The United States Should Pull Out of All Wars and Global Issues

I have a number of opinions that I admit are rather extreme (don’t worry, I’m not above compromise), one of which is my opinion that the United States should help out no other countries until we’ve fixed our own. The only reason to spend tax dollars on something outside the United States is when we are directly threatened. When I express this opinion, 99.9% of people agree with me, but I don’t think most really understand what I mean. Could you really watch ethnic genocide in another country without begging your government to do something about it?

There are a lot of conflicts and horrid human rights abuses that already go on without the United States taking interest. At the same time, there are countries to whom we give crazy amounts of money. I’m not sure I can even begin to quantify how much we throw at other countries. My heart does go out to them. There are people suffering, starving and dying. These things shouldn’t be happening and there are plenty of non-profit organizations who are working to help them. Let them help those in need. It’s time for the United States tor resign as global police and caretaker.

I don’t claim this should be a permanent arrangement. In the fantasy world I imagine, the United States would help its own. We’d figure everything out so there was no starving, no poverty and fantastic education. We’d put some continuous improvement plans in place and then look to other countries who need help. All I want is to take care of our own first.

This photo, “01.James.StreetLife.13F.NW.WDC.12January2012” is copyright (c) 2014 Elvert Barnes and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. The image was cropped to create the featured image.
This photo, “01.James.StreetLife.13F.NW.WDC.12January2012” is copyright (c) 2014 Elvert Barnes and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. The image was cropped to create the featured image.

This sounds heartless because I’m basically saying to let all people suffer and die from whatever virus outbreaks, environmental disasters or wars come their way. I’m saying that when someone is doing something that is clearly wrong, such as murdering their own people, that we simply stand aside.

Our country is in a lot of debt, and yet we still throw money at issues that have little effect on our own citizens. All the while, we have serious issues that are neglected. I realize that some issues overseas are, as a human issue, more important. A homeless person in America may be better off than a family trying to escape ethnic genocide somewhere else. The truth is that all these people deserve help. I’m merely saying we should help our own citizens first. Why have a government allegedly for the people if it doesn’t work for the people first?

Other organizations exist that are supposed to act on global issues. In addition to various NGOs, we have the United Nations. Wouldn’t it be great if the United Nations had its own means to  assist with outbreaks and wars. I realize the United States may have to give some funds to the United Nations, but giving to one outside entity is still vastly different from what we do now.

All this said, I can’t shake the feeling this opinion is cruel. If this actually happened, how many more people would die before other countries decided maybe they should do something instead of relying on the US? Even more, I wonder what I’m missing. If we pull out of the Middle East and let whatever happens happen, would we really be safe? Can we protect our boarders enough? If that area of the world gets even more out of control than it already is, what will happen to our economy?

What do you think?

Do you agree that the United States should pull out of all global issues and focus those tax dollars on helping our own citizens? What do you think we happen immediately? What would the world look in the long-term? Would you trust the government to adequately protect us from outside threats such as disease outbreaks and terrorists?

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61 thoughts on “The United States Should Pull Out of All Wars and Global Issues”

        1. Are you on Twitter? I plan to share this reblog on my Twitter account, but when I clicked the share button, it had @wordpressdotcom instead of your twitter handle. I just want to double check because, if you do have a Twitter, I’d much rather send people your way ^_^

  1. I’ve always said something along these lines and the people around me look at me as if I have 6 heads! I don’t see how the US expects to fix the situation of others when they haven’t even foxed home yet. As for being in debt, I’m not buying it. How can one be in debt but still lend money? How can one be in debt when universities and college makes billions? I went for my Masters Degree online and they charged $3,500 per course and there was 900+ of us in one class at a time. In order to get my masters degree, I had to take 10 courses at the same rate with the same amount of people so you do the math. That’s just from the education sector alone, imagine all of the other sectors. I think they use the we’re in debt card to justify the fact that we’re getting taxed like crazy and they have increased prices on products due to inflation.

