I'm interested in how others' feel about this issue... Recently, reading the news online has led me toward more interesting topics to write about. Today I came across an article that told the story of Madonna pledging $500,000 to the victims of earthquake in Italy. As I thought about how nice that was of the music legend, I soon realized that living here in the US we are not only going through an economic depression but we have many men, women and children who are and have been suffering for a long time and don’t get the help they need. It’s kind of ironic that our society has become so internationally connected, at the same time we cannot solve the harsh realities citizens in our own country have to deal with every day. While I think it is a great thing to help out those in need, even internationally, I also think there is not enough attention given to those suffering in our own communities. Madonna and other celebrities in general give so much to philanthropic organizations, which I admire, however why ignore those in this country? The statistics are clear that there is no apparent change in our recent history that we can proudly say, we’ve made an impact on poverty levels in America. From the US Government Census, “in 2007, the family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 9.8 percent and 7.6 million, respectively, both statistically unchanged from 2006.” This number is way more than necessary and the fact that it has remained unchanged from year to year is just disappointed. If America is the wealthiest country in the world, why is all the money going to those who already have PLENTY! I may sound like a “socialist” to some but in reality, if all those who could afford to helped out those stuck under the poverty line, then our country wouldn’t need to deal with “slums” and “rough areas.” This issue reminds me of an case study I had to struggle with in my ethics class recently. The case study was about the ethical dilemma of a chronically homeless man, Murray, who keeps getting stuck in the same situation even after a number of people try to help him. After keeping a close eye on Murray and all of his trips to the emergency room and all his costs on the public while living on the street, the local government started a program for the homeless. They decided to take the chronically homeless off the streets and put them into apartments and pay for everything while they assisted in finding the men and women jobs where they could start over. This program turned out to be very successful and surprisingly MUCH cheaper than consistently taking care of the homeless while they’re living out on the streets. So when celebrities do generous things like give a $500,000 to victims of a natural disaster in another country, maybe they should think about issues that they could help out with in their own country. There are ways to solve the problems here in America, but we need people to stop becoming overly involved internationally and start to act locally to help their own neighbors in times of need, especially now.