The United States is to military spending as hardcore alcoholic is to booze. According to new figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. spent a ludicrous $596 billion to keep the fighting machine running. While this number is horrifying in itself, it's even worse when considering how much more—spectacularly more— it is than the rest of the world. It's best illustrated with alcohol.
So, imagine, if you will, you're at a bar with 15 office colleagues enjoying a night of $1.35 trillion dollar drinking. No one's on the wagon, of course, working as you do in a stressful and unpredictable neighborhood. Things can happen and it's it's nice to unwind with a drink. So easing away the day, everyone orders up. For some its a glass or two of wine while others are going a bit harder with a few cocktails. Some of the guys are knocking back shots way more than they should and getting a bit rowdy, but they're coherent at least. But Uncle Sam? He's pounding Jäger bombs like a Bro on a Friday night during bonus season. Thing is, his Amex is maxed out, rent's due, his girlfriend might be knocked up, and his job's on thin ice. No matter, he ain't stopping until he's obliterated by 43 drinks*. This, it should be pointed out, is about one less than nine years ago. Self-improvement and all. Cirrhosis? Never heard of it.
Looking at the table, the U.S. is responsible for 36% of the world's military spending, more than the next seven countries combined. No way we can use an average here with it so comically skewed by the top drinker. So going with a median spending that works out to $40.9 billion, let's peg it to a not-at-all-scientifically-derived median number of drinks downed in a full night out: 3.
America's $596b divided by the $40.9b median = 14.572
14.572 multiplied by the 3 drink median = 43.716
This is the equivalent of guzzling the entire contents of two 750ml liquor bottles on your own, then making a dent in a third.
Someone will not be waking up.
* corrected from earlier