    1. I’m not sure about the debt. I know that, since America has been a country, the credit limit of the US has been increased over 100 times. Crazy, right?

      I still hold this opinion, but I think it’s very simplistic. No matter what, it would get worse before it gets better. It would require another country to be the “world leader.” I would love to give that title to someone else. From here, being a world leader dosen’t seem like that good of a thing.

      1. At this point, I think it safe to say that thanks to its outstanding debt, this country belongs to the Federal Reserve.

        I agree with you 100%! I also think this country is so hated because time and time again, it fails to mind its own business… what are your thoughts on that?

        1. I think it’s a no win situation. We are hated if we help and hated if we don’t help. So, we may as well not help, let the other governments take responsibility over their own people. Let’s fix out own problems before we start trying to fix the problems of others.

          1. I agree. I think the US needs to help out its citizens at home before helping out its neighbor’s citizens. I understand that people are dying everyday in these countries, but the same can be said about the US.

  2. I completely agree. The more that the US gets involved in foreign affairs the worse off the world is. There are plenty of causes to keep the government occupied in our own country. Great post!

    1. Yep. I’m sure there are some global issues we will need to be involved in. There are things outside our country that affect our own. We don’t need to be the world police, though. That position will literally destroy us.

  3. So true! If I used my personal money like the US govt, I’d be in debt and charging food for the homeless shelter on my credit card. That doesn’t make sense. Only give what you can afford, and the US is in debt, as you have stated very well!

    1. Amen to that. My heart goes out to the people in other countries who may suffer from us leaving, but in the end, I believe each government’s first priority should be it’s own people. The government is not responsible for the well-being of those in other countries. One country cannot handle the responsibility of caretaker for the whole world.

    1. I don’t intend it to be a means of conflict control. As a matter of fact, I’m sure the conflict will just continue. It will continue with or without us.

      1. You are certainly right. There will be conflict. Lightning will strike in the forest. But when do you choose to fight the forest fire? When it is small?Do you wait until it gets close to your home and threatens you? Do you shrug your shoulders, evacuate, and call the destruction that follows natures way? It seems to me that the same decision matrix applies to interpersonal conflict, social conflict, and international relations as well. Please don’t take this as arguement against your point. For the most part I agree with you. I just find myself lost in the complexity of the issue! Nuanced thinking is no easy task.

        1. I understand the issue is more complex than I can possibly imagine, but I have yet to here an argument that makes me change my mind. All I do find is arguments that show me the transition into this world where the US is involved in few issues outside itself will take time. From the questions you pose, I think I’d chose to wait until it gets close to our home and threatens us. The tough part would be defining close. What we can’t do is jump at everything just in case it gets close someday. We have to define when something is close enough to address or our efforts to everything will be half hearted. We’re overstretched as it is.

          1. I’m right there with you! When do we act! Too soon and we are hated and waste resources better spent elsewhere, too late and the cost in lives is enourmous. I don’t know where the balance lies. I guess that’s why I’m a full time counselor and part time philosopher and not a politician!

            1. Clearly I don’t know where the balance lies either. If you added the sentence “but I feel like America currently acts too soon.” you would have my opinion.

              As I see it, a lot of people fight the US because we make ourselves their enemy. If we were to pull out of everywhere we fight, how many would leave us alone? Maybe not all, but I think what we really should have learned from 9/11 is not that we should attack before we are attacked, but that we should increase our intelligence gathering skills and attack ONLY when we know someone is plotting a direct threat against us.

  4. I’m much older than you, TK, yet your philosophy is akin to mine. Ever since my years as a teenager, I’ve been saying the same thing. Unfortunately, because of the US history in the 20th century, our economy wouldn’t survive with our dream in motion. The US economy relies on war for monetary purposes. Because of this need though, we are repeating ancient history. We are Rome falling all over again.

