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How Much Containing Violence Costs

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Is the implication that you can't have a big economy without a military industrial complex?

The IEP defines "violence containment spending" as the economic activity that is related to the consequences or prevention of violence where the violence is directed against people or property.

In other words, America is effectively the world's police. And U.S. taxpayers are paying for it.

Collectively, nations spend $9.46 trillion, nearly 11% of the Gross World Product, on violence containment each year. The U.S. devoted $1,708,575 trillion, 10.5% of its GDP, which is about $5,550 for every American.

Screen Shot 2014 06 09 at 6.14.50 AM  IEP

The Economic Cost of Violence Containment report is based on calculations from 152 countries with approximately 13 different types of violence factors. 

American allies and Western powerhouse nations like United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and France all spend significantly less compared to the US.

  • #60 UK 
  • # 88 Sweden
  • #94 Germany
  • #98 France

So the US has 18% of the world's GDP and spends roughly 18% of the world's violence containment.

That seems proportionally fair.

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