06 April 2011

Military Spending vs. Public Education

The Lockheed F-35 multi-strike fighter is A Weapon That Costs More Than Australia.

The US intends to buy 2,443 Lockheed F-35s. The tab will be a cool trillion dollars.

That's one shit-grip full of duckets.
One trillion is 13 digits -- a 1 followed by 12 zeros. GAO estimates that the F-35 program will cost US taxpayers $1E12 to purchase, operate, & maintain.

Australia's entire 12-digit GDP is $924 billion.
The culture of endless money that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of restraint.
~ U.S. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates
Nary a peep from our elected officials on yet another military blank-check boondoggle.

Are there higher priorities, like a WPA-like jobs program or re-investing in public education?

Try This With That $1 Trillion

About 6 million of the best & brightest teachers would be needed if the US chose to publicly educate all of our 60 million children, aged 0-14, with a 10:1 student to teacher ratio.

In this thought experiment, we could choose to pay the best and the brightest 6 million teachers an attractive salary of say, $100,000 per year.

Sound ambitious? Sound crazy?

If we dumped the F-35 program, we could have the opportunity to re-build a world-class public school system -- and still have $166,666 in change.

Just sayin'.

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