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Public Health Research vs MX Research

 

THE SCALE of the coming boom (in military spending) is such as to defy normal understanding. I tried to look, however, at just one component of the (U.S.) military budget — spending for research and development — and to compare it to research spending for civilian purposes, on the basis of programs related to public health. And I used not Reagan's projected increased budget but the Carter budget for fiscal year 1981.

In that year military research for one weapons system alone, the MX missile system, amounted to about $1.5 billion. That was greater than the total amount spent for all research by the Environmental Protection and Mental Health Administration, plus all Veteran's Administration medical research, plus all Agriculture Department research on human nutrition, plus all research on highway safety. Add to this the entire research budgets of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Education, and you still do not reach the research total alone of the MX missle.

— "The Economics of the Arms Race," by Prof. Emma Rothschild, Massachussetts Institute of Technology. Presentation at the Riverside Church Disarmament Program fourth annual conference, New York, Nov. 15-16, 1981

 

 

Published in SOURCES summer 83.

 



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