WORLDPOST

$100 Million US Aid to Haiti: $3.3 Billion Quarterly Profit for JP Morgan

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It was extremely strange to hear President Obama specify $100 million as America's pledge to the suffering people of Haiti. My first thought was: $100 million is roughly one-quarter of the budget for Avatar. So were we really pledging about forty-five minutes' worth of a 3D sci-fi movie to aid those homeless millions? While we desperately want to believe this aid figure only represents a tiny down-payment on a much greater humanitarian effort to come, the disproportion sounded completely insane--an insanity that only grew today, when JP Morgan Bank reported quarterly profits of $3.3 billion dollars. Which means that--in three months--one single bank raked in 330 times more than we've set aside for the most grievous disaster in the recent memory of our entire hemisphere.

Naive as it no doubt sounds, wouldn't it be good to work towards a world in which those figures are reversed? And where hundreds of billions of dollars--and untold amounts of American engineering genius--are channeled into technologies of disaster relief instead of ever-sleeker bombers?

As a screenwriter and audience-member, I know there's no reason or need to give back those 45 minutes of Avatar., but as an American citizen I demand we move to recoup some of the piratical and sickening profits of JP Morgan and start redirecting them to suffering human beings.