Let’s pretend you just got elected as president of the USA and it’s budget time. As president, you have to decide how to spend money in the most effective way possible. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding what to spend your money on such as effect on the economy, constituent priorities, etc. In this case, let’s focus on a fundamental aspect of what government should be doing: protecting the people it serves.
Given the following evidence (please don’t click on the links until you read through the whole post):
1) Almost 700,000 people die from this each year
2) Over 500,000 people die from this each year
3) 90,000 people die a year because of this
4) 40,000 people die a year because of this
5) 2752 people died from this in 2001
You’ve got $200 Billion to spend. Where do you spend it? On the stuff that’s causing the most death, right?
This is, of course, a bit of a trick question. The causes of death are as follows: (ok, you can click on the links now)
1) 700,000 – Heart Disease
2) 500,000 – Cancer
3) 90,000 – Death from resistant germs
4) 40,000 – Car accidents
5) 2752 – September 11th terror attacks
I may be a peace-nik from San Francisco, but it just seems wacky to me that we’ll be spending close to $400 Billion dollars in Iraq in the name of fighting terrorism when the reality is that WAY more people are dying from car accidents, Heart Disease, Cancer, etc. For comparrison, The CDC (where money is spent to research/fight health issues like heart disease) had a budget of less than $10 Billion in 2005.
Maybe we need a reality check on our nation’s priorities?