by Amanda Lanum
A story with the headline "US ends funding for Pakistan's 'Sesame Street'" caught my eye this morning. To paraphrase the Associated Press article, the U.S. has decided to cut off funding for the $20 million project while it investigates corruption claims against the local puppet theater working to develop the show. We've spent $6.7 million so far. This is part of America's multibillion-dollar aid program in Pakistan.
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. funded this project in hopes to improve education in a country where one-third of primary school-age children are not in class.
I bring this topic up not to discuss whether Pakistan should or shouldn't get their Sesame Street, but to get what I'm sure will be a variety of responses about the fact that we agreed to spend $20 million on the television show when the nation's debt crisis has been an even larger issue the past couple of years.
On one hand, I absolutely appreciate and agree with the need to help the less fortunate. It makes sense that we do what we can to help the children in a country like Pakistan. The hope might be that future generations are not only more educated, but perhaps more friendly with the U.S. It just seems like the "right" thing to do.
On the otherhand, our national debt is well over $15 trillion. So I ask you this: Are programs like this money well spent? Or would you, in fact, like to see our money spent more on programs like this versus on something else?
This also made me wonder, do other countries have money invested in U.S. programs the way we do? We aren't a starving or Third World country, but we do have our own social and economic issues. If you know any more about this topic, do feel free to leave a comment and/or links to help us all understand a little better.
You can read the AP story at this URL: http://news.yahoo.com/us-ends-funding-pakistans-sesame-street-170912319--finance.html