By Bill Collier
Dear fellow human being and co-resident of planet earth:
I am a combat veteran. I have seen the carnage, mayhem, death, abysmal destruction and colossal waste of war first-hand. I think about the state of the world today, and I can’t sleep at night. Half of the people in the world are starving to death, while the other half of us rush to squander vast amounts of resources to perfect better ways to kill each other and terminate all life on the planet. This is usually done in the name of one god or another. This is just plain wrong!
There are many peace organizations that purport to promote peace in the world, but I’m seeing slow-to-no progress. I have yet to see any real mechanism in place to move us in the direction of peace.
Since time immemorial governments have taxed the people to support war. I suggest that it is time for the people to turn the tables on the governments and demand a workable plan for peace on Earth in our time. I suggest a plan:
What if we the citizens tax the military to promote peace?
FIRST: Regardless of its size, 1 percent of the military budget each year should be allocated towards the promotion of peace. It is already federal law that a small percentage of each federal building project is set aside for artistic improvements. Why shouldn’t we take some of the money from the war budget to promote peace? Today’s U.S. military budget exceeds $600 billion a year. One percent of that is $6 billion. That is more than $16.4 million dollars a day. Think about that.
SECOND: This $16.4 million dollars a day will be controlled by a private, non-political organization that has but one mission: to direct the spending of these funds to promote peace worldwide.
Mechanisms for this could include but not be limited to:
1. A peace academy to train adult leaders. This would bring youngsters from all over the world together to study in depth the causes of war, economics, media, etc.
2. Massive advertising campaigns/propaganda blitzes worldwide to change the war mentality of the world from its present state. Surely the creative geniuses that brings us beer, soft drink, clothing, drug and automobile advertising could come up with something. Do you think sex might sell peace?
3. Investigation and promotion of alternate projects for the military industrial complex. Those who profit from war can then profit from peace as well without wreaking havoc on the population and environment. Some ideas:
4. Think of building a monorail system around the world.
5. Massive alternative energy projects.
6. Space tourism and exploration: a space elevator, colonies on the moon or Mars.
7. Massive solar-powered de-salinization plants. We could make the deserts bloom.
8. Alternate employment opportunities for the present armies of the world.
9. Education. It is well established that poverty and ignorance breed war.
I am sure creative minds could come up with many more uses for this kind of money.
THIRD: Our foreign policy is changed such that any country wishing to continue trade with us, or wishing to continue receiving any kind of aid from us, must institute its own 1-percent program as soon as possible. The U.S. is an economic power in the world; we can use this economic power to encourage compliance. Time limits should be set and enforced. Countries not complying will be cut off from trade with the countries that do enact this idea.
FOURTH: The 1-percent tax on the military shall be increased by 1 percent each year. It would not take many years before both the military and peace budgets would be very small, by today’s standards.
How can we, the people of planet earth, coerce our leaders to consider such a plan?
Easy. Here is how:
•Make 10 copies of this column (or more, if you wish).
•Send copies to peace-minded individuals that you know.
•Send copies to various leaders of your city, borough, county, state or province.
•Send it to your elected leaders, senators and congress people, to leaders of the U.N., NATO, famous authors who profess peace, parents that you know, etc. Be creative.
•Add a short personal note to each letter in your own hand that you are serious about your feeling on this matter, and that you will not continue to support leaders or politicians who do not make serious efforts to work for world peace immediately. Suggestion: “I will not vote for you or your party if serious progress is not made on this when you are next up for election.” Let’s flood the offices of all our leaders with these flyers.
•Form a 10-member One Percent for Peace group in your home town.
•Encourage others in your group to do the same. Radiate peace!
Do you think this plan is silly, simplistic, stupid, bad, and unworkable?
OK. What’s your plan? I challenge you to better my plan.
P O Box 651
Sandpoint, ID 83864
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal