are trying to help them.

Here is the link which is clearly listed as Reuters.com

http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/20 11/03/14/dont-donate-money-to-japan/?cp= all

I see you publish a disclaimer which in this case does not absolve Thomson Reuters from a lack of bad judgement in allowing this drivel to be exposed and propagated through your website.  If you allow this to stand what articles will show up in the future all protected by your disclaimer?

(INSERT AUTHOR HERE) IS A REUTERS BLOGGER. ANY VIEWS EXPRESSED MAY OR MAY NOT BE HIS OWN, BUT IN ANY CASE ARE VERY UNLIKELY TO BE THOSE OF HIS EMPLOYER.

Will someone with some editorial control please review this article and future articles to see if they are fit for publishing before it goes in front of millions of readers on the Thomson Reuters web site?  Really show some corporate responsibility and good taste!  From a business standpoint you may lose advertisers and other forms of revenue by publishing this type of material.

Sincerely,
A concerned Thomson Reuters reader

P.S. You may wish to see if Felix Salmon will publish an apology or clarification before this goes viral. Just an idea!  Of course if I see no action taken by Thomson Reuters it will be implied that silence implies consent or in this case agreement with the article content. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, lastly I hope that your feet never get cold and wet from some disaster in your homeland. Hopefully some benevolent souls will show more compassion for your plight then Felix Salmon is showing the people of Japan…

BTW: Here is MY disclaimer:

I AM REUTERS READER. ANY VIEWS EXPRESSED MAY OR MAY NOT BE MY OWN, BUT IN ANY CASE ARE VERY LIKELY TO BE SHARED BY MILLIONS OF OTHER READERS.  I HAVE FRIENDS IN JAPAN WHO HAVE COMMUNICATED TO ME THEY HAVE NO FOOD AND WATER AND I HOPE THEY DON’T SEE THIS DISGUSTING ARTICLE ON THE REUTERS WEBSITE.

Posted by helpforjapan8 | Report as abusive

Reading the responses here makes me think that this article is actually very well timed and very important. I was all set to donate directly to Red Cross Japan, thinking that would ensure the money I want to contribute goes to help the people who need it. But who needs it ? How much do they need ? How much are they getting ? Japan, the nation, faces billions in losses and rebuilding costs, but how much to help individuals that the Red Cross helps ? I’m betting that given the generosity of people in light of a crisis like this, aid agencies may very well end up with surpluses that could be well spent elsewhere. Maybe Red Cross Japan would make good use of it, but my thinking now is to donate directly to the US Red Cross and make it unrestricted. After all, it’s not as if the Red Cross would provide Japan with less assistance if everyone made their donations unrestricted. And I’m quite sure that’s all the author is trying to say: donate, but let the aid agencies do what they do best. It just makes a whole lot of sense.

And the socks ? Seriously … is there any reason to think Japanese need socks ? Local aid agencies will get the people in need precisely what they need as soon as they can get it. Your socks and blankets will sit in a warehouse or on the tarmac somewhere while people are busily trying to figure out how to get supplies to people. I doubt there’s a shortage of anything that tens of thousands of people in Japan could need; it’s a matter of logistics and letting the experts figure out what they need when. There might be a thousand blankets sitting around while local aid agencies are spending funds on gasoline and food.

Anyway, I think the article is very well intentioned. It’s trying to avoid wasted generosity by people who mean only the best, and it’s a shame that some are too stubborn to realize that there might be smarter ways of helping than a kneejerk rush to “do something”.

Posted by JustSomeone | Report as abusive

Salmon has it exactly right. If you are moved to help people harmed by a natural or man-made disaster that overwhelms them, allow those who are best equipped to provide that help to spend your donation in the best way they can. While the Japanese government and NGOs have asked for very specific help from other nations–boron from South Korea, for example, a substance that is used to help stabilize nuclear reaction–they have made it clear that it is most appropriate for Japanese relief agencies to deal with the situation.

The problem is not lack of funding or lack of relief supplies–it is logistics. They need to deliver material to an area in which roads, railroads, port facilities and airports have been destroyed.

Many people have been moved by the extent of the disaster and the the quiet dignity and patience shown by the Japanese people–much different, for example, than those in my country the United States. I certainly have. But following good advice on how and to whom to donate doesn’t vitiate those feelings.

Posted by jjbolton | Report as abusive

Admit it Mr Salmon, no matter how valid your felt your point was, and I agree that point does have merit and many people may not have realized how charities function or react to specific needs, but it could easily have been made in a less conflictive manner, and dare I say it in a less self serving manner. What pisses me off most is that you’re probably getting more attention than you deserve or have ever previously had, (and yes I admit I helping on that score).

If other bloggers journalists etc were to publish an article preempted by a heading such as “REUTERS JOURNALIST RECOMMENDS NOT HELPING JAPAN BECAUSE THEY DON’T NEED IT” that would be equally attention grabbing, and misleading even if it was to some degree qualified in the article itself. But then the use and choice of words is your professional tool, so that was your intention wasn’t it. This sort of “reality show news” is of course standard procedure for Fox, Jerry Springer etc. and it seems that Reuters have also succumbed.

What isn’t surprising is your lack of response or that of your employers. Or is that too much of an effort, because we are all unworthy morons who don’t “get” what you were really trying to say. But I think we do Mr Salmon, we do.

Would a modification to the original headline with some caveat of explanation be beneath you. Or would that be pandering to the uneducated mob and undermine your high professional integrity?

Posted by cirom | Report as abusive

I understand why everyone is mad. If you think about it though, all the people that are mad about this article will probably go and donate money because of it. I think this guys intentions were to draw up controversy and in return get people to donate, through specific channels, money to help the relief.

Posted by jr_dill | Report as abusive

How charming. Now that you have been a troll and have people’s attention, is there anything else you’d like to say or can I go back to reading real news instead of self-important little blogger blurbs?

Posted by coriolana | Report as abusive

Agreed, this article is an epic fail.

Should have been titled “How to REALLY donate to Japan”, not “Don’t Donate to Japan” that’s just disgusting and inhuman.

Posted by NickBright | Report as abusive

@sapet298

Sapet, you have a dark heart to think that ‘cold logic’ is in anyway helpful.

A simple renaming of the headline is the primary controversy here, not the content of the message you moron.

Gross that some people are standing up for this guy Salmon. Kind of explains why there will always be evil in this world.

Posted by NickBright | Report as abusive

http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/20 11/03/14/dont-donate-money-to-japan/

For the past two days I’ve been trying to sign up on Reuters com so that I could post my comment but failed because the submit button was hidden under my bottom toolbar. I tried everything but I could not move the position of the box until now, where I had to hide all my toolbars at the top and barely made it to press half of the submit button that was showing.
“Don’t donate money to Japan” the headlines screaming at me, from a Reuters blogger, I just could not believe my eyes! What do you mean when you say that “Japan is a wealthy country which is responding to the disaster, among other things, by printing hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of new money” I didn’t know it was that easy to print new money. If that be the case then there should not be poverty in the streets everywhere in the world.

Giving an article such title at such time is very damaging, offensive, irresponsible and totally unacceptable. No-one is denying that there are not many problems in the world, and many deserving causes, but do you not think, that it does harm in dissuading people from donating to any good cause? Who says Japan doesn’t need any financial help? No doubt Japan is a wealthy country but in such a devastating disaster as huge as this, it needs a lot of financial aid in the future restoration of many cities destroyed by the tsunami, Japan will owe a lot of debts, not to mention the huge damage in the Japanese economics. When people lose their homes, their loved ones, with nowhere to go to, no water, no food, it doesn’t matter whether they are rich or poor – everyone needs help. No matter how rich the country, and especially if you have lost everything, money is always needed.

Yes, I know you mean well in trying to tell the people to channel their donations to the right charities as there are always scammers at times like this, but your timing is lousy. I feel this is nothing but a cheap publicity stunt of yours to draw more readers to your column. But you have just lost one fan of yours with such an irresponsible article. What is one fan to you? Well, don’t be surprised that there are more people who share my opinion and instead of gaining popularity you’ll be at the losing end.

Don’t be so proud of your donation, I think you could have come up with something bigger. I’m proud to tell you that some of my favorite Korean actors and celebrities have donated millions to the relief fund without any hassle at all, to be exact 5 million US$.. They just have big hearts. They do not choose what charities to donate to for the sake of publicity but to the immediate disaster in the news today, which happens to be Japan.

You seem to forget that every time something happens around the world, Japan is always called upon to give aid in money and now that they need it in return, you are suggesting that everyone should just watch and do nothing just because Japan is a wealthy country. In other words, everyone should look the other way, how very sad indeed!
You seem to have a poor memory. Let me remind you of what happened in the USA during Hurricane Katrina. Donations exceeded $108 million during the crucial first four days. IS THE UNITED STATES A POOR COUNTRY? WHY DID THE WORLD HAVE TO HELP AMERICA? THEY COULD HAVE JUST STOOD BY AND WATCHED BECAUSE THE USA IS A RICH COUNTRY.LIKE JAPAN.
Here, I would like to mention about the contributions the USA received from Japan especially, to make my point clearer. More than $1.5 million was collected from private donations. The government of Japan donated $200,000 in cash to the American Red Cross and some $800,000 in relief supplies — from blankets to generators. Japanese firms with operations in the United States donated some $12 million in total, including Honda Motor Corporation ($5 million), Hitachi ($1 million) and Nissan (more than $750,000).
Special mention must be made of the generosity of one Japanese individual — Takashi Endo — who donated $1 million from his personal funds to Katrina relief efforts, said he was moved when, during a business trip to London, he saw a televised report about a mother separated from her children in the chaos of the flooding in New Orleans. The story so disturbed him he could not sleep that night; the next morning he resolved to do something to help.
The Japanese Red Cross Society, in addition to acting as a major conduit for individual and corporate donations to Katrina relief, donated $200,000 of its own funds to support hurricane relief activities of its sister organization, the American Red Cross. All three Japanese international air carriers (ANA, JAL, NCA) offered free use of empty cargo capacity to transport relief supplies to the United States.
You even criticized the Socks for Japan, drive which I don’t find very funny at all. If you really understand our Asian way of life/culture you will know that we take off our shoes before entering the house and we will then walk around the house in our socks or bedroom slippers so that we do not dirty the house. We even keep spare slippers for the use of our visitors. Socks also keep the feet warm in cold weather. So it is not at all silly or wasteful at all as you put it, as the socks will be put to good use I’m sure. Call yourself cultured, I don’t think so.
I suggest that you make an apology for your uncalled for remarks as they are very sensitive.

Posted by eidelweiss99 | Report as abusive

Dear Diary: Today I learned that 90% of Internet users cannot read, and that they utterly lack analytical reasoning capabilities. They are hysterical, sissified, crybaby do-gooders, abounding in false humility and the expression of impotent outrage over any perceived neglect of politically-correct, mainstream-media promoted concepts.

Salmon’s headline is attention-grabbing, preparatory to his expansion on very sensible topics and situational reality. The Internet 90% is a collective pack of illiterate fools.

Posted by dogofdestiny | Report as abusive

Dear Super Brain Felix Salmon,

I don’t have any intelligent comment for your article, because I’m not so intelligent nor well knowledge like you or any other readers here. Nevertheless, allow me to ask you to downgrade your super intelligent brain while you read this.

Simple logic: the Japanese basically are humans, and every human being is deserve humanitarian aid.

Simple logic: if you think that there’s no reliable organisation which deserve to accept your donations (small/big amount it doesn’t, what the really matter is how sincere are you when you giving your money for the donation), why don’t you advised your readers to contact Japanese embassy in each of their countries?! They will give you informations, how you can help, or what they really need from us.

Simple logic: if I want to donate to countries such African countries or even Indonesia (this is where I am now), I won’t to give it to their government, we all know how corrupt their governments or the individuals in their governments, but this is Japanese embassy as representative of the Japanese government, I think they are reliable enough to accept our donation.

For my closure, I dare you to prove yourself that you’re a human.

