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A Plea to Leaders of Defense Industry

November 20, 1988

A recent Times commentary by Irvine Mayor Larry Agran discussed the results of the National Priorities Resolution (U.S. Conference of Mayors). This important study concluded that a transfer of $30 billion a year over 5 years would increase the gross national product by $3.5 billion and give citizens $2.2 billion more in disposable income than if the money stayed in the military budget. The nation's military budget would still be allowed a real spending increase of $41 billion over 1981 levels, after inflation.

What this translates into is that our decision-makers would be wise to increase our "national security" by shifting some money away from military expenditures towards America's cities; i.e. the homeless, the elderly, education and health care.

I urge those who work for and lead such corporations as McDonnell Douglas, Rockwell and Hughes to look deeply at themselves to assess how much effort they are really putting into being peacemakers rather than weapons producers.

I commend Larry Agran for the courageous and hope-inspiring leadership he is showing by taking actions in his community and at the national level as a peacemaker. His commentary challenges us to further explore and redefine what we mean as a country when we discuss the terms national security and national defense when so many social concerns cry for attention.

PATRICIA MEYER-SINGH

Santa Ana

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