Sex at Dawn

Exploring the evolutionary origins of modern sexuality

America Causes Cancer

Forget the terrorists. The real enemy is American culture.

Hispanics living in Florida have a 40 percent higher cancer risk than those who live in their native countries. A new study reconfirms previous findings (with Japanese) that Americans have a carcinogenic way of life.

Is there any logical connection between what really threatens American lives and the money spent defending against these dangers?

The U.S. spent $636,292,979,000 last year on military expenditures (presumably defending the nation against terrorists and Russians). Total U.S. spending on medical research was about $95 billion, about 1/7th the money that went to the military.

Yet a study published in 2002, found about a quarter million Americans die each year from avoidable causes—things that proper medical care would have detected and treated. How many died from terrorist attacks?

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The Urban Institute has estimated that about 22,000 Americans die annually simply because they lack health care. That's about seven times the total toll from 9/11 every year.

We're spending over $630 billion on guns, missiles, and bombs every year, but can't afford less than $1 trillion (over ten years) to insure every American? Really?

How much would we spend on the CIA and arms if our enemies were killing 22,000 Americans every year?

Any country that spends far more defending itself against largely imaginary enemies as it does against the real causes of death is no better than the fools who cut down the last trees on Easter Island so they could erect a few more statues. A culture collapsing under the weight of its own inescapable fantasies.


Update: Numbers corrected. Sorry, I get lost at anything over a hundred billion!

Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., is co-author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality (HarperCollins 2010).


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