Why don’t you consider this, once upon a time, somehow, you stranded in the middle of nowhere, you got terrible accident, broke your legs, lost your wallet, then you meet me and ask me to help you with give you small money, and guess what’s my answer? “Go walk to nearest government and knock their door to give you small money.” How do you feel if you have to walk with broken legs and heartache which caused by my words to you?

It’s just simple logic Super Brain Felix Salmon .. just simple logic.

Posted by bibliothecal | Report as abusive

Salmon, I understood what you really meant, but this article title should not be appeared on top page right now. Millions of people in all over east Japan is under life threatening situation, including many, many innocent young ages and children. How do you think if people who have families and close friends in Japan see this. Life is precious. Now is really the time for everyone on earth to reconsider the problem of nuclear and help each other to overcome this situation.

Reuters, please remove this article right away.

Posted by OceanLove | Report as abusive

I am a chinese student and my english is not so good so don’t deride me.
As we all know, Japanese had invaded China in the world War Two . In some degree the relationship between the two country are just compromise in the politic degree. To many Chinese the patriotism make them dislike Japan to some degree.
But since such an huge disaster happened, it make us feel so mourning. Watching TV that there are so many people die because of this big earthquake and seequake and millions of people lost there belongings and lovers . We think we can do something for them.And donate money is the first the occur to my mind. So you havent got hatred for japan why u give such article? you are ruthless to some degree.

Posted by linshaofei | Report as abusive

There are some good ideas in this article, buried under an awful lot of badly-edited rambling argument. What they want to say is ‘donate to the Red Cross, Save the Children and Medicins Sans Frontiers’. I can condone that. However, the main message that comes out is ‘don’t donate to Japan, they don’t need help, they’re a rich country’ – which is just so much bullshit. Nobody’s rich enough for that amount of devastation.

Red Cross rescue workers don’t hide under rocks in between emergencies and live on seawater and wood chips while they work. Very rich countries still can’t instantly house and feed hundreds and thousands of displaced people. And even Japan doesn’t keep the cash for several new hospitals, a whole new road network and a few hundred housing estates lying around in its sock drawer.

Posted by Supermouse | Report as abusive

Can we flag your article as abusive?

Posted by Callah | Report as abusive

What an incredibly poorly thought out article! Japan should not be denigrated because it is a wealthy country! The Japanese government is doing all that it can to keep things stable – they deserve kudos, not kicks!

As individuals, and as a nation, we need to do all that we can, in whatever way we can, to help any country in a time of disaster. I will certainly continue to donate wherever and whenever I have a chance to.

I find this article offensive, and do not feel that you should be kept on as a reporter.

Reuters – did you hear me on that? Mr. Salmon is not representing your best interests, so why is he still here! Controversy will not gain you more readers – it will drive them away!

Posted by BonnieCehovet | Report as abusive

I have two words for this article: Epic Fail.

Posted by cmckie | Report as abusive

Dude. Seriously? I mean I appreciate your point of view, but get off your high horse. So what if people would rather earmark donated funds for a specific cause, at least they are trying to help. To make a ignorant blanket statement like ‘Don’t donate to Japan’ is irresponsible journalism.

I mean, It seems like somewhere in that article you meant to say something like ‘Donating is a good thing, but don’t earmark donated funds’. Am I right?

Oh, and about the socks: people’s houses were ripped out to see man. All of their belongings are just gone. And the sock drive is set up by someone in japan, you digg? I think they know what they need better than you, so cut them some slack.

Fool.

Posted by RosaBonita | Report as abusive

OMG – Felix, are you just trying to get a rise out of peeps or do you actually believe what you type???

Posted by LC8128 | Report as abusive

Reuters, please remove this article!!!!! If Reuters doesn’t respond to this & refuses to remove this article, could someone who is a little more internet savvy start a facebook campaign to remove this article & get the word out that Americans don’t believe like this author does? We live on one world and we should all be helping each other!!!! Please donate to the Red Cross, if you are in doubt about what organization to donate to. From the posts on here, I believe most people are outraged by this article and have a bigger heart than this.

Posted by vilofern | Report as abusive

This article is beyond offensive. Don’t give money to starving, freezing, homeless people who have been hit by tsunami. Give money instead to the global poverty pimps and their endless cycle of dependency. This person should be fired ASAP.

Posted by emiliano | Report as abusive

Very sensible article. I would just add that another reason not to donate (to anyone or anything) is that the US gov’t took upon itself this “donating” role and collect exorbitant taxes to fulfill it. I – for one – feel that my donating obligations are done on April 15.
Cheers.

Posted by GussieRojas | Report as abusive

The headline is exceptionally meanspirited as is the rest of this story. Also why the need to make fun of people here? Just because the elitist who wrote this story thinks that sending socks to Japan is “silly”, doesn’t mean the rest of us agree with him. I’m the ones who are pouring their hearts and souls into the project do not they are silly. At least the sock knitters are showing Japan and its people what Felix Salmon clearly lacks: compassion.

Posted by ladycascadia | Report as abusive

Totelly agree with Felix. He got a excellent point here. Japan is a rich country, looks at how much money they are printing now? Besides, did you hear what our lovely President Obama had said? He said US will do whatever it can to help Japan. Which means US can print money to help too. Money is definitely not a problem here when two money printing countries working together.
What Japan needs right now, is to have our lovely President Obama go to Japan for full support, instead of taking vacation or hiding in Brazil, but tell his citizen to risk their life to help. What Japan need now is have President Obama to join one of those 50 brave guys that work days any night to fix the reactors. That is what Japan needs right now.
For those people and complained about what Felix said, if they really want to help. I suggest they fly to Japan now and volunteer to help out the nuclear crisis, that is really HELP.

Posted by MYC | Report as abusive

Felix is right. He may have chosen an unnecessarily provocative headline, but the sad truth is that highly visible ‘tear-jerk’ catastrophes are usually exploited — exploited in the form of unofficial/unauthorized charitable organizations and even computer malware that pop up overnight to prey on peoples’ desire to offer up a credit card number and make a donation. DO give, and give generously. But give to established and credible organizations that know how to distribute help efficiently, and to where it is needed most.

Posted by MXA | Report as abusive

This is exactly why American politics is completely idiotic and Americans should feel ashamed of themselves for running a Reality TV show instead a working government. Americans are only moved by shock value. Felix is so correct is everything he says. Does anyone know how many more children will die this year than all the victims in the Tsunami combined? Lets 8 million divided by (lets give a high estimate 30,000) = 266.667 times more people die every year due too malnutrition and poverty. Where’s the America people in this disaster that happens every year?

Vilofern says “We live on one world and we should all be helping each other!!!!”
You are correct so why are you ignoring the millions of children dying every year due too hunger?

To all those naysayers the point is people die every day from easily preventable means. If Americans spent all the money they spend on losing weight, on feeding the poor, not one person would be hungry tonight. Unless its on Fox news or CNN Americans could give a….

Posted by AndySprague | Report as abusive

The ragestorm that this article has stirred up is quite astonishing. Does make one wonder how many of the people baying for Mr. Salmon’s blood (or at the very least his job) have bothered to read past the headline.

Having donated to MSF a few days ago, I completely concur with Mr. Salmon’s point: Don’t earmark funds, people. Sure, the disaster might motivate *you* to donate, where you might not have done so otherwise. (I admit, this is true in my case).

But remember that most likely, you’re not at all qualified to judge what is the most effective aid to give to the victims of a disaster. The aid organizations are experts at doing just that. This is why you should give money, instead of pointlessly tying up logistical capacity by sending canned food and socks to a country that most certainly can get them cheaper and more efficiently.

In fact, your socks were likely made in Bangladesh. Distance from USA to Bangladesh? Roughly 8000 mi. Japan to Bangladesh? About 3000 mi.

Posted by icedrake | Report as abusive

You people critical of Felix Salmon are aware that there are humanitarian crises happening the world over, not just Japan, right?

Posted by giantslor | Report as abusive

Hey asshole, remember when Katrina hit us and America needed help? Oh, wait. America is filthy rich and it is a superpower and need to foreign help, never mind then, let the people of New Orleans suffer and fend for themselves, I am sure they were in safe hands.

First you know nothing about economics, you dont create more wealth by printing money (otherwise we would all be filthy rich), and second alot of the victims are now homeless, cold, starving, and sick and they need medicine, food, and other necessities that these organizations are trying to provide (and not to mention they have a shortage in their country! The other day CNN showed how a convenient store ran out of everything, except alcohol and snacks but had no medicine, no water, and no food!). Third, the hardest hit areas were rural areas and since the infrastructures were damage during the earthquake/tsunami it will take a long time to rebuild so they need help now! Fourth, you are a heartless bastard and your argument is invalid, as of right now we have children, the elderly, the destitute, the sick, the helpless, and a lot of homeless people that cannot wait for help nor rely on the usual safety net for help, they are refugees.

But I guess solidarity means nothing to you and instead we should ship them bootstraps…

In other words. GO FUCK YOURSELF!!

Posted by mutopis | Report as abusive

This is what Fox News and CNN do to people: we are completely unable to read past the headline. I lived in Japan for three years, worked very closely with several NGOs both in the US and in Japan, so I have a pretty good grasp of the political/NGO landscape in both countries, and have great sympathy for the Japanese people.
I struggle to understand the outrage here. The point of the article is simple: let NGOs and governments manage their own activities without hamstringing them by giving restricted donations. What’s the problem with that?
Some relief orgs jump on disasters as fundraising opportunities before they have a plan in place. Good to know. THAT’s the take away here.
If the Kobe earthquake is any indicator, the strongest relief organization in Japan may be the Yakuza. Donate money to them — they run a tight ship.

Posted by newsjunkee | Report as abusive

a naive question – why would earmarking block them to use that pile of funds for some other project?

Posted by Parvinder | Report as abusive

You know… while I’ll agree that the title was poorly chosen, it is painfully obvious that most of the commenters here simply read the article under the impression that the title gave them which is “This person wants us not to donate money”. I think that sort of anger may have skewed their comprehension skills a bit because that’s not what he’s saying at all considering he says himself that he donated 400 himself.

I think the point he’s trying to make is that we as humans should want to donate whenever we can to places that help everyone worldwide and not just when something major happens… that kind of thinking is like trying to buy life insurance on your death bed, it’s best to be prepared ahead of time.

He’s also right that Japan does not need money, they do need HELP, but money? No. Donating to places such as Red Cross or Save the Children would be much more helpful since things like medical and orphan services are much needed there at a time like this.

Posted by Talulah | Report as abusive

How many of you are actually reading more than the headline or first paragraph? You seem to be missing his point.

Posted by bugyourmama | Report as abusive

Hmm, interesting post. The controversy this has generated is somewhat surprising. I’m a long-time reader and I think that most of your usual audience “get” what you were saying. I think you may just have worded your title poorly. It seems that it did not play well with the search engines.

Anyway, my feelings are mixed on the title and content of the article. When I was four years old, my family house and most of the town that I lived in was wiped off the face of the earth by an F5 tornado. The national guard was called in and the relief agencies came rushing. Regardless of how “rich” my family was or the fact that I lived in a country that could print money, none of that mattered in the first week or two after the disaster. The only thing that mattered to us was the help we got from the Red Cross and other charitable organizations. They were amazing. They provided us with so much including shelter. Something as silly sounding as socks (and maybe more importantly the personal note that came with it) was vital. I think you’d be surprised at the regression that one goes through when they lose everything.

Also, I’m fairly certain none of the supplies that were given to us came from the government. It was all donated. In fact I don’t see at all what a nation’s federal money has to do with whether or not a person should make a donation or not. That don’t think that a person that has no blankets or toothpaste is going to see their immediate needs met by printed money.

Now with all of that said, I do see the point that you make. Most of that stuff must have been previously donated and we wouldn’t have seen any of it had it been earmarked to some specific cause.

You make a great point but I think you just chose a very unsympathetic way of making it. I can’t imagine reading an article like this within the first week or so proclaiming that people should not donate to the 1985 tornado. I’m pretty sure I’d have glossed over the content of the article and responded with bitter emotion, as well.

Posted by spectre855 | Report as abusive

Yakuza? That reminds me … individual Americans send billions to Israel every year, and the American government steals more millions from the taxpayers to give to Israel. Humanitarian disaster? Israel? Don’t think so. But, Israel will get more American aid this year than Japan will, or Haiti, or all of Africa combined. How much do you think the Palestinians will get?

