Yes, it was a joke!

APRIL FOOLS! Is it Joshua or is it Rob?

Click here for a blast from the past! …and if you feel silly about getting fooled (lots of people did, although plenty caught it too — and so many people wrote nice stuff to “Joshua” — thank you, and remember, the story may have been fabricated, but the message was true), click here and you'll see that it's not so uncommon.

Having fun with numbers

The following information is from the Whitehouse 2003 Budget pages (link), the CIA World Factbook (link), the Center for Defense Information (link), and the US Census Bureau (link).

  • The amount that the US military budget has been increased this year (just the increase, not the total amount), dramatically outweighs the total military spending of Russia and China put together.
  • Total US military spending is over eight times that of China and Russia put together.
  • The US spends over thirty-seven times more money on the military than all of the “axis of evil” countries added up — and that doesn't include any of the spending on the war on Iraq.
  • The US spends well over five times as much money on military expenditures than it does on education, meaning that the amount the military budget was increased this year nearly outweighs the entire educational budget.
  • The US has a per-captita HIV/AIDS rate over sixty times as high as that in Iraq.
  • Saudia Arabia, the country most of the September 11th hijackers came from, spends almost twenty times more on its military than Iraq.
  • The average American (babies included) pays almost twenty five times as much (per capita) as the average North Korean to support their military.
  • Private citizens in the US pay over five times as much in income taxes as corporations do.

Now, the other thing that really struck me is the “what could you buy” question. Let's see what one could purchase if one spent the US military budget on other things. For example:

  • It could provide food for between 1.2 and 2 billion people yearly.
  • It could send approximately 60 million students to university, including housing, yearly.
  • It could give a new car to 31 million Americans every year.
  • It could purchase a week long trip to Jamaica including airfare for every American.
  • It could purchase three million $120,000 new homes yearly.
  • It could purchase nearly every single item produced for export by Canada and Mexico put together and give it away for free.
  • It could purchase a body piercing for every single person (including babies and old people) on the planet, and still have enough money left over to tattoo every person in America.

As a point of trivia, if the “war on Iraq” wasn't happening, the money that is projected to be spent there could purchase every every African American male (of all ages, baby to senior) in America a brand new Porsche Boxster. Failing that, it could give $1.8 million to every Native American family in America. Alternately, it could give every person in America over the age of eighty a free second home in Florida. Seriously.

Is it money well spent?

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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