    1. That’s ridiculous and I disagree with that, too. I know we’d probably have to transition to an economy that didn’t survive on war. That’s okay. Let’s slowly transition, then. At my own company, our biggest client is the Department of Defense. That said, we know we can’t always rely on that. As such, we have plans in motion to grow our other client base. I don’t want America to survive on war. That’s not a country I can be proud of.

  5. I totally agree with you but not for the reasons you outline.

    The simple fact is that the USA and my own country (UK) need to butt out of the affairs of other countries. Our joint foreign Policy and interference in areas we should not be anywhere near is responsible for virtually every conflict around the world. Our involvement in illegal wars is a major reason for why our economies are in a mess. The money we give in foreign aid is a drop in the ocean in comparison with the amount we spend on killing people around the globe.

    You might be interested in this piece on my own blog. http://wp.me/p4Fvr2-sy

    1. Yes. It’s like we can’t win. The global world complains when we get involved and complains when we don’t get involved. I we can’t win, we might as well choose the option that saves us the most money. That may seem heartless considering the lives at stake, but I think there are also lives at stake in our own countries. I think the stats are one in 10 or one in seven children in the US go hungry every day. 1/3 of our homeless are veterans. We have one of the worst infant mortality and maternity mortality rates in the industrialized world. These are all inexcusable.

      It’s time to but out of other people’s business and start addressing our own problems.

  6. I’m 100% with you on this. While it is important to help other countries, we cannot continue to neglect our own. However, we also need to revamp the entire system.

    There are people on welfare using their checks for game systems and smartphones. There are people getting paid to foster kids who use that money for themselves instead of living up to their responsibilities. There are people who can’t afford food, yet are told they make too much money to receive benefits or even to ask for supplies at a food pantry. Government and repayment programs take gross pay rather than net pay into consideration unless someone in the household is disabled. No matter how much you actually pay for rent and utilities, only a portion of that is included in the final calculation — there is a predetermined allotment. Car payments, insurance, and college loans are not considered at all! The government encourages secondary education, yet they won’t help you buy food and clothes for your children when you’re stuck paying off loans?

    This is one of those topics where it’s difficult to not be angry and disgusted.

    1. I can agree with that too. First of all, what is considered poverty is stupid. I think the number is 25,000 for a family of four. As a single person living in the Chicago area, I couldn’t support myself on that income. It also traps people. In college, I interviewed a quadriplegic who had managed to be independent. He owned his own house and everything. However, he still received government assistance. He worked the system. This was because his medical bills alone were $20,000 per month. The way the system is set up, he could never afford to get off the government programs.

      There needs to be a system that ensure people who really need financial assistance get it. At the same time, there should be stepping stones to help people rise above. For example, if a family of four makes less than 25,000 per year, they get near full support (assuming changes are made so they can only buy necessities and not video game systems). When they rise to a 30,000 income, the governments stops paying for… say… their food, but still helps with everything else. When they rise to 35,000, then they have to pay for their housing too.

      The exact income levels would depend on area as the cost of living is different. Back in Iowa, I could totally support myself on 25,000 per year. I also realize this is simplistic. It’s just meant to display the idea. People need more than motivation to get off of welfare. They also need the ability.

      This is an issue that needs address, for sure. We can hardly even begin to deal with it, though, while we’re busying putting all our time and money in global affairs.

  7. I think the isolationist view looks good on the surface, but I don’t think it’s very possible these days given that we live in a global economy. While I think there are lot of good reason to pull out of the wars we are involved with, we must have a foreign policy. The Ebola example also shows how helping in other countries can be beneficial. Using our knowledge and expertise to help contain Ebola in Africa, makes us safer over here, because quite simply the less cases of Ebola, the less likely a traveler from overseas can bring it here. So helping others can also be a way of helping ourselves.

    The real question is, do we have the funds to still do what we do overseas and take care of our own people? There are a lot of things that could be done to make things better. Look at how much we spend on elections? Look at our tax code which benefits the rich and corporations? Look at how much we spend on the military? All of these things could be changed to be able to help rebuild infrastructure, put more money into education, and help the homeless and those in abject poverty. So certainly when it comes to war, yes I think we probably shouldn’t be involved, but a lot of the other aid that we can give, is really only less than 1% of our GDP. We can afford it.