Posted by dogofdestiny | Report as abusive

Too late! We have already donated money to trusted Japanese friends in Gifu province, far from the epicenter. I am confident that they will know individual Japanese victims of the disaster for whom official relief will be slow in coming. It is rare for everyone in any major disaster to get the help needed, promptly and efficiently.

Posted by Marvinlee | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon is one sick puppy.

Posted by DisgustedReader | Report as abusive

One of these days, Felix Salmon, you may be laying in the rubble of some major disaster — natural or terrorist — and some Aussie reporter will post an article that screams:

Don’t donate money to America

You just wait… that smart-a** headline is going to bite you in the place that is cushioning your brain, Felix Salmon, and you may think about your headline for days as you lay buried in some collapsed underground garage or structure.

Posted by DisgustedReader | Report as abusive

8:13 am EDTThank you Helpforjapan8! I loved your post. I will post it again so everyone can make sure to contact Rueters!!!PLEASE CONTACT RUETERS AND FIRE FELIX SALMON! Felix Salmon… Your words and article are ill timed, ill advised and clearly shows you have very little respect for the fact that your opinion are broadcast worldwide through Reuters and what damage it may cause.As such you may have a direct impact on aid that would have helped save lives or at least improve them. If someone wants to give socks to people in Japan to keep their feet warm what is wrong with that?You have crossed over the line of good sense and human decency.I read the disclaimer Reuters makes about bloggers opinions not reflecting the viewpoint of the Reuters Corp.Now I understand why… However they are responsible for being a conduit for your extremely wrong message sent at the wrong time and place. Therefore I am writing to all the corporate contacts I can find at Reuters asking you be removed from their web site as a blogger, writer or what have you.I am providing the link here for others to follow my example. I hope you have the good sense to apologize to the people of Japan, Reuters and the international readers for your spiteful and disgusting article. Japanese culture is too polite to respond to you sir, so I am doing it for them.To impune someone who is giving a means of comfort to the people of Japan even if it is socks, scarfs, blankets or even words of comfort is so low and so offensive that it deserves nothing less for you to lose your job.Here is the page where you can contact Reuters through email. I encourage everyone who agrees with me to do the same. In this way we hopefully show Reuters they have to be responsible for what they allow to be published. It will also send a message to Felix Salmon that he needs to think more carefully before he slanders people who are trying to help others in need without first thinking what effect his words may have on others in a public forum.http://thomsonreuters.com/news_ide as/med ia_contacts/http://thomsonreuters.com/ne ws_ideas/med ia_contacts/#corporateI am also calling corporate tomorrow to let them know that I am not crank reader or some vindictive psycho but someone who has lots of media contacts and have done PR campaigns for major companies and corps before.You sir have gong far beyond what is acceptable journalism. I pity you for your lack of sensitivity, knowledge and in general good taste. Goodnight Mr. Felix and good riddance.

Posted by loneranger9 | Report as abusive

Congratulations! Felix! Apparently your article was quite successful… Check out the latest article from
CNNmoney.com

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/18/pf/japan _earthquake_aid/index.htm?section=money_ pf&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed &utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fmoney_pf+%28 Personal+Finance%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

Donations to Japan down 80%

Very sad for the suffering people of Japan.

Posted by loneranger9 | Report as abusive

Great Idea Viofirn! Can someone start a Facebook page so that we can get Felix fired from Reuters? I used to depend on Reuters as a reliable and unbiased source of news. Now, I no longer have any respect for them as a reputable news source as long as Felix Salmon is still working for them.

Posted by loneranger9 | Report as abusive

I don’t have to worry about what Felix thinks because I have in laws over there that I now have to support directly. They live 100 miles away from the quake, but have no income or job to go to now. They have no access to food, even if they had money. Likely they will have to flee to another relative’s house or starve to death because the government is focused 100 miles away on two other major disasters. Do you think everything is just swell elsewhere else, it’s not.

I would like to thank the people from China and Korea and other neighboring nations who have donated. What can anyone possibly say to them that even remotely comes close to capturing the generosity of these people? They above all others, have every right to turn their back on Japan. There are good people everywhere. The US could use some friends like these.

Posted by blazo | Report as abusive

Can the Salmon be any more disgraceful? Who raised this pathetic boy? I did’nt think you would care to claim him.

Posted by wisehiney | Report as abusive

This article is disgusting.I would much rather donate to a country that has a great work ethic and is to be commended for their ability to stay strong in the face of hardship. The way the Japanese people support each other is something we should all note. I will be happy to support the Japanese people in their time of need.

Posted by bigmama | Report as abusive

Edelweiss99, I couldn’t agree more with you. Thank you for a very educated and inclusive response to Salmon’s article. I generally like his articles although they always seem a little sensationalist. But especially the title of this one is certainly misplaced. Mr. Salmon: one can’t always get it right. We all know that, but this time it has to be said, you and Reuters have really messed it up.

Posted by Rhino1 | Report as abusive

What a poorly thought out article.

First of all, where is your compassion Felix? If you had such tragic events take place in your life which were beyond your control, would you not want someone to help you? As a Reuters blogger, you probably make a decent living but if your home, family and livelihood were wiped out in one go, would you not want someone to feel some compassion for you? Should one just think that just because once you had success you should be left to fend for yourself?

There are many problems in the world. We should all try to help those who are less fortunate. If one is moved to help a country because the monumental misfortune it has experienced, why discourage it? (BTW, I’m sure if I was one of the people that lost everything and was sitting in the freezing cold, I would appreciate a pair of socks.) Every little bit helps.

If you want to help, you can look at http://www.charitynavigator.org and be more informed about how your money is spent. Charities are rated on how much of your $ goes directly to the need vs. administrative / fundraising costs. I recently gave to Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children. I would like my money to go specifically to Japan and I see nothing wrong with that. If an organization has money earmarked for Japan, then that also means that their other monies can be spent in other places.

Unfortunately, there will never be enough money to solve the problems in the world. Let people help in the ways they can. Every act counts, whether big or small. Who knows- -perhaps a Japanese person who is helped with charity this year will end up helping someone elsewhere because he will remember the help he got. Giving of any kind should never be discouraged.

Posted by sakaenyc | Report as abusive

I think that giving donation is a very personal decision. In some ways, it is an acceptable rational logic to claim that Japan does not need our money because they are rich, and if Japan needs charities like Red Cross to help out, they would probably donate directly rather than sit there and wait for Red Cross’ donation department to collect enough money then take action.

I don’t think there is right or wrong. But being a plain citizen, I don’t donate to a particular organization on a regular basis. But by watching which ones are out there right now gives me a better perspective of which organization to choose to donate to now. That said, I may not donate to this particular tragic case, but may plainly donate to (say) Red Cross disastrous relief whether they will need to use it now or for a next tragic situation.

Posted by wendyyim925 | Report as abusive

“Kouetsu Sasaki, a 60-year-old city hall worker, said they still need gas, vegetables, socks, underwear, wet wipes and anti-bacterial lotion. There is some medicine, but not enough.”

I clicked on the Journalism Handbook, then clicked Standards and Values, then clicked on Integrity, and scrolled down to Dealing with People.

When covering people in the news, Reuters journalists:

Avoid needless pain and offence
Treat victims with sensitivity
Eschew gossip about the private lives of public figures
Avoid sensationalism and hype
Seek clear, unambiguous accounts of the facts
Are on alert for spin and other forms of media manipulation
Are wary of assumptions and bias, including our own as journalists

…and humility when covering people.

Posted by globalamerican | Report as abusive

Some readers are claiming that they appreciate what Felix is trying to say, but that he didn’t word it quite right. Well, if he cant get his words right, perhaps he needs to think of another vocation. As for the headline – I guess if you cant provide worthy content, you’ve got to resort to cheap tricks.

Imagine if the situation was reversed and we were all watching California melt away, and a Japanese paper wrote this kind of story. How many of us would understand that?

Dear editor – please find a decent journalist to replace Mr. Salmon, someone with a little more sensitivity who can put the right words in the correct order.

Posted by dcom | Report as abusive

Imagine if the boot was on the other foot and we were watching California, with Americans starving in the snow with nothing left, as officals fought to stave off multiple nuclear meltdowns.

How would we feel reading articles like this? Headlines like this? Very inappropriate and very very irresponsible. As someone above has pointed out – Felix is personally responsible for changing people’s opinions regarding giving support to these people. There are reliable groups trying to raise money to support the victims, who, simply put, are human beings, not so different to you and I, who need urgent help.

Felix – hopefully a day will come when you look back on your life and consider the value you added to our world. When you do take toll, remember this. The chances are, your have caused more pain than happiness in the time you have spent here, whether you intended to or not is irrelevant – that is the net effect of your actions. Very sad indeed.

Reuters: It is very irresponsible of you to give someone who exhibits such bad judgment a public platform to voice their views. It is no excuse to claim he didn’t express himself clearly enough. He’s meant to be a writer/journalist isn’t he? Sort it out. You’ve lost my respect completely.

Posted by dcom | Report as abusive

I am very heartened by the dialogue I see here – both Mr. Salmon’s provocative title and statement, and the reaction from readers both outraged and otherwise.

As a firefighter who responds regularly to medical emergencies and natural disasters both within my community and nationally, I can attest that we have underinvested in the logistical tools for efficient response. Over and over, we’ve all seen the photos of food rotting in depots while victims suffer in the field. Relief organizations never get the funding they need to prepare for the next disaster. We would do well to show our compassion by allowing relief organizations to exercise their own judgement to invest in disaster response infrastructure, rather than earmark funds to assuage our own discomfort at seeing tragic photos every few months. More disasters will come, and we will forever be stuck in a pattern of a disorganized, too little-too late response unless we change our approach.

Posted by earthshiva | Report as abusive

Parvinder, earmarked funds are by law forced to be used only for the purposes they are earmarked…it’s part of the bycodes put in for Federal Funding.
So all that money earmarked for Haiti, if the Red Cross pulls out…they basically have to keep the money in an account and only spend it on Haiti concerns, no matter if there’s an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, or one in Pakistan,or a complete collapse of the medical system in the Ivory Coast.
That’s really the point of the Article: Donate to the charities, don’t earmark. Money will get spent on japan, but then the Red Cross will be off to the next disaster, and they can use your money there, too.

==RED

Posted by REDruin | Report as abusive

Most people objecting to this article havent read it very closely and just want to spout off and sound self-righteous. Of course, any sensible person including the writer is going to be happy with charitable dollars being used to help the victims of the disaster in Japan. The problem is whether restricted funds are a good way to do this. Large scale relief needs large scale public and accountable coordination. Random charitable efforts dont accomplish much and can lead to waste and even corruption when organizations find it difficult to effectively use the resources they have raised. The point of the article is to give UNrestricted funds so that emergency response can be effective and efficient.

Posted by scottabc | Report as abusive

Ivory Towers, Felix. Silver spooner?

Posted by nieldevi | Report as abusive

Felix has a good point.
People only see the headlines.

The trouble with his argument is that the flashy headlines are what motivate people to donate.

Less high-profile suffering just doesn’t get the advertising that natural disasters do.

Posted by rtgunlimited | Report as abusive

The title is VERY misleading. What the author is saying is “give money to charities that actually help”, NOT “screw Japan”. I feel that many people aren’t actually reading the article.

To put it in context: around 10,000 people died in the disaster in Japan (estimated). Around 10,000 people die EVERY SINGLE DAY around the world simply because they don’t have food or decent medical care (also estimated). It is true that natural disasters are terrible events, but Japan is a strong, independent country. They do not need our help as much as the children who die of hunger or disease before the age of 5.

Posted by derrek | Report as abusive

Congratulations! Felix! Apparently your article was quite successful… Check out the latest article from
CNNmoney.com

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/18/pf/japan _earthquake_aid/index.htm?section=money_ pf&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed &utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fmoney_pf+%28 Personal+Finance%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

Donations to Japan down 80%

Very sad for the suffering people of Japan.

