At least 80,000 people have lost their lives in the aftermath of the Tsunamis that struck East Africa and South Asia, and the world has rallied to their aid. Not surprisingly, Americans are leading the effort, and I am not talking about the U.S. Government (although the U.S. Government is as usual at the forefront). I am talking about your neighbors and mine.
If you want to get a glimpse of their generosity, go check out the Red Cross support occurring at Amazon.com. At the time of this posting more than $3.4 million has been donated to aid the disaster victims. This has happened in a little more than 24 hours, and I have a prediction that when all is said and done the American people will be second only to the U.S. government in monetary contributions.
There is a lesson to be learned here. Human nature dictates that people reach out and help one another in a time of crisis. People respond directly in ways that make a difference. They look for means that are both efficient and accountable. This is the exact opposite of what we find in government programs. Think about what is happening on Amazon.com today the next time you hear a government official claim the need to increase taxes to deal with social issues.