September 26, 2016
My name is Abigail Evans, and I’m a sophomore in high school. I live in New York with my family and I have a good education set up before me, as well as food on the table and a bed to sleep in every night. I have been fortunate enough to have a comfortable life so far, but not everyone in our country has had that luxury.
What I would like to ask you is why we are able to fight in conflicts on the other side of the world, which arguably we may or may not have a right to be a part of, while there are millions of people on the planet who don’t even know when they’ll have their next meal. These people are lacking in one of their most basic needs and we overlook that to exert our military’s power over the world.
Apparently, about one week of the United States’ military spending is enough money to educate every single child on earth for a year. Malala Yousafzai exposed to the world that “unfortunately, $39 billion is spent on [the] military in only eight days.” If that money was saved for one week on an annual basis, every man, woman, and child could receive twelve years of free education. That could also mean one week of peace could wipe out world hunger. I realize it’s much more complicated than that, but where do our priorities lie? Our military is extremely important to our nation’s safety and the people who are a involved in it are to be honored and revered. But what good is it to fight for our country if our people aren’t living sustainable lives? It should be our first priority to provide everyone with basic needs, especially over waging war on enemies that sometimes, aren’t even ours.
The United States spends far too much money on our offense than is necessary. We don’t need more troops, more aircrafts, more bombs. We need education, and healthy people to receive it. We need stable homes for people to grow up and grow old. Of course, we know this already. And yet, almost forty billion dollars a week goes to a need which at this time has less urgency than the quality of our people’s lives. We mustn’t stop fighting for freedom and for safety against foreign dangers, as that is also important for the men and women of our country and of the world. I know as the leader of the United States you must have the people’s best interest in mind, and I trust you take that very seriously. So on the topic of military spending versus basic needs, which one comes first?