Posted by loneranger9 | Report as abusive

I’m appalled by what you’ve written. You, like Annie Lowery at Slate, have indulged your laziness rather than spending a tiny bit of time doing a little reading and research among Americans who know something about Japan. If you had done the latter, you could have actually REPORTED on it instead of exposing your ignorance.

It is VERY EASY to help by sending donations directly to the localities in Japan that have been hardest hit. The prefectural governments are well aware of the local groups that are most able to help and can probably distribute those funds quicker and more effectively than ANY international organizations.

You can help repair some of the damage you’ve done by contacting the following governments to find the easiest way to get donations DIRECTLY to the locales that are hardest hit, then disseminate that information widely in major American and international press outlets.

Donating to the Ibaraki Prefectural Disaster Recovery Fund: http://www.pref.ibaraki.jp/bukyoku/seika n/kokuko/en/data/donate.pdf
Ibaraki Prefecture donations contact information:
Phone 81-29-301-2862
Email kokuko@pref.ibaraki.Ig.jp

Fukushima Prefecture International Affairs Division web site:
http://www.pref.fukushima.jp/kokusai/IAD website/internationalprojects.htm

International Affairs Division, Fukushima Prefectural Government
2-16 Sugitsumacho,
Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan 960-8670
Phone: 81-024-521-7182
Email kokusai@pref.fukushima.jp

Miyagi Prefecture web English information:
http://www.pref.miyagi.jp/english/

Government International Affairs Division
3-8-1 Honcho Aoba-ku,
Sendai, Miyagi 980-8570
Phone: 81-022-211-2972
Email kokusai@pref.miyagi.jp

Iwate Prefecture Culture and International Relations Division
http://www.pref.iwate.jp/~hp0312/gaikoku gomokuji/info/information.htm

Culture and International Relations Division
Iwate Prefectural Government
10-1 Uchimaru, Morioka, Iwate, JAPAN
Phone 81-19-629-5336
Email FA0042@pref.iwate.jp

Posted by Kallie | Report as abusive

To everyone who has commented in outrage at this article; perhaps you should spend less time typing and a little more time trying to understand the article you just read.

Felix – yeah, I’m an MSF donor too for the same reasons.

Posted by JonDuhig | Report as abusive

Are you serious? Have you ever even been to Japan? Have you ever experience Japanese culture? The Japanese are by far the most unselfish people I’ve ever met.

When great tragedy hits those who do not have the means to survive, we look upon the wealthier nations for support. Yet when a wealthy nation needs your help, you’re going to turn your back on Japan?

UN Ban Ki-moon says “Japan is one of the most generous and strongest benefactors coming to the assistance of those in need the world over.”

Mr. Salmon, have some compassion!

Posted by winningtruth | Report as abusive

Bravo Felix,

Great article however I am surprised at the those that could not get past the headline and properly digest your analysis.

It really is about the proper and efficient allocation of resources during a time of crises. The hard truth is that Japan does not need our money. It is a wealthy nation that can raise Billions of dollars with one phone call. Japan’s current problem is one of logistics, getting resources to where they are needed most. So unless you have a spare aircraft carrier with heavy lift helicopters, or can teleport heavy earth-moving machinery across the Pacific, perhaps your generous cash donations are better spent elsewhere (MSF comes to mind).

Also re the SocksforJapan guy, http://jasonkelly.com/helpjapan/, I understand he is being well intentioned but talk about a massive waste of resources. It boggles the mind to think that someone would think it was a bright idea to start up an NGO in order for Americans: 1) to purchase in America; 2) socks made in China; 3) at a marked up price using american dollars; 4) then pay $7 a pound to ship those Chinese made socks back across the Pacific to Japan. You should read some of the comments on their website where people have bought all these socks then balk at the idea of spending $200 just to pay for the freight to ship them over to Japan.

It seems to me that the more efficient way to accomplish the same task would be to accept donations, then purchase socks directly froma manufacturer in china and have them sent in bulk directly to Japan. Of course that would take all of the feel good spirit out of the donation experience.

Posted by SitkaBear | Report as abusive

Felix is dead wrong, but there is an element of truth to that he is saying… let me explain. There is a funding bottleneck in Japan because all funds are pouring in to just a couple of large ngo and npos. There is no guarantee these funds will actually be used for Japan (Red Cross admits this and can use your donation for any purpose). What is sad is the people who lost EVERYTHING are the ones that need the funds and how will they get it? I have launched a social venture that aims to introduce a new way to aid victims by working with an affected community and as it makes money keep re-investing it again and again… With NPOS, as soon as the next event occurs they will be pulling on your heart strings for another donation… Another problem is NPOs are not popular in Japan as they are in the West. An average community in the west will have over a 1000 NPOs operating in it. In Japan NPOs just are not popular and until recently the law kept them form being viable… If you donate to Prefecture offices, where will the funds go? I would imagine, they need money rebuild their community manciple infrastructure. Within a prefecture you have even smaller communities and villages… these are very unlikely to get the assistance they need because they are at the bottom of the pile. I live in such a small community in Japan and have witnessed this happening.

So what is the answer?

Simple, Diversify your giving and leverage your social networks! If you give small amounts to multiple groups and spend a week promoting it in your social networks your will have a much greater impact than giving to just RC, United Way, or MSF. You need to think of contributing the same way you invest in the stock market.

Give to Japan! but not to one solution… spread out your contributions and please include social ventures like HelpJapan.co — we have a very specific purpose and will be assisting JP recover in a very sustainable way!

Call me to learn more:
202 360 4467 (rings in Japan)

Michael J. Trout
CEO, Foundups Corp

Posted by HelpJapan.co | Report as abusive

1st the earthquake
2nd the tsunami
3rd nuclear reactor leaks
4th Felix Salmon

Did people die and suffered because of Felix Salmon? Are the donations less compared to other recent disasters … because of Felix Salmon?

Posted by nemesia | Report as abusive

What sort of cruel idiot are you? Yeah, it is wonderful this MFG or whatever does these great things, and I am sure they need their bit of your attention. This in no way should detract from the fact Japan does need our help. I think we can all agree the US is also a very rich country. Look at how much trouble we had with just a tiny sliver of the devastation experienced in Japan when Katrina happened here. Our ability to help and cope was completely overloaded, and to top it off, we resorted to looting, pillaging, rape, and running rampant. Just because unlike us poor rich kids here in the US the Japanese aren’t whining around with their hand out for aid and more aid doesn’t mean they don’t need and deserve our help. They certainly didn’t sit around waiting to see if we needed help after Katrina. They helped out to the tune of over 14 million. Now they’ve got the equivalent of multiple Katrinas hitting them in a one, two, three, four punch. First, they had one of the worst earthquakes ever recorded. Then they had a tsunami high enough to swamp three story buildings. Then they had a blizzard through those same areas before they could get heat and fuel to the people, and now they’ve got a nuclear disaster. Frankly, I am ashamed to be counted as your countryman and I truly hope you will take a good look at the cruelty you are perpetrating on the Japanese people. I sense you may be holding a grudge because of something long past. Did a Japanese person beat you out for a college scholarship or a much-desired job posting? If so, you should really see someone about it. I find it very disturbing that anyone could look at a picture of the devastation of Japan and proudly declare themselves too good to help. We are five years out from Katrina and there are still people homeless in the aftermath. Japan has at least six times the people left homeless, and that’s just the ones that survived. On top of that, the areas hardest hit by the tsunami and radiation are the bread basket of their country. This is like if half the midwest farming country were laid waste, the people made homeless, and the crops destroyed. How would the US cope with such a disaster? You can be we’d be the first ones come whining with our hat in our hands to the international community. Unfortunately, thanks to your cruel remarks, a freshly orphaned Japanese child in a far flung rural prefecture may go hungry or without enough heat tonight or in the near future. You must be so proud.

Posted by MyOwnThoughts | Report as abusive

I deliberated whether I should open an account to leave a comment — I did not wish to open on simply to express disgust.

This article is truly self-indulging and presumptuous, and the few supporters comments are equally so. You only further expose your own narrow mindedness if you really think the responders expressing disapproval have not read past the title. The title is wrong on so many levels, and so is the content of the article, sentimentally, factually, logically — so wrong. I’m sure many can take it point by point, but for someone with such an unsophisticated and narrow life perspective, it’s just not worth it.

Posted by NoExcuse | Report as abusive

Here are reasons why you should donate to Japan.

Some people are saying you shouldn’t donate Japan because Japan is
such a wealthy country. Its true that Japan is one of the wealthiest
countrys and there are some poor countrys who are suffering.
But, Japan needs to rebuild and get back to normal as soon as possible
for the world.
There are a lot of people related to Japan all over the world.
Billions of people work for Japanese companies like SONY, NISSAN,
TOYOTA, TOSHIBA, SANYO, NINTENDO, SHISEIDO here in US.
If those companies goes to bankrupt, it would cause a lot of economic
damage all over the world including the US. Not only people who work
for Japanese companies, but there are also a lot of people related to
Japan. BESTBUY makes a lot of benefit from selling PS3, A lot of
artists go to Japan tour and sell a lot of tickets and CDs, Japanese
people spend a lot of money for traveling outside of Japan (in fact,
after the earthquake, its so quiet in Hawaii because of no tourist
from Japan), and many book stores and TV companies make benefits for
selling Japanese comic books, and playing Anime.

Some people say its not fair to help rich country, but why not? Japan
has been helping so many countries, but they don’t get helped when
they are in crisis? Because of they are rich?

Its like if you are a doctor, and there are 2 patients waiting for
your operation. You can only help one. One is always been your client
and support you a lot, and the other is poor. You choose poor one only
because you feel more sorry for the poor one?
If you help Japan, Japan will be able to help Africa after they get
back to normal and work hard again.

Japanese people have strong obligation. I’m not saying those people in
poor countries don’t have such things, but there are not much they can
do.

31million dollars donated to Africa from Japan last year. It won’t be
that much until Japan will get back to normal.
Also in economy side, Japan needs to get back to normal as soon as possible.

The money you were going to spend for Japan is definitely worth it if
you choose right organization.

There is a news that American red cross gathers all money for Japan,
but they decided to send it to Japan for only 10%, and rest of the
money goes to other places.
It’s just not fair. People who donate money were wishing it goes to
Japan. They can’t decide where money should go. What if your kid is in
some other country, and you send money to the school the kid goes to,
and the school decided to give these money to other kids because they
are poor even though your kid is in crisis and need money.

I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t donate money to other country, but
it doesn’t make sense that you don’t need to help Japan because Japan
is a wealthy country. They weren’t naturally wealthy, (look their
products, its all creativness) they made effort to be wealthy. They do
have rights to get donated. And you don’t have rights to stop people
to donate to Japan.

By the way, people in Japan don’t say “DONATE US”. They are not just
begging help or appealing. They are trying to stand up by themselves.
Is it too bad to help them?

Don’t get me wrong, donating to Africa is still good thing. If you
have money to give and you are willing to do it, go ahead. But I
disagree that money that supposed to go to Japan is taken for other
reasons.

Posted by micomico | Report as abusive

I think your article is generally well-written and you present a good point about the donation of money.
I found your “Update” however very small minded. The socks for Japan program is clearly not about a financial contribution (unlike the rest of your article) but about providing a gesture of support. The socks are really a token item of care, they are accompanied by letters from people all over the world, aiming to raise the spirits of those affected by the disaster, something that money quite often doesn’t achieve. I’m a big supporter of this cause and your off-hand and uninformed comment about it has dimished the credibility of the rest of your article in my mind.

Posted by smythe231612 | Report as abusive

After Sept. 11 attacks people were donating money left and right. Then someone in the news said the money donated was not going to help injured people of the attacks. So people stopped donating to the Red Cross. Red Cross was putting the first money received to higher needs first. That need was a town in the mid west that was hit by a tornado that no one saw on tv. Greater Los Angeles Red Cross Chapter is bankrupt (FACT). Number one source that uses funds is single house fires in efforts to support the families. JUST VOLUNTEER AND YOU WOULD KNOW.

Posted by Reds1 | Report as abusive

having worked for Reuters I find it confusing that this comment would be allowed ?
I will have to call old friends in Fleet Street ..

