Could this be true (US defense spending)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by edesignuk, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #1
    Just wondering...Rory Bremner (a well known political impressionist/satirist) was on a chat show last week. Because his comedy is mostly based around politics, the conversation obviously heads that way. In amongst the chit chat, he said this...
    Since 1945 America has spent~$19 trillion on defense. If you were to spend $26m per day since the supposed birth of 'christ', you still would not have spent as much as the US has on defense since '45.​
    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: Could it possibly be true? I really have no idea...interesting thought though, and quite amazing if true.

    edit: I should probably note, I haven't looked in to this AT ALL, haven't even done the math to see if it works :eek:
     
  2. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #2
  3. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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  4. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #4
    Not totally true.
    26 000 000 * 365 * 2 005 = 1.902745 × 10^13
    Isn't 1.902745 × 10^13 more than 19 Trillion? Or is my Math totally off? I didn't sleep last night and I'm too tired to figure it out further. :eek:
     
  5. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #5
    I found this link interesting regarding military spending during Bush's term.

    On September 7th, 2003, President Bush announced on national television that he was asking the Congress to grant him an additional $87 billion dollars for the fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2004, to continue the fight on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    But $87 billion is an impossibly high number for anyone to visualize. Let's have a look....

    http://www.crunchweb.net/87billion/
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    You lot are nowhere near the truth:
    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/082105D.shtml
     
  7. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #7
    Yes the total cost to humans is probably unmeasureable.Shame I'm not a capitalist or Lockheed Martin et al would probably worth a punt.
     
  8. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #8
    Your math is almost spot on but your conclusion is totally off. Although indeed it is more than 19 trillion.

    Take that 1.9 and move the decimal thirteen skips to the right.

    19,002,745,000,000

    Nineteen trillion, two billion, seven hundred and forty-five million and change.

    Now since Christ wasn't born in year 0 because there was no year 0, you'd have to start from year 1, but he wasn't born then either, so we've got some play there. And there's some disparity with the 365 because an astronomical year is actually a quarter day longer than that.

    But other than that, yeah, it's a pretty accurate number give or take a half million every year (hey, it's 19 million-million dollars, who's going to notice if a few billion here or there is missing? Halliburton charts at least that much in graft every quarter).
     
  9. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    It's an astounding figure, but it's also misleading. In reality, the US only spends a few percent of its GDP on defense. The Soviet Union spent a much higher percentage, which is one of the reasons it couldn't keep up. But still, its a lot of money, and it could have funded millions of college scholarships or paid for a lot of health insurance.
     
  10. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #10
    On the other hand, the US spends about 3.5% of GDP on defense, not counting the Iraq and Afghan wars, which would bring the current total over 4%. Most European nations that are NATO members spend less than 2%. The big spenders among high income countries are France (2.5% 2002) and the UK (2.4% 2002). Greece (4.4%) and Turkey (5.1%) spend a lot on defense because they hate each other. The only bigger European spender is Armenia, which in 2002 spend 6.4% of its GDP on its military, the highest percentage in Europe. Bosnia and Serbia were the only other European countries to spend a higher percentage than the US (using even the smaller 3.5% figure).

    Heading East, China is comparable to the US at 4.1%, Japan spends a small 1.0%, although that still gives them one of the world's biggest militaries. Even though North Korea spends 25%, South Korea can keep parity with only 2.8%. Australia spends only 2.0%.

    With the Iraq and Afghan wars, the US is spending nearly as much as the rest of the world combined. So it is a lot.
     
  11. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #11
    What would Sun Tzu say... This violates (and thereby proves) one of his primary rules in the Art of War. A guy over 2000 years ago got it right, why can't current leaders? :cool:

    Reminds me of a couple favorite quotes of mine:

    "Give me the money that has been spent in war and I will clothe every man, woman, and child in an attire of which kings and queens will be proud. I will build a schoolhouse in every valley over the whole earth. I will crown every hillside with a place of worship consecrated to peace."
    - Charles Sumner

    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
    - Dwight D. Eisenhower
     
  12. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #12
    Perhaps this is obvious, but in addition to the cost of all these weapons is the fact that using them destroys wealth. Killing people, blowing up or damaging buildings and infrastrucure, crippling people, creating hazzardous wastes...

    It's a costly venture.
     
  13. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #13
    A significant portion of that is Cold War-related. We would have been happy not to spend so much if Western Europe would have been happy learning Russian.
     
  14. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #14
    Probably most of them were never used, if it makes you feel any better.
     
  15. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #15
    It wouldn't surprise me that stopping the over-charging by defence contractors would bring that figure down substantially. I worked for one such contractor that made the push button bezel that surrounded a small CRT in jet fighters. In 1991, that bezel was sold for $2000. It had fibre optic connections for lighting but it was clearly about $1500 over-priced. Of course, Boeing was quite happy to pay that price because they could mark it up more as part of the deal with the government.

    Does an F-16 really cost $14 million each? If it was done as a synergistic business in a truly competitive world, they might be turning them out for $250,000.
     
  16. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #16
    aren't they more like $40 million?

    edit: here's one source:
     
  17. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #17
    Excepting that whole Korea thing, and Vietnam thing, and testing bombs here and there, and shelling Carribbean islands for target practice, and that first Iraq war...
     
  18. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

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    #18
    Imagine how that money, "wasted" money in my opinion, would help make the country a better place.

    Was that on the Frank Skinner show? I heard him mention $19 trillion and I thought, "has he made a mistake?" :confused:

    Scary :eek: :(
     
  19. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #19
    Yup, Frank Skinner. I also thought that it can't be right.....then thought about it some more and decided that it might be, and here we are! :eek:
     
  20. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #20
    Hey- c'mon now you guys! It takes money to run an empire! Stop complaining- we're spreading democracy to the whole world. :rolleyes: :D
     
  21. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #21
    Have you met us!?! This surprises you?
     
  22. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

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    #22
    I've been in New York now for 3 days. Nothing will ever surprise me again!

    :eek:
     
  23. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #23
    Yes, like I said, most of them were never used...
     

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