The total cost of the war in Iraq is now above 161 billion dollars and is still rising. That is an incredible amount of money that is being put forth to fight an ongoing war against insurgents in Iraq. This money could potentially be put toward finding a solution to some of America's more personal issues, such as the declining amount of government money in schools, the increasing number of people being diagnosed with AIDS, and the increasing poverty level. Putting money towards finding solutions to these issues would make America a better place to live. Many schools are being closed down every year due to the lack of money being put into those schools.
Some of the money spent on the war could be allocated for these schools in order to keep them open. For example, after the Board of Education announced that thirty-four public schools would close by next fall the executive vice-president, Virginia Cantrell, of the Detroit Federation of Teachers said, "We are in a crisis" (Rummel par 2). Cantrell said the loss of more than half of the city's population in the past thirty years and the growth of charter schools leaves fewer students in the public school system (Rummel par 2). In addition to keeping the schools open, the money would also help stop other problems such as the lack of teachers and poor teacher-student ratios. In November of 2000, students at Guy Benjamin Elementary School were sent home after the teachers who showed up left (McCracken par 1). The school closed at 11: 30 when the principal had only three staff members remaining to supervise more than 100 students (McCracken par 2).
The teachers were striking because of inadequate pay. The Territorial Court Judge ended the three week strike by ordering the teachers to come back to work (McCracken par 3). The money used for the war could be allotted to pay teachers more money to keep the people who currently are teachers and as an incentive to get more people to become teachers. This would eliminate the problem of people not wanting to become teachers solely because teachers do not make enough money. Furthermore, the money could be used to buy needed supplies. Many schools do not have sufficient amounts of books or computers, if any, that are in good condition.
The money could also be used to renovate old schools that are in bad condition. Students everywhere would benefit from money being put into schools directly or indirectly because better schools would produce better students and better students make more money. In 2003, nearly one million people were living with HIV and AIDS in the United States (Jeanie par 1). Between 850,000 and 900,000 people are estimated to be living with HIV and AIDS and not even know it (Jeanie par 9). The rate at which Americans are being diagnosed with AIDS continues to rise. Money that is spent on the war could be used for research in order to come up with medicines that could help prolong the life of someone living with AIDS or cure them completely.
For instance, the development of a cure for AIDS could be achieved much sooner with the help of the money used for the war in Iraq. Research is being done now but with the help of more hired doctors and specialists, a cure could be found more quickly. In addition to money for research, the money could also be used to set up programs that help inform people about the dangers of catching the disease and also how to prevent catching it. These programs would increase awareness and reduce the number of Americans that are infected with AIDS every year. Contraceptives like condoms could be made more available in order to stop the amount of people who are having unprotected sex.
Putting more money into fighting diseases like HIV and AIDS would increase the health of many Americans, allowing them to live healthier, longer lives. Although America is one of the richest nations in the world, there are thirty-five million poor people in America among which fourteen million are children (Siddiqi par 1). This could be attributed to the estimated 100 billion pounds of food wasted in America each year (Siddiqui par 3). The poverty level keeps rising and the money from the war could be used to help lessen the problem. For example, more Section 8 and public housing facilities or nice apartments that cost less could be built for those living in or around poverty stricken areas. This would help those individuals who do not make a great deal of money be able to afford a good place to live and not have to stress as much about paying a high rent.
In addition, The average poverty stricken household for a family of four made $16,660 annually (Siddiqui par 9). The money from the war could be pumped into the low income areas to help boost businesses and organizations. This would help those businesses out while also creating more jobs and increasing the income of the people in the area. It would also decrease the amount of violence because people would have more spending power in order to get what they want.
Furthermore, the money could be used to help lower the cost of supplies like food and household products. Some food stamp programs are already in place. The money from the war could be used to make these items even more beneficial to the individuals who are really in need of the food and supplies to take care of their families. Pumping money into the lower income parts of the country would help everyone in America to be more financially stable. The cost of the war raises everyday with more tax dollars being used to fund it. If used efficiently, many other issues such as the budget and social security could benefit from money used for the war in Iraq.
Devoting money to solving these problems would not only help solve these problems but would have an effect on America's overall well being. The bottom line is that there is an enormous amount of money being used to fight this war and if the money was used more efficiently, it could not only be used for the war but also be used for the wars that Americans currently battle everyday at home.
Jeanie Leche Davis. "CDC: HIV / AIDS Statistics Up in America". WebMD Health. 28 July, 2003.
WebMD. 14 April 2005.
McCracken, David. "Benjamin School closes for lack of teachers". World History Archives. 8 November 2000.
Hartford Web Publishing. 14 April 2005.
Rummel John". 'Devastating's chool closings hit Detroit". People's Weekly World. 14 April 2005.
People's Weekly World Newspaper. 14 April 2005.
Siddiqi, Saman a. "Statistics on poverty & food wastage in America". Sound Vision. com. 26 April 2004.
Islamic Information & Products. 14 April 2005.
The War in Iraq Costs". Cost of War. April, 2003.
National Priorities Project. 14 April 2005.