Posted by bpwaddell | Report as abusive

Don’t donate money to Japan

That said, it’s entirely possible that organizations like the Red Cross or Save the Children will find themselves with important and useful roles to play in Japan

. It’s also certain that they have important and useful roles to play elsewhere.

The damage to the GOOD name of Reuters is incalculable..

Posted by bpwaddell | Report as abusive

This article’s blend of callousness and intellectual muddle would not put me off giving to Japan. It does put me off having shares in Thomson Reuters. That’s not entirely logical is it? But the article offers proof in itself that money for Thomson Reuters is not always well spent. Should I get the same proof about how the Japanese Red Cross spend their money (I think this unlikely) I’ll leave it at the one emergency donation already made. It will however probably be important to give repeatedly to keep up the morale of aid workers and bereaved recipients. And there are indeed “culture of dependency” concerns to weigh up when giving to development charities but for many, the parable of the Good Samaritan has more to offer than all the learned commentaries.

Posted by cityfriend | Report as abusive

What an incredibly ignorant – and lazy – update to the original piece.

It is beyond comprehension that the writer can so casually dismiss the Socks for Japan initiative as “wasteful” (and use the reputed Reuters vehicle to do so) without actually taking the five minutes or so necessary to learn the following:

a) The ultimate objectives of the initiative, which include the offering of much-needed emotional support and encouragement to those who are no doubt experiencing severe psychological stress;

b) How socks are a more practical contribution than one might think, as many who fled the tsunami did so without their shoes on (FYI – people take their shoes off indoors in Japan… or is this something else the writer failed to research?);

c) How socks are often an overlooked item by those supplying emergency supplies and clothing; and,

d) How the initiative is not negatively impacting the local economy, fuel supplies, relief efforts or delegated manpower in the slightest.

Mr. Salmon, it took me less than 5 minutes to glean all that information above from the extremely well-organized Socks for Japan website, and another 5 or so to write this post. A total of 10 minutes for me to do your job better than you do.

Posted by ScottRP | Report as abusive

Did you really have to title your article “DON’T DONATE…” ?? How about, “SOMETHING TO CONSIDER BEFORE DONATING TO JAPAN” ??

Obviously, you had a hidden agenda to get readers’ attention, so that you could generate higher click-counts for Reuters.com and increase ad revenue.

Nice job Felix Tuna. Sometimes, it’s the “thought” that counts. Imagine yourself sitting in the ruins after a major quake and being homeless…while this little journalist with pretty glasses sits behind a computer on the other side of the world and writes an article like this. Other than your typing skills, what have YOU done to help?

Posted by Coji | Report as abusive

You’re entitled to your opinion, but after going out on such a limb to express something so radical, it’s pretty classless of you to brag about your astounding $400 donation to all good things in the world.

Posted by AshleyCarey | Report as abusive

I think Felix Salmon’s concern – we need to have someone to manage stock logistics and organize needs of affected people – is well managed in Japan.

We had Niigata earthquake and had recognized about this typical problem.

Why he gets so bothered about it, have no clue.

We need more people:

More people to move debris and ideas to move debris, logistics, managing stocks, and everything. More people not machines to care people. Docs are gathered from all over Japan, but too few for so many. Specialists for caring kids are too few. Equipments (incl. medics) for people are too few, so that people need more people to contact more. Not machines. To move people around, we need cash.

We need more medicines:

This is exactly what money is for – no one can have stockpiles of medicines beforehand without knowing which one each patient would need – as some pharma plants closed for earthquakes, we need more medicines that would match with patients’ bodies, etc. This is a pretty big issue in Japan for not only affected people, but also rest of Japanese residents. To manage all safely and effectively (reaching to where must be reached), we need more cash. Personally I think this will take much of cash donated.

We need more ideas:

Ideas like how to recover Fukushima and other places. This will demand not only industrial efforts to clean up, but also new approaches, new studies, everything from academics and labs.*

*today, there was a discussion to cover lands with chemicals that will (1) concrete lands (not pouring concrete on lands), (2) pick radioactive substances in making itself solid, (3) be able to get removed like a block of sheet from the land. So that, even still so small areas affected in Fukushima, people can use their lands safely again.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Universities have technologies and skills in collecting radioactive substances from the environment. Today Fukushima University made its announcement to have a tie with them. They have strong relationships with companies like Mitsubishi etc, so we may find something out of their efforts anytime soon.

To do just that, we need massive money.

All these are something Japan itself cannot afford waiting.

All cash we have won’t do anything much.

Oh, BTW. I am a strong supporter for Doctors without borders. And my life is deeply in medical practices.

And I don’t subscribe for Felix’s view.

Beyond 20,000 people, even they cannot voice today, I am super happy to help their love ones left. In every way possible.

Our factories are open for 24 hrs for people up North.

Where things are getting colder again.

South (aka West) Japan, Motojiro

Posted by Motojiro | Report as abusive

As a Japanese person, I am deeply saddened by this article. But instead of spending my time on arguing, I will go and buy food and the necessities to be sent to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

I have been financially supporting a woman in Bosnia and Herzegovina through an international NPO, and I will continue to do so while I will also financially and physically help those victims of the quake and tsunami in Japan.

When US had Hurricane Katrina and 911, how would American people have felt if some writer from a rich country like Japan had written an article “Don’t donate money to US”?

You have probably succeeded in getting many hits with the catchy title, and I guess that all matters to you.

I am, on the other hand, touched by many people who commented here. If you are outside Japan, there are only limited ways you can help those victims in Japan unless you are able to come here. But your financial support would be much appreciated. Most of the victims are humble fishing people. They are not wealthy people.

Here is one NPO that I trust – Second Harvest Japan. They are sending supplies from Tokyo to the Northern part of Japan, where many victims are still without electricity and enough food in cold winter and some of them are getting sick. As I am in Japan, I will send food and the necessities to them, but Second Harvest Japan accepts only monetary donations from people outside Japan as sending food from oversea would take time to go through custom.
If you are interested, please visit
http://www.2hj.org/index.php/news/send_u s_food_and_supplies/

Posted by TomokoFromTokyo | Report as abusive

As a Japanese person, I am deeply saddened by this article. But instead of spending my time on arguing, I will go and buy food and the necessities to be sent to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

I have been financially supporting a woman in Bosnia and Herzegovina through an international NPO, and I will continue to do so while I will also financially and physically help those victims of the quake and tsunami in Japan.

When US had Hurricane Katrina and 911, how would American people have felt if some writer from a rich country like Japan had written an article “Don’t donate money to US”?

You have probably succeeded in getting many hits with the catchy title, and I guess that all matters to you.

I am, on the other hand, touched by many people who commented here. If you are outside Japan, there are only limited ways you can help those victims in Japan unless you are able to come here. But your financial support would be much appreciated. Most of the victims are humble fishing people. They are not wealthy people.

Here is one NPO that I trust – Second Harvest Japan. They are sending supplies from Tokyo to the Northern part of Japan, where many victims are still without electricity and enough food in cold winter and some of them are getting sick. As I am in Japan, I will send food and the necessities to them, but Second Harvest Japan accepts only monetary donations from people outside Japan as sending food from oversea would take time to go through custom.
If you are interested, please visit
http://www.2hj.org/index.php/news/send_u s_food_and_supplies/

Posted by TomokoFromTokyo | Report as abusive

The title of this article might as well be “the disadvantages of donating to Japan”. It’s so biased and without any solid argument. You shouldn’t walk because you might slip on a banana peel right? How stupid is that?

Posted by bzintokyo | Report as abusive

You write:

“Japan is a wealthy country which is responding to the disaster, among other things, by printing hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of new money. Money is not the bottleneck here: if money is needed, Japan can raise it. ”

What makes a country rich in your definition? Take a look at this chart illustrated at the site below. There have been numerous articles written on this topic, even by Reuters economics analysts, but were you aware of that?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sov ereign_states_by_public_debt

Posted by kenhinok | Report as abusive

I am a Japanese living in the US.
While you actually had something to say about the donation system, you mislead and hurt many people by lack of research and unnecessarily offensive title line.

Let me tell you. Japan is not a wealthy country. It’s hard to believe that you don’t know that we are over 200% broke even before any of these disasters had happened.
Mr. Son of Softbank announced a donation of all his future earnings to the various relief organizations, on top of his personal donation of US$120 Million, and US$12 M as a company. Because he knows that the money is needed, and going to be needed for A LONG TIME. Since you are so interested in the donation system, perhaps you could write a follow up article about how his contribution is spent in supporting the country with a new added financial damage of over US$300 Billion. Mr. Son’s wonderfully generous donation still will not cover the huge area of the problems. WE. NEED. MORE. MONEY.

I have to admit that our government does not have good international communication skills. I know there are countries / groups that are willing to help but hasn’t happened because of this. We need to learn, no questions about that. But did we stop donating Haiti just because their government was corrupted?

I moved here 10 years ago thinking that the freedom of speech is a wonderful thing. After 10 years, I have leaned that the freedom of speech is a powerful and scary thing. You, as a journalist, has a gift and responsibilities to accurately convey messages to the others. I am hopeful that you will come back to write about this topic again. Only next time, please spend some time to research and focus on suggesting the most effective way to donate, which I believe your primary point of the discussion was. If you are skeptical, then just donate directly to where money is needed. It’s really easy to donate to Japan Red Cross, or any of the local organizations. It takes 5 minutes googling so I am not even going to repeat here.

To you, this disaster might be just a catchy topic to express your opinion towards donation systems, but in the real world, to the real people, this is only the beginning.

Posted by rebelliberal | Report as abusive

I am not allowed to comments that are offensive; so, I am not going to speak my mind.

Posted by hjfaklbsdfkas | Report as abusive

Mr. Salmon, were you always the smartest kid around or are you still trying hard to be one? I just donated to Japan and now you made me feel really silly. If a family member of yours (may God bless them all) were hospitalized, would you donate your pennies to MSF and not spend any on your own family, all for the greater good? By the way, did your smart preaches to us silly people help increase the number of visits to your blogs?

Posted by xhq_world | Report as abusive

Mr. Salmon’s clever headline is more self serving than I’m sure he will admit to, and does more harm than good. Sure, it attracts readers to his article, good for him, but does he realize how many people will look no farther than the first few sentences and get the wrong message? He will no doubt blame the ignorance of others instead of taking responsibility for misleading, sensationalism of his “journalism”. People are in dire need of help, Mr. Salmon, can you think of no better way to help than this?

Posted by davidhales | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Salmon,

My response below is directed towards your following comments:

“Update: Some bright spark has set up a “Socks for Japan” drive. I’m not making this up. I trust that none of my readers are silly enough to send socks to Japan, but this is a great indication of how wasteful a lot of well-intentioned giving can be.”

Although I strongly support everyone’s First Amendment right, it is unfortunate to hear such negative, uneducated and spiteful comments on a website such as Reuters. First, I am PROMINENT SUPPORTER of aid relief for Japan, specifically Socks for Japan. I’ve initiated a fundraiser to run for the next two weeks: we are specifically collecting newly purchased, unworn socks for the victims of the tsunami. Given the tone of your demeanor and general writing capabilities,it is without a doubt that you are a member of the privileged upper class. In fact, this may explain why you believe no monetary donations are necessary for Japan.

Let me try to explain something to you: there is a world of people out there who care for others in times of suffering. It doesn’t matter how much or how little they have: there is a global consciousness that compels people to help one another regardless of circumstances and unfortunately your narrow-minded, shelter upbringing prevents you from being part of this realization.

I have initiated a fundraiser in Fairfield,CT, USA with Socks for Japan and in fact, we have raised over 200 pairs for Jason Kelly and his organization. Moreover, we aren’t the only ones: there are thousands of individuals out there who care and are generously donating to Jason’s organization. I intend to run this fundraiser for weeks, and in fact, now your negative hateful words have inspired me to run it for even longer. I must say thank you: keep spreading your hatred and negativity as it will only compel people to do more good.

Now, you may ask: why socks? Japan doesn’t need socks! Japan doesn’t need money! Well, guess what Mr. Salmon: it doesn’t matter. People will want to help in times of suffering and disasters irregardless of those factors. It is unfortunate that you are not one of them, especially as it seems you are somewhat educated and could probably do a lot of good humanitarian work yourself.

