Drew S. Michigan

Where Should the US Really Be Investing?

My letter is one that argues that the United States should withdraw a fraction of the funds from third world countries and focus more of it into cancer research, providing many benefits.

Dear Mr/ Madam President,

Ponder this: How much money does the United States provide struggling third world countries with? Answer this as well: What disease shows minimal symptoms and tragically kills millions of people worldwide? The answers to these questions are 35 billion dollars and cancer, respectively. In order to better our world, we need to subtract the amount of money that we are submitting into foreign countries and affairs, so we can focus more of it into cancer research. By showing countries overseas that we care tremendously for the lives lost due to cancer, it would promote the image of the United States around the world, and it could also better our economy by using new medicine as and export and opening up job opportunities. In addition, finding a cure for cancer would save millions of lives around the world and it would stop the suffering of the friends and families of the people who die of this horrible disease.

To start, by shifting some of the money we put into foreign affairs into cancer research, we could find a cure for cancer. While preventing millions of deaths worldwide, this would also promote our country's image, relieving tensions around the world. We put 35 billion dollars into countries around the globe (courtesy of mondoweiss.net). Many Americans have always believed that our investments into foreign affairs is a valuable asset that our country is privileged to be able to do. It is also assumed by citizens in our country that by submitting billions of dollars into poor, third world countries we are promoting our country's image while also helping save lives. These people are right to argue that providing undeveloped countries with money may save lives, but they overlook how much money we are providing these countries. By giving so much money to struggling third world countries, they begin to rely on outside influences instead of building themselves up. We can compare this to a target, or someone who gets bullied. In the beginning, when the bullying is the worst for them, you have to stick up for them to get them back on their feet. But once you help them out, if you keep sticking up for them they begin to rely on you and they stop stand for themselves. This can connect with the disaster in Haiti in 2010. It is right to help them in the very beginning, to get them up and running again and save lives by providing food and shelter. But, once they are stable enough to take care of themselves, we must reduce the amount of money we give them. As of 2014, we gave Haiti a whopping total of 4 billion dollars in funds (courtesy of https://www.usaid.gov/news-information/fact-sheets/us-assistance-haiti-overview-2010-2015-december-2014) This was 4 years after the devastating earthquake, and people were still living in camps and unbearable poverty. In 2014, Haiti was no longer trying to help themselves, but they were simply relying on outside funding. It is 2016 now, and Haiti has recently been tragically wasted by Hurricane Matthew and needs all the help it can receive from us in the form of food, water, shelter and money. But, once they are capable of taking care of themselves, we need to severely reduce the amount of money we are giving them. If we don’t, They will begin to rely on the money of other countries, especially the USA. they will stop trying to help themselves which will just diminish them even more. In order to promote the wellbeing of lives everywhere, we need to transfer just some of the money that we submit into struggling third world countries to cancer research and development centers. Political critics will say that taking investments out of struggling third world countries will just end up with more death worldwide. Although these people are right to skepticize, taking just a fraction of our money out of third world countries and focusing it into cancer research will actually save more lives. This would obviously be by finding medical alternatives for treating cancer, and allowing more patients to flourish. And I am not suggesting that we take these funds out of one country or another. We would take small bits of our investments back from multiple countries, and use them accumulative in cancer research. To add, other first world countries such as Russia, Canada, and China will still be investing in these struggling countries. Ultimately, by transferring investments from foreign affairs into cancer research centers, we could gain lives saved around the world, in addition to people of all races having a better image of our country. It is important that the image of our country improves, especially in the middle east. This could reduce the amount of ISIS supporters and cells that we have here in the US, and prevent further terrorist attacks in our country.

In addition to promoting our country’s image, taking money out of third world countries and investing it into cancer research to find significant medical advancements towards cancer cures will also improve our country's economy. Economic critics will say that investing money into cancer research is a coin flip, it may work out well, but if it doesn't it will result in more national debt. While these criticisms are right in the fact that a cure cannot be guaranteed, with our medical capability today we move closer and closer to cures for certain cancers every day. Cures for cancer will have considerable applications in exports overseas, which could significantly better our economy. For example, in the country of Afghanistan, their most valuable export is Opium, a plant used in certain medicines. Because of this, the income of farmers and other workers along with the overall economy of Afghanistan has risen significantly; “The cultivation of poppy, however, generated greater profits than wheat farming for the farming villagers due to the higher yielding possibilities with less land, and greater demand for the profitable drug trade of the highly valued opium, prepared from poppies” (Courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_production_in_Afghanistan#How_the_opium

_economy_has_influenced_villagers_options_for_generating_income). Opium is only used in certain drugs. Imagine how the economy would skyrocket if we found a plant that can be used to treat cancer, or if we were able to generate an unnatural material that could do the same. This would provide new jobs, and quickly and efficiently better our economy. However, many economists would argue that the reason that these villagers are able to profit is because Opium is frequently used in illegal drugs, and is valued for its addictive properties. Although the accusation of Opium’s value is correct, a medicinal treatment for Cancer would be valued so much more because of the idea that it would save lives. Something that could save a life is much more valued than something that can give you a high, let alone kill you with its side-effects. Finding a cure for cancer will open up jobs for pharmacists to produce the drug, and nurses to work with the drug. It will also provide jobs for different types of doctors, ones that work specifically with the drug, or doctors/scientists who work to better the drug and reduce side effects. Ultimately, finding a cure or a more effective treatment for cancer will better the economy for all people of our country, while preventing 7.6 million more deaths from the disease worldwide. But, we can only do this if we take some of the money we are submitting into foreign affairs out, and transfer it into cancer research and development. By doing this, we open up more opportunities for biochemists and other scientists to find a cure.

To conclude, I surveyed 50 people, ages 14-17 on three questions. The first thing I asked them was where they believe the US should focus more of its money; undeveloped third world countries or cancer research and development. Of the 50 responses I received, 80% said that they believe we should start focusing more of our funds into cancer research and development. I also asked if they had a close friend or family member who had been diagnosed with cancer, in which 92% did. My final question was optional, asking if their friend or family member survived the unbearable fight with cancer. Of the 92% who were asked if they had a friend or family member diagnosed with cancer, all 46 people of them answered. Wistfully, 65% of them passed away. The young adults I surveyed are the future of our country. Cancer is killing too many to not get the attention it needs. The time is now Mr/Madam President. It is time to focus more on bettering lives on our front as well as across the globe by halting our flow of cash into third world countries, and letting it flow into cancer research and development.

Sincerely, Drew Stark, CHS Sophomore.