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On Balance

On November 13, 2015, 130 people were executed by terrorists in a devastating Paris attack. Hearts across the world beat with sympathy and fear. 

On that same day, an estimated 22,000 people died from some form of cancer, while nearly 40,000 were diagnosed with the disease. The same is true of the day before the attack, and the day after, and every day since.

It is hard for the media to be in 22,000 places at once. That is reserved for the families, friends, and medical staff. So Paris is 24-hour news. The hospital, the hospice, are not. It makes a difference in how we see the world.

The United States government spends $600 billion a year on defense. It spends $30 billion a year on research for all types of disease.

An estimated 30,000 a day died during World War II. So it is possible that that $600 billion saves 22,000 lives per day. But I have to wonder if $300 billion spent on defense (still almost twice what Number 2 China spends), and $300 billion on medical research wouldn’t save more lives, on balance.

 Maybe you can’t efficiently spend $300 billion a year on medical research. But then how efficiently are we spending $600 billion on defense?

 On balance, I choose saving as many lives as possible. On balance, I choose balance. 

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