My SOLE REASON for choosing socks was my lack of monetary funds with which to contribute. Let’s be real: this is the case for MANY AMERICANS RIGHT NOW and moreover, many individuals globally. Therefore, I set out to find a way to contribute non-monetary relief (i.e. clothing, shoes, socks, etc.) for the victims in Japan. Unfortunately, NO organizations contacted would accept non-monetary donations. I contacted the Red Cross, Save the Children, Americare, the Catholic Relief Services and the Fairfield County Japan Society: none of these organizations were willing to accept non-monetary relief. Feeling frustrated, I donated money to the CRS.

I took sometime to brain-storm, do research and ascertain a way in which I could help those overseas without digging into my bank account. When I finally found Mr. Kelly’s organization, it was an answer to my prayers. I was finally able to find away to help those without asking people to shell out money.

The response so far to my fundraiser has been overwhelming. Yes, it may be cheaper to purchase socks in China. However, there are several stores in my town closing and I was able to purchase bulk amounts at very cheap rates. Further, I do live in a very wealthy part of the United States and therefore, there are many people willing to donate to this cause and for which I feel especially fortunate.

If you really wanted to make a strong argument against non-monetary giving to Japan, you should have made an argument to focus more domestic relief. I am seriously surprised and disappointed by how weak, unsupported and uneducated your argument. Please do more research on your basic facts before ascertain an opinion as truth.

Mr. Salmon, I hope you can find it in your heart to re-think your negative position on aid relief for Japan. It is unfortunate that you choose to waste your intellect and energy on ending a global movement to help others. I will pray for your and for your strength to reconsider your positions.

With love and hope,

ffldsocksforjapan

Posted by socksforjapan | Report as abusive

This article is right. And it is wrong.

I agree with Mr. Salmon’s argument that, when making donations to charities, and all things being equal, our money should go to where the need is greatest.

However, for people like me who have a personal or professional connection to a community that has experienced a disaster, it is not a useful, or reasonable, argument to make.

It is akin to saying, “Don’t buy your child those shoes he needs, because a child in the Sudan needs them more.” Theoretically, that is no doubt true. But then…what?

So I will send money to Japan for tsunami and earthquake relief. And I will also send socks. I do believe that Jason Kelly’s “silly” project is a very small, but very welcome operation. His blog posts are amazing. http://www.jasonkelly.com

And no, I am not Jason Kelly

Posted by Buxtehude | Report as abusive

Pretty funny considering so many people are starving and having 2 rice balls a day.
USA helps the most on average but Japan helps the most PER CAPITA around the world!!
When disaster strikes USA Japan helps all the time, even one japanese man alone donated 3 million from his own pocket money durign the Katrina disaster.

It boggles my mind how selfish people are.

Posted by Lila988776 | Report as abusive

“Now, you may ask: why socks? Japan doesn’t need socks! Japan doesn’t need money! Well, guess what Mr. Salmon: it doesn’t matter.”

It’s like giving a lion bamboo and think you’re feeding it…

Anyhow good points in your article! Although I do agree that emotional donours is not utilising their money efficiently, it is usually better than if it wasn’t based on emotions as then they wouldn’t give anything. It’s strange how people like this can think they have a moral highground from the more pragmatic. (!)

For those of you who are somehow connected to Japan, as you are usually more enlightened about how the local communities work I can imagine your funding being far more effective. Helping a friend is better than helping a few strangers, so I fully understand why you would choose to donate to Japan, which I think is also the right and honourable thing to do. For the rest of the people that just gives mindlessly, however …

Posted by AugustinIV | Report as abusive

Who ever claimed that compassion must come in coins?

I donated to MSF in the wake of the earthquakes and floodings around the world and did not earmark the donation. I also donated to Shelter Box http://www.shelterbox.org/
And when I find the time, I also knit socks, jackets, hats etc. for children in emergency shelters, cancer wards and other refuge shelters. These things are a personal joy and active participation in the desire of millions of people who wish to help hands-on as well.
I find the thoughts expressed in the article “Don’t donate money to Japan” not very well reflected, thoughtless almost and certainly not compassionate, no matter whether the writer has a point with Japan being a rich nation, capable of helping herself.
The writer does not seem to realize that Fukushima affects us ALL.

Posted by laura-neu | Report as abusive

Japan indeed does not need our money. It is a wealthy nation that can raise Billions of dollars. But it does not mean helping them such as through donating isn’t needed. It’s like ” If you were a member of a platoon and saw your platoon leader get shot at the knee, you thought.. his a strong, muscular and determined leader he should be able to walk alone thus leaving him without any help”. Have you ever realise the scale of the tsunami that struck japan? the lives that it took? Also if you ever tried to live in japan you will know at first hand how friendly the people there are (ofcourse there are also bad people there). And base on my research, a big percentage of donaters donate because they love japan because of many complicated reasons. Also you talked about >>”In the specific case of Japan, there’s all the more reason not to donate money. Japan is a wealthy country which is responding to the disaster, among other things, by printing hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of new money. “

Posted by satou | Report as abusive

Japan indeed does not need our money. It is a wealthy nation that can raise Billions of dollars. But it does not mean helping them such as through donating isn’t needed. It’s like ” If you were a member of a platoon and saw your platoon leader get shot at the knee, you thought.. his a strong, muscular and determined leader he should be able to walk alone thus leaving him without any help”. Have you ever realise the scale of the tsunami that struck japan? the lives that it took? Also if you ever tried to live in japan you will know at first hand how friendly the people there are (ofcourse there are also bad people there). And base on my research, a big percentage of donaters donate because they love japan because of many complicated reasons. Also you talked about >>”In the specific case of Japan, there’s all the more reason not to donate money. Japan is a wealthy country which is responding to the disaster, among other things, by printing hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of new money. “

Posted by satou | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Salmon.

You can’t be serious.
There are no valid reasons not to send help anywhere
Take a minute to imagine your house, your entire neighborhood razed, gone.
You have lost everything and people far away decide that you are just another rich American.
I hope you can travel to Japan, Haiti, New Orleans, Thailand, and Alabama to see the pain and the need .
And give.
Bon Voyage.

Posted by unkaione | Report as abusive

I have transcribed this letter, in case the it did not show up in the mailbox.

Dear Dr.‭ Mr Salmon:

I appreciate your role in helping people make good financial decisions. I find most of the online posts to be well written, fascinating, and pragmatic entries designed with the consumer in mind.

But a recent post entitled “Don’t Donate To Japan” concerns me.You start by linking the current article to one you wrote in the past relating to the events in Haiti. The overall theme displayed from both articles seems to be that of practicality and reason.

I personally believe that the problem of charity-oriented funds being limited to Japan is a legitimate one. After all, there are countries that are far more impoverished and in need of financial resources than Japan. However, the scale of the destruction created by the earthquake and resulting tsunami should not be underestimated.

According to my research, this is the worst quake to hit Japan since the massive earthquake that occurred in Kanto eighty-eight years ago. At a catastrophic magnitude of around nine, thousands of people stood and watched as the tsunami created by the current quake washed away their food, their homes, and their overall way of life.

There are around 150,000 people that remain living in evacuation shelters, many of whom lack running water and electricity. Eric Ounnes, the general director for MSF Japan, states that there have been “cases of hypothermia, serious dehydration and respiratory diseases in some of the shelters.”

In addition to these difficult circumstances, the flooding of a nuclear power plant in Fukushima has been generating a dangerous leak in radiation. The International Nuclear Event Scale identifies this calamity as the worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

While it is true that Japan is a wealthy country, the amount of monetary resources a country has does not fully negate the physical or psychological toll inflicted on an individual. Though I concede that your emphasis on unrestricted funds is a good thing, the manner in which you disclose that information is disappointing. My fear is that some people will take your posts out of context and not donate to a charitable organization, thinking their contributions are in vain. I agree with you on the point that “philanthropy theatre” exists in the media.

That being said, I believe that the tonality demonstrated in some of your articles come across to readers as disconnected and insensitive.

You criticized an individual for encouraging people to donate socks and letters to Japan, dismissing the action as silly. Is purchasing new, carefully manufactured socks and shipping it to a “Sock drive” for Japan misguided and impractical? I think so.

However, it is my opinion that a person who wants to make a difference in the lives of struggling victims during this crisis should be the object of respect, and not ridicule.

Furthermore, it would be good of you to suggest other ways to help citizens of Japan besides the use of financial donations. To indirectly send a message of hopelessness and despair might discourage people from wanting to reach out.

My final point is this, that the controversial headline you chose within a limited time-frame should have had some minor revisions to it. “Don’t Restrict Funds To Japan” seems like a better headline for making your point accurately without losing the importance of your overall message.

Many online commentators respond with a highly emotional and gut-level response, making it harder for your real intent to come forth.

The truth is that you aren’t discouraging charitable giving, but the practice of earmarking such donations to the wealthiest country behind the United States and China. I have a few ideas related to this situation. I think that you should write a blog post on why it is important that other countries that need it should not have money misdirected by high profile, media-hyped natural disasters.

It would also be optimal if you would post a link to a well written opposing viewpoint to allow for a substantive debate of ideas. While I admit this is a rather lengthy passage on my part, I want to compliment you for seeing a bigger picture here.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read and analyze my letter.

Sincerely,

John Alston

Posted by JAlston | Report as abusive

Felix, please visit the http://www.socksforjapan.com website and you will see what good people can do for each other.

I have followed the account of each visit to cities that are completely gone, the visits to people that lost their families, children that are orphans and people that still living in shelters or in their cars waiting for the funds to find their way to them.

The photographs are haunting as you see close-up the devastation that will take years, years to recover. The personal stories from the people…the photographs of the reality-up close that I have yet to see in any other news story.

I cry every time I read his stories and see the faces of the people that lost so much, including hope. The humble boy who asked if he could sit next to their van with his head bowed and said that he wouldn’t cause any trouble. When asked about his family, he cried because they were all gone.

The sad woman who took her socks back to her mat in the shelter and read every word of the care letter from an unknown friend who thought it was important to send socks and kind words of hope and support.

Socksforjapan has reached out to individuals on a human level with a smile of encouragement and bringing messages of kindness and support from around the world.

You or Reuters should nominate socksforjapan for a Pulitzer prize, it is by far the best account of what is happening to the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami.

Posted by globalamerican | Report as abusive

O Felix, I suspect you haven’t even looked at the aforementioned site, or you would have no doubt noticed the ‘bright spark’ you mention is bestselling author and financial analyst Jason Kelly. Given your history, perhaps your reason for singling him out lies in ‘sour grapes’, but I do thank you for pointing out his moving portrayal of the issues facing Northern Japan right now.

Posted by TechCrunch | Report as abusive

Well. I just got an email from my college friend in Tokyo, a Japanese national. He recently mailed a box of artists supplies that I mailed there prior to my painting trip that was scheduled to start 2 weeks after the disaster. We cancelled as our destination was 80 km from Fukushima. My friend paid for my box to be returned to me. When I tried to find a way to compensate him, he only asked that I make a donation of any amount to the people in Japan who have lost everything, including their homes and many loved ones. Everyone thinks Japan does not matter like Haiti. Well folks, it does! I am sending my contribution to
http://www.pref.ibaraki.jp/bukyoku/seika n/kokuko/en/data/donate.pdf. Thank you to my friend for showing me Japanese selflessness and charity at this time of disaster for all Japanese people.

Posted by tzjcomet | Report as abusive

According to USGS, the Great Tohoku Earthquake (northeast Honshu, Japan) of March 11, 2011 was
Magnitude 9.0.

I quote:
“The March 11, 2011 earthquake was an infrequent catastrophe. It far surpassed other earthquakes in the southern Japan Trench of the 20th century, none of which attained M8. A predecessor may have occurred on July 13, 869, when the Sendai area was swept by a large tsunami that Japanese scientists have identified from written records and a sand sheet.”

Yes, that’s right… look at that date one more time
-> AD 869. (over 1000 years ago).

We all know there are many Japanese people who do need our help. It is up to everyone to figure out the best way to do as much as each one of us can.

