Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1998: Re: Subsidizing Other Countries
Re: Subsidizing Other Countries
Tue, 29 Sep 1998 12:58:24 -0500
Cheryl Singhal wrote on Tuesday, September 29, 1998 9:49 AM:
> While I share part of your concern, I do feel compelled to mention that
> few other countries come anywhere near our per capita income.
I don't disagree that our average per capita income exceeds that of most
countries. That wasn't the point I was trying to make. Very few people are
actually average, so while average figures are convenient, they aren't
> Wealthy is a relative concept. A Scout in India, for instance, whose
> college-graduate parents earn a combined USDollar-equivalent of $30,000 a
> year is wealthy by *local* Indian standards but not by US standards. (US
> standards make this a "comfortable" family, not a wealthy one. ..the same
> family could well be earning $80,000 in the US.)
> Thus, even a "wealthy" Scout from India generally will be poorer than the
> "average" Scout from the US at any given Jamboree.
I don't necessarily disagree with this either, but I submit that the average
US Scout at any given jamboree will be much more well off than the average
US Scout. The unintended consequences of having our fees subsidize other
countries is that poor inner city kids from single parent homes in my
are unable to afford to attend, while those from the affluent suburbs in the
district pay without batting an eye.
> It does no one much good for the US Scouts to go to France or Brazil to a
> Jamboree if the only other folks who can afford to be there are more
I don't disagree with this either, but I don't believe the current funding
the fairest way to accomplish that goal. I wouldn't be surprised if a large
percentage of the attendees from India, Pakistan, etc. are the sons of
wealthy families. Does any country actually distribute the subsidy to the
youth that need it the most, or is it shared equally?
> Yes, it smacks of paternalism and Nobless Oblige for the US to pay more
> to enable other Scouts to participate. Be grateful you've got it to
> share and try not to rub it in.
I am grateful for what I have and I resent the implication of rubbing anyone
else's nose in anything. My only point is that if we are going to offer
reduced rates to World Jamborees, then there should be a needs test, so that
subsidized rates are given to the truly needy, no matter what country they