"Social vs. Military Spending: How the Pentagon Budget Crowds out Public Infrastructure and Aggravates Natural Disasters—the Case of Hurricane Katrina"
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SubjectArmed forces--Appropriations and expenditures.; Militarism--Economic aspects.; Emergency management--United States--Political aspects.; Military-industrial complex--United States.; Hurricane Katrina, 2005.
This paper puts forth (and documents) an argument that the escalating military spending at the expense of non-military public spending is steadily undermining the critical national objective of public-capital formation (both physical and human) and that, if not stopped, the resulting trend will stint long term productivity and economic growth, as it erodes both physical and soft/social infrastructure. An equally high opportunity cost of the colossal Pentagon budget in terms of forgone or neglected public infrastructure (roads, bridges, mass transit, dams, levees, and the like) is vulnerability in the face of natural disasters, as evidenced, for example, by the recent devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Ismael Hossein-zadeh teaches economics at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.