Terrorism has been a boon to the defense industry. Prior to 9/11, military budgets had been in rapid decline and our country was flush with cash.
Now, we spend more money than the next 45 countries combined and hardly anyone complains. Why? Because we are scared shitless. What if that one dollar cut is the dollar that could have saved our lives?
Personally, I think our level of fear is way out of proportion to the level of risk but hey, that's how terrorism works. It's genius, really.
So why not leverage that success into other areas where the risks are actually greater to begin with?
Take healthcare. Your risk of dying from an undiagnosed disease or untreated injury are far greater than your risk of being killed by a terrorist. But yet people had to be dragged kicking and screaming towards a new, more comprehensive healthcare system.
Now, if Osama Bin Laden threatened to shut down our hospitals or cut off our pharmaceutical supply, things would start to happen. We would probably invade Canada and steal their healthcare system, rationing be damned.
And what about unemployment? Sure, people are pretty pissed off about the economy, but yet everyone seems to scream socialism when anyone suggests spending a little money to actually create a few jobs. Hell, they even get upset when you want to give people a little unemployment compensation.
Imagine if the Taliban came over here and started blocking office park entrances or shutting down construction sites. People would be pretty frustrated. We might even be forced to hop the border fence in the hopes of finding work in Mexico. But ultimately, the government would drop a few bombs, cover up the collateral damage and people would be back to work.
Fact is, a lack of adequate healthcare or a job pose a much greater risk to many more people than terrorism. How many thousands die each year because they don't get the medical attention they need? How many children get sick or die because their parents lost their job and have no money to pay for food or shelter?
These are very real threats to our national security. And yet, unlike terrorism, there is no sense of urgency to do anything about them.
Anyone know which cave Bin Laden is hiding in these days? I think we need him to make another tape.