Matters of Scale - Military Budget Bulimia

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"Man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life." -U.S. President John F. Kennedy, 1961
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What a B-2 bomber would cost, in materials, if it were built of solid gold
$.8 billion
?What it will actually cost U.S. taxpayers as currently constructed
$2.3 billion
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"The amount of money spent on peace-fostering research by the U.S. government has been less than 1 percent of what has been spent to make weapons more deadly." -Dean V. Pabst, in Global Security Study No. 10, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Santa Barbara, California
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The U.S. government's average annual expenditures on military research and development since the mid-1980s
$35.0 billion
?Its average expenditures on research and development to protect the environment
$1.4 billion
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"They shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." -Isaiah 2:4
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Developed nations' 1991 military expenditures
$540 billion
?Their 1991 expenditures on aid to the development of poor countries, whose poverty arguably poses the greatest threat to global security
$50 billion
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"After all existing commitments for the reduction of weapons have been met, the nuclear stockpiles of acknowledged nuclear powers will still hold more than 900 times all the explosive power expanded in World War II." -Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social Expenditures 1993
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Average time it took for 1 million people to die in war during the two millennia between the rise of Rome and the beginning of the 20th century
50 years
Average time it has taken to kill that many people in war throughout the 20th century
1 year
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Sources: Military expenditures from Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social Expenditures 1993 (Washington, D.C.: World Priorities, 1993); War deaths from William Eckhardt, "War-related Deaths Since 3,000 B.C.," Bulletin of Peace Proposals, December 1991. Compiled by Ed Ayres.