Daily Money Minute

Decorated Christmas tree and gifts“Over the past decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America’s greatest resource: our people. The tide of war is receding.” ~Barack Obama

Today is Christmas Day and in churches around the world the Christmas message of peace and goodwill to all men and women will be one that is frequently repeated. Contrast this message to the observation above from US President, Barack Obama, quoted in the British newspaper the Sunday Express in July 2011. Specifically I refer to his comment that a trillion dollars had been spent on war over the preceding decade. Even for an economy the size of the United States that is truly a staggering sum of money. Similarly the United Kingdom has spent enormous sums of money on war over the same period. Just think about the uses to which that money could have been put. Perhaps some of it could have been used for building and improving schools, hospitals and infrastructure? Perhaps some of it could have been used to improve the education of our young or for providing better care for the elderly? Perhaps some of it could have been used on research to find alternative sources of energy to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and hydro-carbons? Perhaps some of it could even have been used for better communication between people around the world and for improving the understanding between different cultures? Perhaps it could have been used as a force for good? No doubt the politicians believed what they were doing was intended as a force for good and of course it is easy to reflect in hindsight. However it is hard to consider these numbers without wondering whether it was the best use of this money, particularly as it now translates into debt the weight of which will be borne mainly by future generations. People not yet born may be impoverished by this debt bequeathed to them by their forefathers. Dear Reader you must make up your own mind on the wisdom or otherwise of spending money on war. However I can’t help thinking that there must have been a better way. War doesn’t decide who’s right; only who’s left and at what cost. Personally I think we have to work harder at getting along with each other and we must find ways to avoid conflict in future. If we could focus on what we all have in common, rather than any differences between us, that would be a good first step. People are just people; we laugh; we cry; we eat; we sleep; you cut us and we bleed. Actually we’re not so different at all are we? If only our focus could be on showing common courtesy to other people and making sure that resources are shared more evenly. These would be worthy objectives.

Wherever you are Dear Reader, if you are celebrating Christmas today then I wish you a very merry Christmas and may it be peaceful and filled with warmth and the comradeship of family and friends. If for you today is just another working day, then I hope the environment in which you work is both friendly and peaceful. May God bless you all.

© Roy Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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