    1. I think cutting our military spend is first. If we take care of our own and find we have 1% left to help with ebola, that’s fine. Let’s do that, then. If we don’t, there are plenty of NGOs from America with that same knowledge to help out. The government shouldn’t send government employees over there except as a last resort. Give a larger government grant if that’s what it takes.

      But then, you make me think. A lot of my opinion may be that I just don’t trust the American government to spend money wisely. An NGO given a government grant will be motivated to stretch that as far as it can go. A government agency will be motivated to spend and ask for more money.

      1. I understand the sentiment, I’m simply saying that foreign aid in of itself is not breaking our bank. Health care and defense are our two biggest money wasters and sometimes the foreign aid helps make things better here.

  8. I am retired military. I saw first hand the actual (short lived or long term) benefits of us stepping into various situations. even if we at least attempted a balance. Drop one plane off the books and roll that into a social program. Or better yet, the company building the plane/missile/widget needs to have a local program. (And some do). It sounds easy, it sounds perfect but not enough push to do it. Some companies are shifting towards products and services that are designed to blow things up now. Baby Steps.

    1. Exactly. I know this can’t happen overnight, but we spend so much on waging war. I see not benefits except more people getting pissed at us and more people becoming violent. Civil wars happen and they suck. Villainous people rise to power and they suck. However, unless we know they pose a direct, immediate threat to our own country, I see no reason to get involved. So much of that money could be put to better use in social programs, which themselves could use some fixing. In a way, I think we may have all the social programs we really need. The problem is no one has looked at ways to fix/improve them. No one says “let’s fix welfare.” They say “let’s get rid of it” or “lets just put more money into it.”

      There are just so many things we need to improve on.

  9. I do and will always disagree with this. I’ll preface this by saying I’m British not American but we have the same debate quite regularly over here.
    First of all, oil. If we can’t deal with countries that have huge quantities of oil because they’re run by terrorists such as ISIS the economy takes a massive hit.
    Two, we have a fundamental responsibility as humans to help those in need. Develop vaccines, give financial and material aid, support them if not because they’re suffering but in a large amount of cases their suffering is caused by us, whether historically or recently . You can’t walk in, ravage an already war torn country, depose a leader, leave a weak government and army and say good luck and not help when the people pissed at you decide to take back their country.
    Thirdly, short term loss for long term gain. The better state we can leave countries in and more functional we make them, the more beneficial they will be for the global economy which is better for everyone.
    That’s not to mention that the US currently has a government with an 11% approval rating but a 90% re-election rate. The problem isn’t that you’re in too much debt, or give too much away, or even that you cant organise universal health care without uproar, it’s that as a country you get annoyed and frustrated with the political choices your government makes but when it comes to crunch time and a chance to change that you utterly fail to do so, leaving the same corrupt people in their same place of power. If you want something to fix, I’d start there.

    1. The voting rate in American, among other things, is a huge problem. This is very true. While there are some global issues we probably should be involved in, I disagree with your reasoning. I disagree with waging war for oil, for example. Yes we need it, but America also exports a lot of it even as we import it. There are other ways to get power and energy. Perhaps the hit on the economy would force other people to conserve more energy and businesses to invest in other ways of capturing it. This wouldn’t be able to happen over night, but people should not be dying just so I can put oil in my car every week.
      I’m not saying that we, as humans, do not have a responsibility to help those in need. I’m saying as governments, as governments, have a responsibility to take care of their own people first. Acting as a world police and care taker will only serve to stretch us too far and break us in the end. Countries like those in the Middle East have been in conflict for decades. I don’t think our influence makes it any better and might make it any worse. We also don’t have the financial means to maintain all these wars. Instead of simply raising our credit limit, it’s time to start cutting off expensive things in order to address our debt.