Some are contributing skills rather than money. Some are contributing money. Some are contributing material and physical goods.

What none of us should be doing is standing high-handedly surveying the devastation and telling people not to donate.

The selflessness of the Japanese people is a beacon of light and love for all people. Nowhere has there been looting, everywhere the people are pulling together.

Why do some people, like the person who wrote this article, solicit controversy in the wake of disaster simply for the sake of it when there is much to be done in Japan – and elsewhere – to alleviate poverty following catastrophes of this magnitude?

Posted by AmandaRisi | Report as abusive

I know you mean well by this article, but to say “Japan is a wealthy country which is responding to the disaster, among other things, by printing hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of new money. Money is not the bottleneck here: if money is needed, Japan can raise it.” just shows your lack of knowledge on the situation.
I was just up in the disaster zone documenting the real, on-the-ground volunteers who’ve given up their lives and careers to help the tsunami victims. And the stories they’ve told me contrast greatly with what you’ve written. A former hair-stylist now working as a volunteer setting up temporary housing for those who have lost everything told me, “We only have enough money to keep things going up here for two more months… people forget so fast what happened up here. Memories fade, but these people’s lives are changed forever.”
You, my friend, must do some real research before you discourage people from giving aid to those who need it… believe me, they need it. I was there.

Posted by MasaRider | Report as abusive

I concur with MasaRider’s statement. After having seen first-hand how terrible the destruction and hopelessness of Ishinomaki and the surrounding area, this article appears extremely biased and without proper research. The Nihonjin living in the damage-stricken region are falling into despair as the vast majority of donations and volunteers have significantly curtailed steadily over the past couple months. The few on-site volunteers reassure the Nihonjin almost constantly that “We haven’t forgotten about you. See! Even these Americans are here to help! We haven’t forgotten!” While in reality, an immense number of people HAVE forgotten and the region is hanging on by the remaining group of volunteers around the globe. As several comments have already explained, the Socks for Japan cause is driven nearly entirely by that motive: To remind these poor Nihonjin that somewhere out there a group of people still remember. My family has started doing fundraisers and getting the school and neighborhood to help after seeing these tragedies and it’s amazing how many of these people thought the area had already rebounded. I blame the media a great deal for this. People NEED to know that Tohoku still needs a tremendous amount of help and an updated article to replace this one would be a great way to kick off the revival.

Thank you

Posted by LastTimeLord | Report as abusive

I have nothing against donating to Japan and I do not know what is the best way to do that.

But, I have seen the Red Cross in action where
I live – Louisiana – after Katrina. I will never give to the Red Cross.

The Red Cross is a bunch of Yuppies who set up
some tables in the Community Center in the small town I live in – and started passing out
money.

Problem was, all you had to do was show up with picture ID – and you got free money.
I saw a local millionaire in the line. He collected several hundred dollars just for showing up. Most of the people who the Red Cross paid had no damage, they just showed up.

These Yuppies are too lazy to get out in the community and find out who the Really Needy are.

If you want to donate – Give to the Salvation
Army. It ain’t lazy yuppies. The Salvation Army is Street Level and knows what they are doing. They get help to the truly needy.

Posted by redou | Report as abusive

If you want to donate to one charity over another, that’s fine and good on you. But how dare you tell people not to donate to certain organisations?
Japan is a better country than America in so many ways. The people of Japan deserve and need how help, and our money. And I hope one day, when disaster strikes you, that people will refuse to give money to the charities that would get to you first. Then you would be able to feel how the people in Japan feel even now, months after the tsunami.

Posted by ImperfectPeta | Report as abusive

man,dude,your article was the most ‘USELESS’ one i’ve ever saw…SERIOUSLY?!?!?! im not japanese but i like japan and it’s cult. and i think you are sooooo veeeerrryyyyy ignorant,japan is maybe rich but they still need help,they helped other countries and the countries doesnt help them back,HONESTLY, that is sooooo immature of you to be this heartless,you really decieve me,i think the next thing that will hurt\kill some japaneses people here is YOU,you know what?!?!? i dont think that people like you will be really usefull in the world -.-” i think the japanese people are the NICEST ones on this world,they have a BRAIN and a HEART!!!! and you,you dont have those -_-” they need help too,they even need MORE help cause when everything will be fine,they will be able to help too,and they WORKED HARD to be rich,they didnt wait to get money from other people like the others,they WORKED!!!!and when they’ll be fine,they will help others. did THIS entered in your goddamn little useless brain?!?!? =_=” seriously your article was useless that it pissed me off =.=”

Posted by nekooo | Report as abusive

When Hurricane Katrina happend, Japan donated a total of $13 million dollars to us. So far, America has only donated $6.25million to them. Please donate money to Japan! They were there for us when we needed them!

Posted by edcovington | Report as abusive

Wow…what a backlash. I can’t agree with that over-the-top opposition. The letter from John Alston was well-put, and I share his feeling. I also agree to some extent with MasaRider and LastTimeLord.

I’m an American living and working in Kesennuma (Miyagi Prefecture) through the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program (JET Program). Last month, I was finally able to move back into my apartment (which had been partially destroyed by the tsunami), but my neighborhood (Minatomachi–”Port Town”) is still a bunch of rubble and debris. Thankfully, some companies have built up temporary gravel roads so that when the area floods twice a day, we can still commute, but it’s like wondering trough some apocalyptic zombie movie set every day. These places used to be peoples homes, businesses, schools, community centers, etc, but they *remain* rubble even now. People are still living in the gymnasiums of my schools because there’s not enough temporary housing.

So…
Tohoku (the north-eastern part of Japan) still needs a lot of help. Money, however, may or may not be the answer.

I agree with you, F.Salmon, that if your readers don’t know what they’re donating to/for (like some vague “we don’t know yet, but we’ll find something” organization) they should do more research or should find an organization with a clear plan for gathering and distributing globally like Red Cross (an organization which has been amazing here after the disasters).

However, if it’s possible to find a smaller organization that’s directly connected to areas in need, a monetary donation would be extremely helpful! Take these organizations, for instance:

** volunteerAkita’s Fruit Tree Project ( http://volunteerakita.org ) – They’ve branched out now in order to respond to the current needs here, but I’ve seen and participated in their fruit tree “banana drops” at Kesennuma shelters. It’s shocking how much those bananas meant to the people living in shelters in my city… (The people in the volunteerAkita group also volunteer for clean-up and other things in affected areas.)

** Smile Kids Japan in conjunction with Living Dreams ( http://www.smilekidsjapan.org , http://livingdreams.jp/main ) – This is an organization providing direct and long-term support to orphanages affected by the March disasters. The Taylor Anderson Fund is also connected to Smile Kids Japan and Living Dreams. (Taylor was a Miyagi JET who died in the tsunami.)

** The Taylor Anderson ’04 Memorial Gift Fund ( http://www.st.catherines.org/taylorander son ) – This organization is helping to support the orphanage in Kesennuma (orphanage closest to Taylor’s J-town, Ishinomaki) through Smile Kids Japan as well as Living Dreams.

Aside from money, what disaster areas really need is manpower. We need companies and workers to come in and physically clear away debris and rebuild. Unfortunately, time and manpower (not to mention equipment and materials) aren’t things readily available–especially when those people and companies can’t afford to suspend their normal work/business to “donate” their time, material, and equipment.

And…
That brings us back to needing money.
So if you can’t volunteer your time or connections for rebuilding, please donate to a group who can. If you don’t specifically know a group who can do something physically, donate to a global organization who will continue to help all areas in need of help.

(And if you want to give socks, douzo. We don’t need them now, but right after the tsunami, most of us were longing for a nice, clean pair of socks–especially after wading through mud and snow–so thanks for that, Socks for Japan. :)

Posted by green_gecko | Report as abusive

This just simply upsets me. How in the world would someone say such nonsense.HAVE YOU BEEN TO JAPAN Mr,Salmon if so you would see why The U.S donated the money and besides if they didn’t the U.S would look like a total ass.

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Posted by carl.gregory16 | Report as abusive

i hate your guts. i wouldnt mind if the japanese came and got you. i am a korean living in the us. our country has a rivary with japan, but that didn’t stop me from helping them recover. you piss me off. i hate your damn guts

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Posted by MizanHassan | Report as abusive

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Besides some other diseases are recovered.
I hope that, the medicine made by me will act as vital role for dangerous diseases like Cancer. But matter of fact that as there is no rich laboratory I can’t work well. Under this circumstance, , I hope that the medicine which I made you will research at your laboratory and make the medicine for the welfare of the human being. I’ll always help you when you need. If you want I’ll deliver to you the medicine that I made Via VP or Parcel. If you want I will meet to you directly. In that case you have to bear the cost because Bangladesh is a poor country. If anyone wanna go To you my expect that either I can come or not to you please the medicine I made deliver it to the Patients of World wide so that peoples can come round of those diseases. If you want the sample of the medicine I will send it.

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Posted by azaharsarker | Report as abusive

Don’t donate? Are you saying we didn’t need help in Katrina? Not everybody can up and leave the country to go physically help, so where are we then? Oh yes them printing billion and billions of dollars to help them after this distasters hurts everyone you dumb ass. Considering they are walstreet 2 of this world when they print more money, it affects the global economy. Oh but your a reporter so your opinion must be right. I feel like you’re an idiot who needs to be better informed for a reporter. Not juts posting other articles in your article… SO YES DON’T GIVE MONEY, HELP HURT THE GLOBAL ECONOMY GOOD POINT SIR! (dont get me wrong this comment is coming quite late but w/e)

Posted by Tmartin1147 | Report as abusive

Don’t donate? Are you saying we didn’t need help in Katrina? Not everybody can up and leave the country to go physically help, so where are we then? Oh yes them printing billion and billions of dollars to help them after this distasters hurts everyone you dumb ass. Considering they are walstreet 2 of this world when they print more money, it affects the global economy. Oh but your a reporter so your opinion must be right. I feel like you’re an idiot who needs to be better informed for a reporter. Not juts posting other articles in your article… SO YES DON’T GIVE MONEY, HELP HURT THE GLOBAL ECONOMY GOOD POINT SIR! (dont get me wrong this comment is coming quite late but w/e)

Posted by Tmartin1147 | Report as abusive

By the way the poeple who are saying we are wrong for arguing with Felix article are just as closed minded… your stuck on that one view and not looking at it from ours. Yes donating to any government is risky but in the past is has also been risky to donate to NGO’s. Why cant the money by the helicopter someone was stalking about in their comment? Serisouly people yes there people in need all the time, but they didnt just experience and earthquake of that magnitude, they dont have a radiation problem.

Posted by Tmartin1147 | Report as abusive

You can donate or help anyone you think really needs the money, there are many poor people who needs some guidance to be more successful in life.

Posted by jimi898 | Report as abusive

hello
I am from Macedonia Nikola Pismanovski I need financial
help
I MUST to pay five thousand euro
for my house unless you pay will stay on the street
please help
this is my phone number 38976874301
please contact me

Name of Beneficiary; PISHMANOVSKI NIKOLA
Beneficiary addres; PANDE ILKOVSKI 21 BITOLA R.MACEDONIA

IBAN; / MK07380672610504283

Bank of beneficiaru; ProCredit Bank, Macedonia
SWIFT; PRBUMK22XXX

Posted by pikiboy | Report as abusive

PLIS HELP

Posted by pikiboy | Report as abusive

Also, buy superior quality, manufactured goods from Japan instead of cheaper, inferior goods from elsewhere. It benefits both parties.

