It seems, if you are a recent graduate, you don’t have a lot of job options. There are plenty of part time jobs, hawking fast food, being a cashier, or babysitting seem especially available to those who want to trade time for minimum wage. Meaningful careers don’t seem to be an option anymore, such is the world after the internet and the globalization of manufacturing. In the phrase of an economist, “We are all cutting each others’s hair”. In other words, we don’t make anything anymore, we just wait on each other.

Of course, there are plenty of good jobs available in the service of your country. Yup, war is big business. Sure, you can learn a swell career if you don’t mind the shooting and getting shot at part. If you survive our job training, you’ll be set for life. Even if it that rest of your life involves getting fit for new limbs at Walter Reed. War, what is it good for? Absolutely something: job training. Yup great careers in electronics, the law, medicine and marksmanship await those who enlist. There are always soldiers, what about the rest of our youth, aren’t we sending the message that we don’t need anyone who can’t march?

We originally called it the War Department; in 1949 the Department of Euphemisms changed the name to the Department of Defense. World War 2 was over and War was so “last year”. I am in favor of defense, our servicemen and our nation. I am using my well protected freedom to express my grave concerns. Yes, the Army is a great option for those inclined, but what are the other options available to our youth? While society is worried about some fat chick who gets divorced after 71 days, no one is asking some very important questions.

Can we afford peace? If the War Department’s job is now to provide jobs and career training, what happens when we are the only remaining superpower? How many more caves are left to blow up?

What about poverty? Here and abroad? Wouldn’t more peace breakout if people had food and shelter? And YouTube?

Science? If we actually solved problems like energy and aids, wouldn’t a lot of other problems solve themselves?

The Earth? There are piles of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean, Tigers are vanishing to extinction and you almost can’t find the polar caps. Do we really need another super weapon?

What about creativity? We can afford ROTC programs but not art teachers? We have an unlimited budget for bombs but can’t put IPADS in every student’s hands?

I’ve heard the argument and have been called stupid and unpatriotic for rejecting it and I don’t care. We are, at least by where we put our money, our actions and our youth, a war-like people. And I am sick that we justify our behavior in the name of job training and better technology. Couldn’t we use our War Budget to become the greatest nation on earth again?

Can we afford peace?

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