This will be my last post for…awhile. This post is on perspective, both from my own personal standpoint, and from the standpoint of humanity as a whole. We’ll start with humanity as a whole.
The U.S. Navy is building a new class of destroyers. The highly advanced ships are specifically designed to deal with the “Asia/Pacific” strategy of competing with and containing China. They are “stealth” ships, with one-of-a-kind weapons systems that can hit targets from over 100 miles away. They’re massive…the length of 2 football fields. And the cost? The cost to build each is just a “mere” $3.8 billion. With R&D that’s gone into it, they will have spent $7 billion per ship.
$7 billion for one ship. The Navy had wanted 24. Now they may “only” get 3. $21 billion, for 3 ships. Obviously this is just the tip of the iceberg for our military. The new F-35 fighter jet program is up to $400 billion, and rising. The lifetime cost to run the F-35 program? $1 trillion.
Perspective. The ENTIRE National Institutes of Health Budget for the most wealthy country in the world? $31 billion this year…or the price of 4 new Navy destroyers. Breaking it down to funding devoted to some of the biggest diseases affecting our citizens:
- National Cancer Institute – $5.2 billion
- National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases – $3.1 billion
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease – $4.9 billion
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders – $1.7 billion
It was estimated that 572,000 people died from cancer in the U.S. last year. There are at LEAST 30 million Americans with diabetes…and likely many more. The best estimate is that at least 300,000 Americans suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. And the list goes on…and on…and on…
But yet as the richest nation in the world, we decided to spend $700 billion on our defense budget…and only $31 for the NIH. We decided to spend $7 billion for ONE destroyer…just in CASE we might ever go to war with China in the Pacific Ocean someday. We spend more for ONE Navy destroyer than we spend on cancer research, diabetes research, or cardiovascular research.
Perspective. What does this say about America? What does it say when millions of Americans are suffering and dying from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases, but we spend more on a handful of ships than we do to combat disease?
Which leads me to my own perspective. I do find it cathartic (see blog title) to bring issues like this to the attention of folks. But…it’s time I take a bit of time to help wrap my own mind around “perspective”. My little family has hit the jackpot, it looks like we’re going to be a perfect 3-for-3 in terms of each having some wonderful health challenge to face.
Perspective. I’m finding it hard to care too much about the upcoming election or other political and environmental issues at the moment, knowing that in the big picture…humanity will continue to have a completely skewed perspective, with small men (mostly!) fighting their small battles over power, money, and notoriety, while ignoring what’s really important in life. And in the “little” picture…I need to take time to put things in perspective myself.
Signing out for a while…