Posted by davidhales | Report as abusive

NEED MONEY FOR WIFE’S OPERATION
HELLO SIR,
PURUSHOTTULA ANAND KUMAR WORKING AS MECHANICAL
SUPERVISOR IN MANIHAMSA POWER PROJECTS LIMITED ON CONTRACT BASIS. .MY
WAGES ARE RS 8000 INR PER MONTH , I AM VERY POOR FAMILY PERSON ,MY
TOTAL SALARY IS SPENT ON MY WIFE ‘S MEDICAL PURPOSE AND ALSO
MAINTAINED FAMILY. MY WIFE HEALTH POSITION IS VERY CRITICAL BUT I
DON’T HAVE 5 LACKS RUPEES .DOCTOR’S TOLD THAT 3 MONTHS TIME IS GIVE
FOR DOING THE OPERATION .
I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING THIS IS A REALLY TRUE OR ANY FAKE?
I WILL SUBMITTING MY WIFE’S ALL REPORTS AND ESTIMATION COST OF
OPERATION BILLS, AND MEDICAL BILLS ,. PLEASE TRUST ME . I NEED
FINANCIAL HELP .. IF ANY QUIRES REGARDING MY EMAIL PLEASE CONTACT MY
PHONE NUMBER IS +918895359647
( problem : spleen lever is growing more so doing the operation and
remove the spleen lever and add stunts.)this is major operation
PLEASE KINDLY SAVE ME MY WIFE I CAN’T SURVIVE WITH OUT MY WIFE THIS
MY REQUEST PLEASE HELP ME AND SAVE ME………………

MY CONTACT EMAIL : anandkumar4316@hotmail.com

Posted by p.anandkumar | Report as abusive

NEED MONEY FOR WIFE’S OPERATION
HELLO SIR,
PURUSHOTTULA ANAND KUMAR WORKING AS MECHANICAL
SUPERVISOR IN MANIHAMSA POWER PROJECTS LIMITED ON CONTRACT BASIS. .MY
WAGES ARE RS 8000 INR PER MONTH , I AM VERY POOR FAMILY PERSON ,MY
TOTAL SALARY IS SPENT ON MY WIFE ‘S MEDICAL PURPOSE AND ALSO
MAINTAINED FAMILY. MY WIFE HEALTH POSITION IS VERY CRITICAL BUT I
DON’T HAVE 5 LACKS RUPEES .DOCTOR’S TOLD THAT 3 MONTHS TIME IS GIVE
FOR DOING THE OPERATION .
I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING THIS IS A REALLY TRUE OR ANY FAKE?
I WILL SUBMITTING MY WIFE’S ALL REPORTS AND ESTIMATION COST OF
OPERATION BILLS, AND MEDICAL BILLS ,. PLEASE TRUST ME . I NEED
FINANCIAL HELP .. IF ANY QUIRES REGARDING MY EMAIL PLEASE CONTACT MY
PHONE NUMBER IS +918895359647
( problem : spleen lever is growing more so doing the operation and
remove the spleen lever and add stunts.)this is major operation
PLEASE KINDLY SAVE ME MY WIFE I CAN’T SURVIVE WITH OUT MY WIFE THIS
MY REQUEST PLEASE HELP ME AND SAVE ME………………

MY CONTACT EMAIL : anandkumar4316@hotmail.com

Posted by p.anandkumar | Report as abusive

NEED MONEY FOR WIFE’S OPERATION
HELLO SIR,
PURUSHOTTULA ANAND KUMAR WORKING AS MECHANICAL
SUPERVISOR IN MANIHAMSA POWER PROJECTS LIMITED ON CONTRACT BASIS. .MY
WAGES ARE RS 8000 INR PER MONTH , I AM VERY POOR FAMILY PERSON ,MY
TOTAL SALARY IS SPENT ON MY WIFE ‘S MEDICAL PURPOSE AND ALSO
MAINTAINED FAMILY. MY WIFE HEALTH POSITION IS VERY CRITICAL BUT I
DON’T HAVE 5 LACKS RUPEES .DOCTOR’S TOLD THAT 3 MONTHS TIME IS GIVE
FOR DOING THE OPERATION .
I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING THIS IS A REALLY TRUE OR ANY FAKE?
I WILL SUBMITTING MY WIFE’S ALL REPORTS AND ESTIMATION COST OF
OPERATION BILLS, AND MEDICAL BILLS ,. PLEASE TRUST ME . I NEED
FINANCIAL HELP .. IF ANY QUIRES REGARDING MY EMAIL PLEASE CONTACT MY
PHONE NUMBER IS +918895359647
( problem : spleen lever is growing more so doing the operation and
remove the spleen lever and add stunts.)this is major operation
PLEASE KINDLY SAVE ME MY WIFE I CAN’T SURVIVE WITH OUT MY WIFE THIS
MY REQUEST PLEASE HELP ME AND SAVE ME………………

MY CONTACT EMAIL : anandkumar4316@hotmail.com

Posted by p.anandkumar | Report as abusive

NEED MONEY FOR WIFE’S OPERATION
HELLO SIR,
PURUSHOTTULA ANAND KUMAR WORKING AS MECHANICAL
SUPERVISOR IN MANIHAMSA POWER PROJECTS LIMITED ON CONTRACT BASIS. .MY
WAGES ARE RS 8000 INR PER MONTH , I AM VERY POOR FAMILY PERSON ,MY
TOTAL SALARY IS SPENT ON MY WIFE ‘S MEDICAL PURPOSE AND ALSO
MAINTAINED FAMILY. MY WIFE HEALTH POSITION IS VERY CRITICAL BUT I
DON’T HAVE 5 LACKS RUPEES .DOCTOR’S TOLD THAT 3 MONTHS TIME IS GIVE
FOR DOING THE OPERATION .
I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING THIS IS A REALLY TRUE OR ANY FAKE?
I WILL SUBMITTING MY WIFE’S ALL REPORTS AND ESTIMATION COST OF
OPERATION BILLS, AND MEDICAL BILLS ,. PLEASE TRUST ME . I NEED
FINANCIAL HELP .. IF ANY QUIRES REGARDING MY EMAIL PLEASE CONTACT MY
PHONE NUMBER IS +918895359647
( problem : spleen lever is growing more so doing the operation and
remove the spleen lever and add stunts.)this is major operation
PLEASE KINDLY SAVE ME MY WIFE I CAN’T SURVIVE WITH OUT MY WIFE THIS
MY REQUEST PLEASE HELP ME AND SAVE ME………………

MY CONTACT EMAIL : anandkumar4316@hotmail.com

Posted by p.anandkumar | Report as abusive

NEED MONEY FOR WIFE’S OPERATION
HELLO SIR,
PURUSHOTTULA ANAND KUMAR WORKING AS MECHANICAL
SUPERVISOR IN MANIHAMSA POWER PROJECTS LIMITED ON CONTRACT BASIS. .MY
WAGES ARE RS 8000 INR PER MONTH , I AM VERY POOR FAMILY PERSON ,MY
TOTAL SALARY IS SPENT ON MY WIFE ‘S MEDICAL PURPOSE AND ALSO
MAINTAINED FAMILY. MY WIFE HEALTH POSITION IS VERY CRITICAL BUT I
DON’T HAVE 5 LACKS RUPEES .DOCTOR’S TOLD THAT 3 MONTHS TIME IS GIVE
FOR DOING THE OPERATION .
I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING THIS IS A REALLY TRUE OR ANY FAKE?
I WILL SUBMITTING MY WIFE’S ALL REPORTS AND ESTIMATION COST OF
OPERATION BILLS, AND MEDICAL BILLS ,. PLEASE TRUST ME . I NEED
FINANCIAL HELP .. IF ANY QUIRES REGARDING MY EMAIL PLEASE CONTACT MY
PHONE NUMBER IS +918895359647
( problem : spleen lever is growing more so doing the operation and
remove the spleen lever and add stunts.)this is major operation
PLEASE KINDLY SAVE ME MY WIFE I CAN’T SURVIVE WITH OUT MY WIFE THIS
MY REQUEST PLEASE HELP ME AND SAVE ME………………

MY CONTACT EMAIL : anandkumar4316@hotmail.com

Posted by p.anandkumar | Report as abusive

Scream of a stranded family

I had a brilliant college student stranded. I’ve studied on Accounting Issues. I’d like to read ca. I have a good job with the passing of ca. CA had the opportunity to read, but the money needed for reading my family has ($5000) of that money. ‘ve Spent quite a hardship in the lives of students leaving the past. Only extra-time job and private tuitions to pay back the money by himself and his family came to this. We are two brothers and two sisters. Father did not have parents. And she needs better treatment Asusha him. My younger sister is studying in the Computer Science subject’s eyes suddenly a problem has arisen. Doctor says its better to treatment. The younger brother of the bones of disease cancer Aaffected. Everyone fairly offer cooperation treatment. The doctor said it would be a long-term treatment. The younger sister of the technical college studies. I have all the family. The whole family is depending on me. I think the problem is that the earth and all the dangers of this family. Everyone needs emergency treatment. Lack of funds can not be treated. What is the earth that man has no self goodheart ? For a little money to Risky Families in this sector.

This extreme danger capacity argue to protect my family. You’ve come to the aid. If people are to people. Of course this is an extreme danger if it is true, I will help by donate me money. If you give me at least one coin in the penetrate much for me. Now that’s no way to collect the money needed urgent not signs. Disturabance in the goverment found the right way do it again. Eager to apply all of you. Sector behind me money if my family will benefit too. Let me wish all of you the money behind a sector. I can not wait to jump on this earth is related to the family….

Thanksgiving
Wretched Beings
Contact Address ;—
helplessbeing@yahoo.com

Posted by WRETCHD | Report as abusive

Scream of a stranded family

I had a brilliant college student stranded. I’ve studied on Accounting Issues. I’d like to read ca. I have a good job with the passing of ca. CA had the opportunity to read, but the money needed for reading my family has ($5000) of that money. ‘ve Spent quite a hardship in the lives of students leaving the past. Only extra-time job and private tuitions to pay back the money by himself and his family came to this. We are two brothers and two sisters. Father did not have parents. And she needs better treatment Asusha him. My younger sister is studying in the Computer Science subject’s eyes suddenly a problem has arisen. Doctor says its better to treatment. The younger brother of the bones of disease cancer Aaffected. Everyone fairly offer cooperation treatment. The doctor said it would be a long-term treatment. The younger sister of the technical college studies. I have all the family. The whole family is depending on me. I think the problem is that the earth and all the dangers of this family. Everyone needs emergency treatment. Lack of funds can not be treated. What is the earth that man has no self goodheart ? For a little money to Risky Families in this sector.

This extreme danger capacity argue to protect my family. You’ve come to the aid. If people are to people. Of course this is an extreme danger if it is true, I will help by donate me money. If you give me at least one coin in the penetrate much for me. Now that’s no way to collect the money needed urgent not signs. Disturabance in the goverment found the right way do it again. Eager to apply all of you. Sector behind me money if my family will benefit too. Let me wish all of you the money behind a sector. I can not wait to jump on this earth is related to the family….

Thanksgiving
Wretched Beings
Contact Address ;—
helplessbeing@yahoo.com

Posted by WRETCHD | Report as abusive

Scream of a stranded family

I had a brilliant college student stranded. I’ve studied on Accounting Issues. I’d like to read ca. I have a good job with the passing of ca. CA had the opportunity to read, but the money needed for reading my family has ($5000) of that money. ‘ve Spent quite a hardship in the lives of students leaving the past. Only extra-time job and private tuitions to pay back the money by himself and his family came to this. We are two brothers and two sisters. Father did not have parents. And she needs better treatment Asusha him. My younger sister is studying in the Computer Science subject’s eyes suddenly a problem has arisen. Doctor says its better to treatment. The younger brother of the bones of disease cancer Aaffected. Everyone fairly offer cooperation treatment. The doctor said it would be a long-term treatment. The younger sister of the technical college studies. I have all the family. The whole family is depending on me. I think the problem is that the earth and all the dangers of this family. Everyone needs emergency treatment. Lack of funds can not be treated. What is the earth that man has no self goodheart ? For a little money to Risky Families in this sector.

This extreme danger capacity argue to protect my family. You’ve come to the aid. If people are to people. Of course this is an extreme danger if it is true, I will help by donate me money. If you give me at least one coin in the penetrate much for me. Now that’s no way to collect the money needed urgent not signs. Disturabance in the goverment found the right way do it again. Eager to apply all of you. Sector behind me money if my family will benefit too. Let me wish all of you the money behind a sector. I can not wait to jump on this earth is related to the family….

Thanksgiving
Wretched Beings
Contact Address ;—
helplessbeing@yahoo.com

Posted by WRETCHD | Report as abusive

Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

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This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

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