From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peace dividend is a political slogan popularized by US President George H.W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the early 1990s, purporting to describe the economic benefit of a decrease in defense spending. It is used primarily in discussions relating to the guns versus butter theory. The term was frequently used at the end of the Cold War, when many Western nations significantly cut military spending.
Real or not?
While economies do undergo a recession after the end of a major conflict as the economy is forced to adjust and retool, a "peace dividend" refers to a potential long-term benefit as budgets for defense spending are assumed to be at least partially redirected to social programs and/or a decrease in taxation rates. The existence of a peace dividend in real economies is still debated, but some research points to its reality.
A political discussion about the peace dividend resulting from the end of the Cold War involves a debate about which countries have actually scaled back military spending and which have not. The scale back in defense spending was mainly noticeable in Western Europe and in the Russian Federation. The United States, whose military spending was rapidly reducing between 1985 and 1993 and remained flat between 1993 and 1999, has dramatically increased it after September 11, 2001 to fund conflicts like the War on Terror, War in Afghanistan and the War in Iraq.
Unfortunately, peace doesn't provide a dividend for those who's bottom line depends on conflict.
Good thing 9/11 came along to show us all the folly of cutting military spending.
But that's okay, we can cut entitlements instead.
"Sorry grandma, it's cat food for you again this month. Our heroes need more bullets cuz terrorists want to kill you for your freedoms." ~ American patriots everywhere