The Peace Dividend: Myth and Reality

When Isaiah prophesied that warriors would "beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks," he did not add that a peace dividend would follow, at least in the sense that Congress is eagerly anticipating. If the Pentagon budget were cut in half, defense spending would fall to about 3% of the gross national product. At that level, military spending would practically cease to have a significant impact on the overall economy, and $150 billion a year would be freed for other uses.

Some latter-day prophets, pointing to the boom that accompanied Ronald Reagan's military buildup, might argue that...

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