This unit in Policy we looked at infographs, and how effective they can be when it comes to communicating information to a large demographic. What I’ve learned about infographs is that they are key to data comprehension– no matter what language you speak, where you are from, or how educated you are, infographs transcend the boundaries we have from one person to another and deliver information in one uniform, global way.

My infograph is about the U.S. Nuclear Program’s spending. My attraction to the topic of government spending began with an exercise my classmates and I did in another course, “Hurricane Season”. We were given the total amount of money that our government spends, and were asked to determine how it should be distributed. In the end, we compared the budget that we created to the actual U.S. government’s budget. I was riveted by the U.S.’s disparities in spending distribution, and it infuriated me that the difference between spending in defense and spending in something like education could be so vast. My goal in this infograph was to highlight the recklessly excessive U.S. defense budget — and what we could be spending that money on instead.

There were a few particularly shocking facts that I discovered in researching the defense budget: First, it costs 31 billion dollars just to dismantle the average nuclear weapon (No, not a typo. That’s 31 billion for a single weapon). That’s nearly twice the amount that Florida spent on K-12 education in 2011-2012. Secondly, the Obama Administration has recently released that the U.S. has 5,113 strategic nuclear warheads that the U.S. has at the moment (note that this does not include the 9,000+ retired warheads.) Lastly, the total land area occupied by U.S. nuclear weapons bases and facilities is 15,654 square miles. The total land area of the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey: 15,357 square miles. Despite all of these shocking facts I found, there was inconsistency in my research when I attempted to see how the amount we spend on nuclear development affected our economy; it was not hard to tell that the U.S.’s nuclear development has become a jobs program in many ways, and our economy depends heavily on it. To learn more shocking facts about U.S. Defense Spending, please view my infograph below!