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Thirst for knowledge .. August 16, 2006

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts.

In my ageing copy of the Economist Guide to World in 2005 .. (can you guess how old it is?) .. I found a statistic that alarmed me .. In 2004 Defence spending by the US was Circa $421bn a year .. a very high figure when looked at in isolation, I think I could think of few better things to spend it on, but when shown in a sexy pie chart it’s even more dramatic – the figure is near on 50% of the total world spend on defence .. i.e. The US spends as much as the rest of us put together on defence???!!!

So by my reckoning, even if the whole world outside of the US ganged up all of its defence budgets and used them in attack on the US, it would still be a fairly even battle .. that’s amazing .. I am not anti-American, or anti anything for that matter (well ok anti homophobic, racist, sexist etc), but is it any wonder that your countries citizens are paranoid when they see that much of their tax dollar going into defending something that could crush any countries, or any combination of countries, attempts to attack it..

Spend less, do some good in the world like stop using so much cheap oil and cut some third world debt and then smaller extremist countries might like the sentiment and lay off .. 

Oh I should have been a smart thinking politician right?



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