The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Where does the money go?

Jun 21, 2004

World military spending reached 956 billion dollars last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, of which almost half (47%) is done by the U.S.

That means the United States is spending about one and a quarter BILLION per DAY on military expenses – 450 billion dollars in 2003. Other wealthy countries don't even come close in their military spending – Britain's share, for example, was 48 billion last year. The U.S. is also the largest seller of weaponry, exporting almost half the world's supply last year.

It's not an accident that the U.S. has the worst medical care system of any industrialized country. Not that there aren't good doctors and hospitals – they're just not available. Money is spent elsewhere.

A new study by Families USA showed that during 2002 and 2003 there were 82 million Americans under the age of 65 who had no health insurance. Most of these uninsured people had no coverage for more than nine months. Black people, Hispanic people and those younger than 25 lacked coverage more often than others. The state with the worst rate of people lacking health coverage was Texas, with 43% of those under 65 lacking coverage. In eight other states – including California, more than one out of every three people under 65 lacked health insurance.

This country's military spending kills quickly, especially overseas, while health spending kills slowly right here at home.