Arnold Schwarzenegger’s miserly donation to help homeless vets

Arnold Schwarzenegger is worth $400 million or so. He once served as governor of a state that’s in the grip of a massive homeless crisis. So, Ah-nold dug into his pocket and pulled out 0.06% of his wealth to build 25 tiny houses for the homeless. These tiny homes, each about the size of a large tent with walls, cost $10,000 per house. Everything about this is just wrong.

Schwarzenegger is one of the world’s best-known actors. For a long time, he was in one hit after another. Even though he’s been retired from filmmaking for decades, his net worth is estimated to be around $400 million, which isn’t chump change.

However, chump change (relative to his net worth) is precisely what he gave to a partnership of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough and AMVETS to build tiny houses for homeless vets. This crazily wealthy man parted with a mere $250,000 for these homes—and then he boasted about his generosity:

Before I sound too nasty, let me say that I think it’s wonderful that these homeless veterans are off the street and have a roof over their heads. Since the American Revolution, America has had a disgraceful habit of abandoning those who donned the uniform to defend her, and Schwarzenegger did a good thing by even thinking of helping these men. I believe the man in this video who said, “It’s been a lifesaver for me.” Kudos to Ah-nold for making that happen.

Still, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, that donation was just 0.06% of Schwarzenegger’s total wealth. Frankly, I think he could have done better and given more. For someone as wealthy as Ah-nold, he gave away pocket change, the way you and I might put a $100 bill in the “poor” box at church (or might once have given to the Salvation Army before it got woke).

I’m also a bit baffled by how much these homes cost. Ah-nold’s $250,000 bought 25 homes. Unless my math is really wrong, which is possible, that’s $10,000 per tiny box—boxes that have a bed, shelves, and electricity. They don’t even seem to have running water. There’s no indication that Ah-nold’s money paid for the land beneath the boxes. Instead, according to the Daily Mail, these boxes were built on the site of the Los Angeles VA’s Care Treatment Rehabilitative Services.

Something is very wrong when it costs $10,000 to mass produce a shed with electricity. And Ah-nold, while it’s great that you did what you did, you can do better—lots better.  

Image: Twitter screen grab.

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