Presidential Options

(a.k.a. more multichoice questions)

You are the President of the USA. Imagine that scenario. You may be the first of your kind (Black/Indian/Asian/Australian/Woman/twentysomething – now wouldn’t that be a combination…… i may digress.), and you want to make an impression, so that you will be remembered for all time.

You decide to go on a spending spree, spending $300 billion over 4 years. Three Hundred Billion US Dollars. You:

a) Wipe out poverty, worldwide.
b) Pour money into research to cure HIV/AIDS, and as a follow up trick, most other major diseases known to man
c) Send astronauts to Mars & the Moon. Twice. For laughs.
d) Rid the world of nuclear weapons
e) Give every man, woman and child in the USA $1000 each.
f) Give every member of humanity $50 each.
g) Catch Osama bin Laden, or at the very least set that as a bounty on his head.
h) Free a mid-sized Arab country from the rusty grip of a delusional, harmless despot.

Hmmm.

12 Replies to “Presidential Options”

  1. the economy works on debt and that needs to be repaid one day…watch them go “oh f*ck!” when that happens.

    apparently congress is the place where all the money get distributed, even bill clinton, try as he might, couldnt get a lot of money through for aid. you know how tight the americans are when it comes to their own money

  2. Unless I’m mistaken, you’d have a hard time giving every US citizen $1 billion unless you had about $296 quadrillion. At a population of about 296 million people, you could give them about $12,000 each over 4 years.

    Other than that, and I assume this is relating to how much has been spent on the war on Iraq/terror over the past few years, I’m not sure whether I’d choose rapid expansion into space (because it gives me a job and also it’s cool), wipe out poverty (though good luck doing that when most money given to poorer nations doesn’t reach the poorest people anyway) or setting up an effective public healthcare system and FIXING the existing public education system. If there was money left over, setting up a HECS-like system for tertiary education as well. In short, I’d make America more like Australia.

  3. You guys have got it all wrong, you’re being REALISTIC. If you wanted to get one of those things done, then you would get it done – none of them are impossible if you remove all present constraints.

    Assuming I could do any of them, I’d definately take the poverty one because it seems to have the most positive impact on the world as a whole.

  4. But isn’t poverty partly a state of mind? Well at least being poor is. You can give some people a whole heap of money and they’ll blow it all on something or another and end up poor again. Rich people have the ambition to make wealth, poor people don’t. So while you can give “disadvantaged” people a hand, some will still end up poor.
    Plus there are the corrupt leaders who make their people poor (i.e. Zimbabwe) What can you do about Mugabe? Invade and overthrow him like you did Sadaam? Sorry! No oil there!

  5. Poverty is not a state of mind. Being poor through waste may be based on what you mention, but abject poverty, caused by having no opportunity to get ahead is an entirely seperate issue. Through the establishment of infrastructure – clean running water, electricity, health services, education, roads & transport facilities, communications – all those things which enable life to be decent and worthwhile as we know it… that’s how you eradicate poverty. $300 billion may not be sufficient to wipe it out world-wide, but it’d make a helluva dent in it.

    I’m not talking about giving them money and saying “ok get on with it”, so the kind of people you suggest are poor through their own choices, and the majority of them are in developed countries. I’m talking of the kids I’ve seen on India’s streets who beg because they have nothing else – no skills, no-one willing to offer them a chance, and so on. Give them money and they will spend it on getting themselves a meal. Would you begrudge them of that?

    Anyway, point of this post was to make an empahsis on the monumental sums of money spent on “Freeing Iraq”. I don’t know the sums for the other options (except Mars – $125 billion), but I know $300 billion buys you a hell of a lot of stuff, and most of it likely to be worth more than democracy in an Arab country.

  6. well, US$300B can feed most of the world for years on end. so yes, the cost v returns ratio for the iraq wars (remember the 1st 1?) seems a little…lopsided.

    as much as i think giving africa, south east asia and south/central america money, there is little benefit if we just throw a huge sum of it into their lap. the dictators of those countries would just buy more guns and kill more people.

    the poverty that’s rife in all those countries have to be taken in many ways, and aid is only 1 of the things we must give.

  7. Ok, be idealists ppl, just assume that the money will get to people. You will facilitate the plan required to ensure this – then you solve poverty, i dont think it was mentioned throwing money at the problem.

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