New Internationalist

Lies, damned lies and statistics

I just read this.

The money needed to give everyone in the world adequate food, water, housing, education, and health care is estimated to be about £50 billion a year. That may seem like a huge sum, but the world's armed forces spend about the same amount on weapons each month.

I've always been amazed at such statistics. Stark, simple, shocking. And yet, no-one seems to take any notice of them. I mean, how can things go on as they are, the appalling injustice, poverty, disease and despair, when we KNOW there is more than enough money to put it all right? We KNOW because it says so. There it is in black and white!

Now some amongst you, the cynics, might say... ah, but what if that statistic is wrong? Remember Disraeli's damning phrase: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'

Okay, what if it is wrong? What if it's out by a billion or two? For now, let's put to one side the amount of money spent on arms each year (a crime in itself). How much money did the Bush Administration shell out to save the ailing US banks? 700 billion dollars! Yes, 700 billion dollars! So, what's a few billion here or there when your children are dying unnecessarily?

It's a personal view, this. But as far as I'm concerned our rulers have blown it. Forever. In future, how will they ever be able to say that there is not enough money available to give everyone in the world adequate food, water, housing, education, and health care? Oh, they'll try. They'll lie and cheat and do anything to keep their blood-soaked hands on power. But their lying and cheating has been exposed. As we knew all along, the money is there. And as we also knew all along, the will is not. 

Simple as that.

www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/03/creditcrunch.useconomy2

www.sciafyouth.org.uk/content/download/1366/10134/file/ SCIAF%20Arms%20Factsheet%20-%20.pdf

www.globalissues.org/issue/73/arms-trade-a-major-cause-of-suffering





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