Albert Einstein, one of the most intelligent humans ever, said “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a worldwide nonpartisan nonprofit organization, reported that last year the United States spent almost as much on the military as the rest of the world combined (45.7%). The US does have the largest GDP, excluding the European Union. According to the Word Bank we produce approximately 21% of the world’s GDP. What message does this send?
By the way the US ranks 37th in education spending as a percentage of GDP.
Lawrence Wittner reported in the Huffington Post “World military spending reached a record $1,738 billion in 2011 -- an increase of $138 billion over the previous year. The United States accounted for 41 percent of that, or $711 billion.” As a pacifist I have to ask why? Do we not have enough ways to murder each other?
This year everyone voting in the presidential election should consider the military spending philosophy of their candidate and their candidate’s party. In summary, currently Republicans are fighting proposed military cuts and want to increase the military budget while Democrats favor military decreases. It’s not like all Republicans are war mongers: war is a thriving business and if we cut spending, we cut American jobs. However, couldn’t we use some of the money saved through military cuts on re-training those displaced by the cuts?
It’s time to consider our priorities. Do we really prefer military spending over the education of our citizens? Granted, uneducated people are easier to manipulate and control; just appeal to their unfounded fears or desires. If you don’t believe me look at suicide terrorists who believe they will be rewarded in the afterlife if they kill themselves now.
It’s time to consider what we want our country to become. Do we want to be a nation of open minded informed individuals that can reason with other countries or do we want to be a nation of ill-educated warriors? Our country tells other countries to stop arming themselves yet we increase spending! Then we wonder why those countries won’t listen to us!
It’s time to consider what we want our legacy as human beings to become. Will we be lumped in with the other primates with an asterisk stating humans killed themselves faster than any other species?
We are a great nation because we are free to think and speak and be creative. Let’s cultivate our creativity. Technology has created a global world where countries are merely a unique set of laws for which to do business. Let’s behave like leaders that care about the human race, after all everyone is a consumer.
Personally, I agree with Albert Einstein who said “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Understanding does not come in a missile or gun or any other weapon!