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Posts tagged ‘financial’

California Paying For Death

Dear Gabriel,

For the first time ever, California voters have a chance to replace the deeply immoral death penalty by voting YES on Proposition 34.

The poll numbers are tight and they indicate that Californians are ready to end the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. But before they make the right decision to vote YES on 34, we need to give them the facts about how — beyond the loss of life — the death penalty imposes a very real financial burden on our state.

To do our part, we are partnering with our friends at the YES on 34 Campaign to help them reach the seven million voters necessary to win in November.

We need all hands on deck to end the death penalty in California. Can you chip in $3 today to help the YES on 34 Campaign get its state-of-the-art phone bank campaign off the ground?

The YES on 34 Campaign’s volunteers have started calling through the voter lists to reach as many voters as possible. But if we raise enough funds, they will be able to launch a state-of-the-art phone banking program with technology that allows hundreds more volunteers to phone bank from their own phones anywhere in the state.

With about seven weeks left until Election Day, your contributions are crucial. If we are going to end the death penalty in California, we are going to do it through grassroots communication.

A recent editorial endorsement from the Sacramento Bee, which for the first time in its 155 years of service took a position to end the death penalty, summed up the need for educating our state’s voter on the facts around YES on 34:

In November, California voters will have a chance, through Proposition 34, to end the death penalty and replace it with a system of life imprisonment without possibility of parole. We urge you to vote for it. While capital punishment remains popular in California, polls suggest that a majority of those surveyed would accept ending the death penalty if it were replaced with a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Numerous longtime supporters of capital punishment have concluded our system can’t be fixed and are supporting Proposition 34 because of it.1

The money you contribute today to fund YES on 34’s state-of-the-art phone bank campaign will directly boost our chances to end the death penalty. One-on-one contact is the single most effective way to turn a “no” vote into a “yes” vote.

Chip in $3 today to end the death penalty in California.

Thank you for taking action.

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Women Not Intimidated

Dear Gabriel,

How easily do you scare? We all have a sense of the lines we won’t let bullies cross, and rightly so. For poor women in Guatemala, fighting for their dignity can be a daily struggle. But fight they do.

Poor women in Central America have often been refused service at “traditional” banks and even been manhandled out the door for having the audacity to enter the premises and apply for small loans.

Treating poor women this way is designed to humiliate and intimidate. It reinforces a poverty trap and reminds Central America’s most excluded women of “their place” at the bottom of a hierarchical society.

But, today, these women refuse to be intimidated; they will not accept second class status. And they take their business elsewhere. They come to FINCA.

Growing numbers of mothers and sisters and neighbors are finding FINCA’s doors open. We want their business, trust their financial management and believe in supporting small enterprises, morally and as reliable sustainable micro-businesses.

Ironically, we know that the average repayment rates for microfinance loans are better than those for “regular loans” in Guatemala, the US and most everywhere else.

More importantly, FINCA’s work is not just about financial services, it’s about empowering women to shatter the poverty trap and beat the bullies who would happily see them permanently excluded from access to financial services. We are proving, woman by woman, loan by loan. that people can fight their way out of poverty.

We believe in the poorest women from Central America and we’re asking you to believe in them too. Many of these women face poverty, the backdrop of a particularly violent society and gender-based exclusion day and daily. And they face it down, again and again. Please stand with them today.

Your support is more than symbolic. Your donation will help find and fund another microfinance client, potentially a women who’s been mistreated, but who will not accept exclusion.

Don’t accept second class citizenship. Take a stand. Support FINCA’s One In A Million campaign to find client one million and help her prove what women can achieve with access to small loans.

Please give generously,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President,
New Business Development
FINCA

Up In Smoke – Paying for Afghanistan

From The Globalist
Global Security
2 May 2012

The Cost of Being in Afghanistan

A year ago today, U.S. forces located and killed the most prominent target of its decade-old war in Afghanistan. The death of Osama bin Laden, however, did not mark the end of the conflict, which continues to add billions of dollars a year to the U.S. budget. We wonder: On average, how much does it cost to support one U.S. servicemember deployed to Afghanistan?

Answers:

A. $67,000 per year
B. $132,000 per year
C. $685,000 per year
D. $1.2 million per year

A. $67,000 per year is not correct.

$67,000 per year was the cost per troop at the peak of World War II (adjusting for inflation to today’s dollars). World War II involved a full-scale mobilization of the U.S. armed forces, with troop ranks rising to over 12 million in 1945. In that year, the war consumed 36% of U.S. GDP, or $810 billion in today’s dollars.

B. $132,000 per year is not correct.

$132,000 per year was the cost per troop (also in today’s dollars) at the peak of the Vietnam War in 1968. The United States deployed nearly 790,000 troops to Southeast Asia — at a total cost of $104 billion in today’s dollars, or just 2.3% of GDP at the time. As was the case in World War II, a draft was in effect during most of the conflict in Vietnam.

C. $685,000 per year is not correct.

The average cost in Iraq over the past five years was $685,000 per year per U.S. troop — over ten times the cost of a soldier deployed in World War II, according to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The cost per troop was much higher than in World War II or Vietnam because we live in a very different era militarily. Since the United States no longer has a draft, it has to rely on an all-volunteer force, which is more expensive to recruit and retain. And the way the country fights wars has become much more technologically intensive, which means weapons are more costly. As a result, the United States has to invest considerably more in training its troops to use those weapons.
D. $1.2 million per year is correct.

The average cost per troop in Afghanistan over the past five years is $1.2 million per year. While Iraq features difficult terrain and challenging conditions, the sheer lack of infrastructure in Afghanistan — and its geographical position as a landlocked nation — makes operating in the country extraordinarily expensive for the U.S. military.

In addition, the high-tech weapons systems that are being used involve an enormous logistics trail for everything from fuel to spare parts. Fuel costs alone are estimated to account for between $200,000-350,000 of the cost per troop deployed.

Read this and other articles at The Globalist.

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