While searching through various newspapers and newspaper web sites online, I realized that the biggest social problem of all is the how misinformed and uneducated the public is. In search of articles on important social problems, the most prominent topics I found were things such as "Halliburton is awarded $72 Million in Bonuses,"Putin blows of steam over baltics at EU Summit,"Egypt Presidential Vote may not be very open,"China is unwilling to impose sanctions on North Koreans." Although these are fairly important "world" issues, they aren't as important as things such as global structural inequality, racial and ethnic problems, gender inequality and male superiority, over consumption and starvation, and globalization and technology. It seems that people are so caught up in the smaller issues that we forget that some countries are wasting too much of the world's resources, while other countries are starving to death, and ultimately we " re destroying the Earth at a rate faster than even imaginable. But that's not what we hear on the news because we " re so caught up with the "runaway bride," and the naughty priests. I did, however, find an article that somewhat relates to the issue of overspending and misplacing our funds while we " re at it.

The article is from the Los Angeles Times and is entitled "$82 Billion Old in Emergency Spending." I've never managed national budgets, but with that kind of money we could build countries and feed billions of starving children. We could use that money towards one of the biggest social problems of all: global poverty. Growing up in a place like Southern California can make people often forget how poor the world truly is. Of the world's approximate 6 billion people, more than 1.

2 billion live on less than $1 a day. About 60% of these people live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the article I found in the LA Times claims that $82 Billion dollars will be spent on "military operations." Actually, $4. 2 billion of that will go to foreign aid, and some of these starving people might live to see another day or two. The rest of it, $75.

9 Billion of it to be exact, will be wasted in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military operations in Afghanistan? Afghanistan is where my family is originally from, and there is nothing but dirt and rubble left in that country. We are spending Billions of dollars on defense against rubble and dirt? Not a single member of the Senate would agree with me, because the measure to waste $84 Billion dollars combating "terrorism" was approved by the Senate by a 100-0 vote. Not a single person felt that money could be put to better use, or that there are people in the world that are literally dying for that money-or lack of.

It looks like we " re gonna maintain this pattern of wasting money because we " ve managed to do so since 2001. Since 2001 we have boosted the cost of military and defense, or as political leaders like to call it, "war on terrorism," to "more than $300 billion." It hurts to even think about how beneficial that money would be if it was put to a more positive use. Some political leaders, especially Democrats, "criticize the Bush administration for its Iraq policies and for failing to go through the normal budget process to pay for the wars." I can understand a portion of our money and taxes going into public defense. But $300 billion in the course of 4 years is absolutely outrageous.

What makes it outrageous is that there are homeless people living on the streets of this country and we can't even take care of them, let alone other starving nations. If we, as a nation, truly are going to play "big brother," then I feel we should take advantage of our wealth and power and do something positive for the world, rather than waste billions of dollars defending ourselves against it.