      I would love to see the UN have a kind of military unit. The US can’t give nothing globally, but we don’t need to be a world police. Like the UN be that. Let NGOs, maybe with a handful of government grants, help people in need, Lastly, let’s fix the problems we have here, including the dismal voting rate.

      1. The UN does have a milatry peacekeeping task force. http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/issues/military.shtml

        You’re not being world police. You contribute to an alliance of other strong countries who seek to defend your civil liberties. I appreciate what you’re saying re governments need to look after their own people, but how long do you ignore a terrorist organisation before they become your problem too? Doesn’t history show that ignoring threats as they grow in power leads to horrific atrocities?

        I never said oil was a sole motivator, but it is an important commodity. Your point about exporting oil as well as importing is moot. Without that import/export relationship, trading relations would be damaged. Then what?

        Also, you seem to be implying that NGO’s and charities are the best solution to the world’s problems outside your own. In what way? They can only do so much, and if international aid doesn’t flow into the poor countries their people suffer more and more. Before long the NGO’s impact lessens as they can only do so much, and now the people’s governments have nothing to use. What then?

        Finally, international aid doesn’t impact your dismal voting and approval records. Each time the country votes, they continue to vote in the politicians they don’t approve of, who take outrageous amounts of money from lobbyists, who fight to keep you in the dark ages. Stopping international aid won’t help your country, it will give them more money to line their pockets and continue their steady role. It won’t lower your taxes, just give them more to boost the military because even if they’re not in an active war any more, there’s always the ‘just in case’. Or maybe they’ll flood your police force with yet more military weaponry. The problem doesn’t lie with your governments insistence on helping the world, in lies with your government.

        1. All these points are great and give me a lot to think about. I think I should clarify and say that humanitarian aid isn’t my biggest concern. My concern is getting the military out of everywhere. We spend far too much on military and involve ourselves in conflicts that aren’t ours to fight. If we have enough funds from reducing our military to feed international humanitarian efforts, great. What I do not support if sending money over seas to feed starving people when we have people starving in our own streets. I recognize that many will die without that aid and my heart goes out to those people. I would implore governments to help if they can but I don’t think a government should go into debt to support people who aren’t their responsibility.

          As for voting. I don’t imagine any of this will fix our voting system. I only mean to agree that it is broken and that people don’t pay attention. They vote for the D or the R and never once think about the real motivations at work.

          As I said, if we have money left over for humanitarian aid, fine. I’m more concerned with all the military is involved with than anything else.

          1. I go back to my point re rising threats. Iraq was a clusterfuck of stupidity,but Syria, ISIS, the Ukraine IMHO, all are valid reasons for military intervention. If ISIS was left unchecked, how far could they spread? How powerful will they get? How long do you wait for the next 9/11 before intervention? Illegal wars and drone strikes are ridiculous. Eradicating terrorist or dangerous threats are necessary.

            Consider this then. The Presidential budget request for humanitarian aid in 2015 is $20.1 billion dollars. Lets say we scrap that, and leave it to 1 NGO to gather the necessary amount and focus on everything that the aid budget would go to. That would be $62.12 per person in the country for the year.

            Except things aren’t so simple. That amount is is everyone from all ages and social standing would pay. Subtracting everyone from below the age of 20 who are likely unable to donate using the most recent possible stats from the Census raises that to $83.29 per person for the year. But that still assumes that everyone over the age of 20 in the country and and will donate. Given that there are people who have the view ‘why should we help them?’, the homeless (610,000 people and growing), the poor struggling to feed their own families, the people in crippling student or medical debt, the people just too greedy, then that number raises and raises.

            But wait, there’s more. NGO’s need money to run and operate. That £20.1 billion suddenly increases. Then each year, the need will likely increase as climate change causes havoc and diseases spread, which will need research not included in that aid budget. Israel and Palestine continue their constant war, causing more problems.

            Charitable giving is on the rise, and this year over $330 billion was donated by US citizens and corporations the charities in the US, but the strain will increase the more work they need to do and the amount needed will rise exponentially. Not to mention charitable giving won’t really be just an option but a necessity to help keep other human beings alive. Do you honestly think everyone would do that? Do you think enough would do that?

