Waste Not, Want Not

Posted: July 22, 2007 in Bureauacracy, Government, Homelessness, Money

Space exploration is a big thing to many. I myself – like many others – often wonder if we’re alone in the universe or if there are other civilizations on some distant planet. It would be nice to know, but then again…

While it’s all fine and dandy to think about these things, my pragmatic nature forces me to keep a tighter focus on what is happening here on this planet – which is after all – my own little corner of the great cosmos.  

According to the Office of Management and Budget, the NASA had a budget of $16.5 billion in 2006 – up by 2% from 2005.

According to the numbers provided by the National Coalition for the Homeless, only $1.34 billion were allocated to help our nation’s homeless.

I’m all in favor of knowing what is out there in the great expanse of space but, right now, I’m just a wee bit more concerned with what is happening within the borders of our nation.

Let’s face it – the United States is the most prosperous nation on the face of the planet, yet there are millions of people who are living in third world conditions on the very streets of our nation’s cities – People, who will go hungry tonight; people who will have no place to sleep tonight; people who will wake up tomorrow morning and have little or no hope for the future. And, all the while this nation is spending money on things that have no direct impact on the quality of life for the majority of Americans.

But it isn’t only on a National level that this type of spending is happening. It’s happening at State and Local levels as well.

Local officials seem to enjoy spending taxpayer dollars on some of the most inane and superficial things – and all the while, forgetting those within our community who direly need assistance.

Like I said, I have no problem with taxpayer dollars being spent. That’s what they’re there for. More accurately, they’re there to benefit the people. And, because of my practical nature, it would seem to make more sense to spend money where it will do the most amount of good: helping people improve the quality of their lives.

It makes me wonder why we expend so much time and energy (not to mention money) on programs that do not improve the quality of life. Are we that bored with ourselves that everything has to have an entertainment value? Do we have to continue to spend money on programs just because we’re curious about something – and all the while people within our own communities are living in below poverty conditions?

Perhaps it’s time we start cutting back spending on the things we want, and begin spending on the things we need.

Remember the old adage:Waste Not, Want Not.

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