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War and the Economy

From a CS Monitor artilce:
“America’s spending for defense will exceed that of all other nations combined.”
“‘A waste of a phenomenal amount of money,’ says Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. ‘It should have been spent for something useful to Americans.'”

War’s mixed impact on a reviving economy | csmonitor.com
Adding in the $87 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan recently requested by President Bush, America’s spending for defense will exceed that of all other nations combined.
It’s a sign that the United States may be the most dominant single military power on the globe since the Roman Empire.
It’s also a sign that Pax Americana is a costly affair, with major impact on the economy as well as on the world’s political landscape.
Wars, in general, can stimulate economic growth or weigh down a nation with burdensome costs. This one could do both.
Most economists would say the US is now only partially in a “wartime economy.” Defense costs are rising, but as a share of the US economy they are below levels seen in the cold war.
But war’s imprint remains significant. In this year’s April-June quarter, when the economy grew at a 3.1 percent annual rate, defense spending accounted for about one full percentage point of that gain, estimates economist Cynthia Latta of Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. It could provide about the same boost in the current quarter, as a US recovery gathers momentum.
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