            That’s not including the fact that NGO’s are currently fighting homelessness and poverty in the US, with government assistance in some cases, and the problems are still on the rise. Crippling student and medical debt, ridiculous state and federal minimum wage, the demonisation of the poor and mentally ill, the list goes on. All of it, absolutely all of it goes back to the people you put in power and yes there are some people who will vote red or blue regardless, but for the first time in history a black man was voted over a white man as President. Things can change, people can change, and if enough is done to revamp the political system, your problems can change.

              1. I fully agree. For example, Iraq was a massive mistake that we should not have got involved in for the wrong reasons. We deposed Hussain, but gave rise to angry militants upset with the West. However, in the cases of ISIS and Crimea, both Syria and Ukraine have petitioned the international community at large for help over the past year. Are these scenarios that we should ignore?

                On a side note, that was a very well written poem.

  10. I think this view is a little short-sighted. For example, if we were to leave West Africa to deal with the Ebola crisis on its own, the virus would spread more rapidly and, eventually, would end up over here somehow. I work for one of the NGOs that is on the ground in West Africa helping to educate people about Ebola. Some people are resistant, of course, but the stats show that the education is helping to reduce the numbers of sick people. Sure, we’re an NGO, and you say we should continue doing this work … But without support from the government, there’s no way it would be possible. Back in April, we were trying to do it without the government’s help, and the numbers of Ebola cases rose drastically.

    I could say similar things about not dealing with ISIS. If we just let them overrun the Middle East, do you think they would never eventually end up in the U.S.? See, it’s not really a Middle East or an Africa problem. It’s a global problem.

    At the same time, I see places where the U.S. government is involved where it doesn’t really need to be. I’ll concede that point.

    When I hear your viewpoint (and because of my job, I hear it a lot … believe me, you’re not alone, and I’d say you’re honestly probably in the majority), it just sounds to me like you’re saying people in the U.S. deserve more than other people … Like I should care more about people in the U.S. I’ve met people all over the world who have been helped by programs that my organization runs through government grants, and I’m glad that we helped them even though education in the U.S. isn’t perfect. When you see people drinking water out of mud holes because that’s all they have, it starts to feel like maybe helping people get access clean water is more important than good education or half the other things Americans complain about. (I say this as someone who has a very good education; I do value education.)

    I guess my point is that I disagree because (1) most issues happening around the world that we’re currently involved in are global issues and (2) I don’t see the U.S. as more important or more deserving of help than anyone else; instead I prefer to triage issues in a sense.

    Regardless, I’m glad to see a thoughtful post about the issue rather than some angry redneck with his caps lock key stuck saying, “HELP OUR OWN! SCREW THE REST!”

    1. I admit I am ignorant of issues that do have an effect on us. I guess in that sense I am saying we don’t get involved until it poses a definite threat. That something might effect us one day is not good enough. We’d be sticking our nose everywhere at that point, which is what we are doing.

      I have no problem with government grants, but I would leave it at that when it comes to ebola. We have security measures at home we can focus on to help stop/limit the spread here.

      I do feel for the people who suffer and will suffer with this idea. People suffer even as we try to help as well. I am not saying, on a human level, that I don’t care. I’m saying the American government’s first responsibility is to it’s people. Only when that responsibility has been met should it look to help elsewhere. We can’t survive as a world police forever. The effort will bankrupt us. Not only that, but world issues like ISIS have their roots in problems we caused (but said we were fixing).

      So, to respectfully counter your points, I agree that global issues (such as climate change) are worth though but disagree that we should involve ourselves in something that might effect us. Second, I am not trying to say that people in the US are in more peril or more deserving that anyone else. I’m saying a government’s first responsibility is to it’s people.

  11. What this country needs to do is be thankful the current administration is on it’s way out, and put someone in that loves this country.

