Spending Priorities

By Sean Carroll | November 14, 2007 12:49 am

Money spent on energy research vs. the Iraq war. (Via Matthew Yglesias.) Amusingly illustrative graph below the fold.


Iraq vs. Power Research

I’m not usually impressed by these kinds of comparisons; if the Iraq war really had inspired populaces throughout the entire Middle East to spontaneously overthrow their despotic governments and inaugurate a new era of democracy, tolerance, and prosperity, it would have been a good idea. The war is expensive, but that’s not the best argument against it.

Still, the occasional pictorial representation of our spending priorities does help to bring home how messed up they are. Via Ezra Klein, here’s the famous food pyramid, along with a corresponding pyramid showing how we subsidize different types of production.

Food Subsidy Pyramid

Sometimes this democracy stuff is just depressing.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Politics
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Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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