Why Can't We Be More Like Europe? Military Spending Edition
By Art Carden
Why can’t the US be more like Europe? Why can’t we have decent economic growth and an extremely generous welfare state?
Here’s one reason: we spend an enormous amount of money on the military. Wikipedia’s “List of Countries by Military Expenditures Per Capita,” US per-capita spending on the military of $2141 in 2009 was almost twice as much as Norway ($1,245) and close to three times as much as Denmark ($804), Finland ($702), and Sweden ($657).
But aren’t we getting (and providing) a lot of peace and security in the process? I’m not so sure. In this LearnLiberty debate about war, co-blogger Bryan Caplan lays out his case for pacifism. He explains in previous EconLog posts here and here.
(The usual disclosure: I’ve been paid for appearing in LearnLiberty programs, but not for blogging about them. I’m sure there’s payola in the blogosphere, but I’m not getting it.)