US Could Have Been Poverty Free Before It Spent $13 Billion On New Ship

Since conservatives argue that the military expenditure is justified and statistics are being exaggerated, let’s discuss it in an honest manner without any bias at all, just authentic globally accepted figures and nothing else.

Image via Military Today.

This is the US Navy’s new aircraft carrier. It cost them $13 billion. They are planning to buy three more carriers which would cost another $43 billion. Thus, the total cost stands at $56 billion. This excludes maintenance and other expenses. Glance at the figure again – $56,000,000,000!

Now, we will calculate how exactly it affected the poor. No bias! No exaggeration!

Scenario 1 ? Extreme Poverty:

America has the second highest poverty rate in the developed world. It has the highest number of citizens who live below the “extreme poverty line” among all developed countries. The extreme poverty line doesn’t mean $23,850 for a family of four. It means a household of 2.55 people living on less than $2 a day. This means each person living on less than $0.784 per day. Now, 3.825 million people live below the extreme poverty line which is 1.2 percent of the American population.

Playing with mathematics here,

$56,000,000,000 (Cost of the carriers) /$0.784 (Money needed to pull one person out of extreme poverty for a day) x 3,285,000 (Number of people living in extreme poverty)

= 71,428,571,428 / 3,285,000

= 21,743 (Number of days for which extreme poverty would be eradicated from the US)

= 59.56 years (approx. 60 years)

This means that extreme poverty would have been a thing of the past for the cost of these ships.

Scenario 2 ? Generic Poverty:

The generic poverty line at $23,850 for a household of four means $5,962.5 per person per year which in turn means $16.33 per day. Sixteen percent or 1/6th of the American population (20 percent of American children) lives in poverty. This is approximately 50 million people. However, living in poverty doesn’t mean a person is living without money at all. This means they are earning less than the threshold. With an average income of $13.33 per person living below the poverty line, every such person would need $3 to overcome poverty.

Calculating mathematically,

$56,000,000,000 (Cost of the carriers) /$3 (Money needed to pull one person out of poverty for a day) * 50,000,000 (Number of people living in poverty)

= 373.33 (Number of days for which poverty would be eradicated from the US)

This is clearly more than a year.

All this was for the cost of four aircraft carriers. The American military budget is $610 billion per year. America is undoubtedly the most militarily powerful country in the world. It has enough nuclear warheads to bring an end to the planet (rather many). No country other than Russia (as well as most countries combined) will ever dare to pose a threat to the US. Russia will never do so either should they not wish for an end to the world. No country is a naval threat to the US at all. So did we really need these carriers? Better yet, do we really need to spend more on military enhancement at all? Ask these questions before you justify the ships at that cost.

Karan is a humanist and a serious Bernie Sanders supporter who is really really scared that if (god forbid) the Republican wins, it's impact on his part of the world would be a disaster. The 2016 polls might be a debate of bread and butter for Americans. For him, it's a question of life and death.