Friday, April 07, 2017

Warheads vs People

  Image courtesy of the internet
Image courtesy of the internet
Rowan and I were discussing the air strike on Syria this morning, whether it was good or bad, and what it would achieve.
My theory is ‘if you don’t take any refugees in and make a conscience effort to refuse to do so, you’ve no right to get involved in war or the bombing of the countries who are expelling their people’. You are either in or out. Therefore we (UK) and the US have no right to get involved. Germany and Norway have every right, however.
Then Ro said something to me that got my mind going ‘the amount of money it costs to create and send 56-60 tomahawk missiles could have resettled and housed a lot of refugees for various years’.
I’ve done some maths based on dodgy information, as always there is no actual cost of anything, just lots of hypothesis and depending on the papers stance on refugees it inflates or deflates. Plus I’m going to use Britain as the basis and all sums are approximate (I’m not an accountant or Mathematician, please bear with me).
Let’s start simply: One tomahawk missile costs £1 million.
The Guardian reported that the local authorities who resettle refugees will receive £20,520 for the first five years per refugee adult. The Telegraph cited that each refugee will cost Tax payers £24k per year. And the BBC said it could cost up to £23k for the first year.
All very confusing. So let’s use an average, £23k for the first year and add the following four year payments the government would make to local authority over the next four years (yes I’m aware that this may not cover the actual cost, but we are just looking for an average cost), this totals: £35k
Now reports on the air strike cannot quite make up their minds how many missiles were despatched, so we will say 58. Most reports sit between 56-60. That totals £58m.
We will work this out on adults only…I guess we could estimate that two children cost the same as one adult, if you like, but that would just add a level of confusion to my brain.
So based on £58m, divided by £35k, we Brits would have resettled 1657 adult refugees. That doesn’t sound like that many, bearing in mind that we said we would accept 20k, and were advised to take 50k.
You have to remember that once settled, it is estimated that they will boost the annual output by 0.1% for the EU as a whole, according to The EconomistThe Guardian pins it to between 0.2 – 0.5% growth.
The BBC says that our annual GDP is £1.8 trillion, and our exports to the EU are 13%, therefore 13% of the EU’s GDP’s 1% is 0.0013%, equals £23,400,000. £23,400,000, divided by the £35k, totals 668 people, which means the UK could resettle and look after 2325 refugees for five years, all for the same price as 58 warheads.
Therefore, Ro was right and this doesn’t even acknowledge how much it cost to get the warships out to the Middle East. But it does involve someone who doesn’t understand economics, maths or war, has no idea what 1.3846154e+17 means on a calculator. Which means I did my maths wrong and in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s my total times ten, of who can be resettled for the same price as 58 missiles.
Or even, that I didn’t take in to account that some of those being resettled won’t be of working age or have the opportunities to contribute to the economy, but we will pretend that I’m Einstein and that I’ve nailed my point well.
Thanks for your time and please, please, please do correct my terrible attempt at maths.

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