    1. I personally don’t think any politician believes their idea will hurt anyone. Everyone thinks their plan is the right plan. Problem is, I have yet to see any politician who has ideas I can really get behind.

  12. Sadly, the US cannot just pull out of war and global issues. No country is an Island unto itself. On the surface they appear to be helping the world, but they are actually exchanging with the world. These days, even military assistance is big business. Let us not even talk about the precious minerals and natural resources that keeps flying into the US.

    I don’t mean to sound rude, but the gasoline that you feed your car, where do you think it’s coming from? If Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia or even Libya is known for growing cotton, do you think the US will be heavily involved there?

    United Nations, which is heavily funded by the US is overwhelmed with responsibilities. And the old saying goes, “who pays the piper, calls the tune.” Consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, do you really think the US can sit unconcerned?

    You are right if you say people agree with you when it’s clear they don’t understand what you are saying. I noticed same. But sometimes one has to be polite.

    1. I understand what you are saying, but I still hold my position. I don’t agree with killing people for oil or any other resource. I will take the change in the economy. Perhaps we will become more efficient in transportation technologies that don’t require oil. We can make clothes out of something other than cotton. A country should not have to stand on dead bodies in order to thrive.

      Perhaps if the US pulled out of much of the world, more countries would contribute to the UN or get involved themselves. Let someone else take the responsibility of world police.

      That’s why I know, in truth, this opinion is unpopular. If people actually thought about what they would give up for this to come to pass, they may change their minds. But threats of less oil don’t make me want this any less.

  13. I agree with you ChapterTK. What is probably needed is more of our own citizens to take this stand and force politicians to put up or shut up. Meaning: do something for the people in this country or get out of office as in: we’ll vote you out.

    1. I agree. I would do anything for a third party. Personally, I believe the biggest conspiracy in this country is that our two parties are really that different. They all do nearly the same thing when they come into office and distract us with a few social issues to think they are different. But, if more people voted, and voted for every level, including the local level (where our national politicians start), we’d see a changed government.

  14. I don’t live in the US and I’m not American, however I once had similar views about the UK. I spoke to a politician and he said that unfortunately the cost of not trying to sort issues out is greater than the cost of going to war.

    We are all interconnected and so the answers are far more complex than we might first think. Unfortunately there is no perfect solution to improving the world. If we get involved then it is damaging, if we don’t then it’s damaging.

    On a side note, here’s a great video by Stephen Pinker on The Myth of Violence. The world is actually getting much less violent over time, even though the media and most public opinion thinks otherwise:

    The above video though must prove that what people have been doing over the past couple of hundred years is working!

    So to conclude I’m not agreeing or disagreeing, but rather saying that the situation is far more complex. All I know is that the more I learn, the less solutions I see except trying to make the world a better place on our doorstep. i.e. start with ourselves, then our friends and family, then our neighbours and then people in our local community and work from there. Although campaigning is also great.

    You are doing some great work. I also believe in equality for all, so it was great to read your Gravatar profile.

    Take care
    Mike from UK

    1. You are the first comment that gave me something to rethink my position. I accept that this opinion is simplistic, but have yet to hear anything that makes me consider changing. However, I also know the world is becoming less and less violent. This is something I learned as I studied the link between video games and violence (shocker, there isn’t any). That might seem simple, but as a gamer who thinks certain games can be really beneficial (story for another day) it’s really important for me to tell people that, as video games have become more realistic and risen in popularity, violence has steadily decreased.

      If there is some proof out there that our military effort contributes to the overall reduction of violence in the world, I might go back.

      However, if we go into the extremes of debt (like we are), we won’t be able to be the peacekeeper forever. That’s my point more than anything else. Just to use numbers, say violence was a 9, but with US military involvement, it’s now 4. However, to keep violence at 4, the US must use too many resources, go into debt and eventually lose all ability to contribute a military force. All of a sudden, violence is back to 9. But, if we pull back – not putting more strain on ourselves than we can bear, and keep violence at a steady 6, certainly that is better.

