Global Defense Spending

Pradeep Sharma
Posted on Dec 6, 2019

The Shiny App created for this project can be found at: https://prasharma.shinyapps.io/prasharma/

The Github code used for this project can be found here: https://github.com/psharma128/shinyapp

INTRODUCTION:

-In 2018, the whole world collectively spent almost $1.8 trillion US Dollars on defense expenditures.

-The United States, the world's top military spender, spent more than $670 billion dollars on its defense in 2018, which was more than one third of the total global military spending for the year.

-Global military spending in recent years has been at the highest levels since World War 2

OBJECTIVE:

-I wanted to see the correlation between defense spending hikes and drops between rival countries and also how the global military budget can be better utilized for the betterment of humanity.

FINDINGS:

-According to Reuters, just 10 percent of the annual global military budget can help eradicate extreme poverty and hunger considerably.

-According to www.straitstimes.com, one sixth of the global military budget for one year, $300 billion dollars, can go a long way in combating climate change by planting millions of trees worldwide which would help trap greenhouse gases and convert them into oxygen, buying the earth another 15-20 years to reduce the use of fossil fuels and adopt cleaner technologies.

-The American Society for Civil Engineers gave the United States a D+ for its infrastructure, which has not seen any major investments since the Second World War. According to Jacobin Magazine, if the United States cuts its military budget to about $513 billion a year for 10 years (still the highest in the world by a long shot), the country could save and invest $2 trillion dollars in infrastructure upgrades which would create thousands of jobs and create the infrastructure the United States needs for the 21st century.

-Also according to Jacobin Magazine, cutting the US defense budget by a little over 10 percent yearly from current levels can make all public colleges and universities in the United States tuition free for all US Citizens and permanent residents. A college degree today is what a high school diploma was a few decades ago in terms of competitiveness in the job market, therefore, there are calls to extend education assistance towards college degrees to the American public to better equip them to compete in the 21st century job market. A $70-80 billion dollar cut in the $670+ billion dollar defense budget can make tuition free college a reality.

CONCLUSION:

-In a world mired by poverty, homelessness, growing threat of climate change, the almost $2 trillion spent on defense globally can help make the world a much better place.  In the United States, cutting a fraction of the global military budget can help provide millions of young people access to higher education and also provide upgrades to an infrastructure that’s rated D+ and is in dire need of reform.

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