      Sorry, that was long. What I’m saying is, many years of 6 level violence will save more lives than a few decades of 4 level violence that shoots back up to 9 after those years end.

      no easy answers

      1. Great reply. I just know that I don’t know the answers 🙂 Your reasoning appears reasonable. It might be more strategic to improve the damaging parts of the global financial markets (e.g. laws that allow greedy and dishonest people to damage the economy so badly). That way countries wouldn’t be so in debt AND we could all invest partly in attempting to use force when we have to stabilise parts of the world. The debate about just and unjust military action is another debate entirely. Also can we learn why the world has become less violent and focus more on those strategies? Ironically a free market might have stabilised us more than what we had before. So it’s confusing to me! I would need to spend months or years properly researching this. The modern world is so complex that anyone that has decided either way without deep analysis might want to reflect more. However I feel that there are no perfect solutions. Interesting re positive video games. I forgot to say that as humans we tend to seek evidence that fits our current opinion so occasionally it’s good to research the alternative views to our position (with a genuine open mind) even if by the end of it we stand even stronger in our current position. The other danger is that the smarter someone is, the better they are at conning themselves. None of this is a criticism of you by the way, just my understanding of the human mind 😉 I’ve done it a lot!

        1. That all makes sense to me. I’ll admit, when I was looking into violence and video games, I had arguments prepared if violence was on the increase since video games came into the world. Turn out, I didn’t need those because they very idea that violence is increasing is false.

      2. Please stay in touch. Let me know what you find out. It’s hard for either side not to let their emotions blind them to some extent. My emotions blind me all the time! I’m not saying emotions aren’t needed in making decisions (they are essential), I’m suggesting that we need to be aware of our emotions and biases enough in order to see if they are effecting our thinking.

      3. If this stuff was easy there wouldn’t be so many diverse views. Most people don’t argue over whether 2+2=4. It stands that the more complex a problem or situation, the more diverse the set of views held. Maybe?

  15. You must have received some hateful comments on this subject, I did not read all of them. I completely agree with you. The US needs to pull out of everything for a while, to repair “us”. So many in need in this country and I am sick to death of seeing our tax money tossed away to help those who do not deserve the help. Fix America now.

    1. Actually, everyone has been quite respectful, whether they agree or disagree. That’s always nice to see on a topic as controversial as this.

      I don’t know if anyone is undeserving. It’s a number issue, which is always sad when it comes to human lives. We can’t help someone else if it destroys us in the process. If we could fix the main issues with our own country, I bet we’d find we are stronger than ever and more able to effectively help others.

  16. I have wanted to say that out loud for years! The United States needs to butt out of everyone else’s problems and worry about us for a change!

    Just for one or two years even, imagine the nationwide effect it would have spending those billions of dollars on the homeless and people without medical care instead of tossing it away to others. Imagine if in the course of three to five years the United States could make the claim of saying “We have no homeless people!” Wow.

    Imagine if some of that money went to helping the unemployed get work perhaps in building up national defenses and borders and strengthening our home front from outside attacks.

    Everyone has a place to live, everyone has food to eat, everyone who is able is working — how strong would we be then?!

    I only suggest a few years at first to see how it all works out but eventually yes, we’d need to make sure other parts of the world are doing okay so it doesn’t affect us down the road.

    1. I know! I’ve had so many ideas that could be implemented. Right now, I have a few older friends who are out of work. I see the problem of ageism out there. What if the unemployment office started a program where employers who were welcoming to older people are specifically looking for more experienced people could sign up. They could then give older people a list of jobs which have specifically said they are looking for someone like them.

      Additionally, I think it would be great to have a little job cafe in the unemployment office. To enter, you’d have to have something that proves you are on unemployment. There, you would have free internet and coffee. You could chat with other people who are looking for jobs and maybe learn from their job searching tactics.

      There are so many small things we could do. We really need to focus on our own, not because people in other countries don’t deserve our help, but because we need to make sure we are the best we can be first.

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