A glance at the statistics just given and at those in the preceding chapter will show that the expenses incurred for protection to person and property are large. In the Federal government a large part of such expense is for the army and navy. The maintenance of these modern instruments of war in time of peace is costly, while in time of actual warfare their cost is enormous. This is not only true of the United States, but of every important country. In fact, the expenditure has been much greater in European states than in the United States. This has been due largely to the proximity of the European states and the existing enmity caused by past wars. Even before the Great War attempts were being made to find some other means of settling international differences, and for upholding national honor, than by the commonly accepted one - war. It was generally conceded that the Hague conferences had proceeded far in this direction. The Great War, of course, disillusioned the minds of those who thought wars a thing of the past. It remains to be seen what effect the League of Nations will have on expenditures for armies and navies.

1 It will be an interesting exercise for the reader to secure a copy of Financial Statistics of States for the current year, and compare the various expenditures of his state with the average, and with the expenditures of other states.

   

Expenditures of States, 1918 1

 

Total expenditure of all states, $473,962,000.

 

I.

General Government:

 
 

(a)

Total.....................................

$ 51,395,000

 

(b)

Legislative................................

8,182,000

 

(c)

Judicial....................................................................

19,224,000

 

(d)

Executive.................................

19,589,000

 

(e)

Elections.................................

701,000

 

(f)

Government buildings ..................................

3,610,000

II.

Protection to Person and Property:

 
 

(a)

Total.....................................

$ 33,290,000

 

(b)

Police .................................................................

1,719,000

 

(c)

Fire......................................

586,000

 

(d)

Regulating financial institutions.............

2,107,000

 

(e)

Regulating public utilities.....................................

3,896,000

III.

Charities, Hospitals, and Corrections:

 
 

(a)

Total.....................................

$118,084,000

 

(b)

Poor in institutions ...............................................

333,000

 

(c)

Care of children .....................................................

3,330,000

 

(d)

Blind, deaf, mute .................................................

6,172,000

 

(e)

Other charities .........................................................

9,474,000

 

(f)

General hospitals ....................................................

5,762,000

 

(g)

Hospitals for insane ......................................

49,950,000

 

(h)

Adult Correction ...............................................

33,000,000

 

(i)

Minor Correction ....................................................

8,471,000

IV.

Education:

 
 

(a)

Total.....................................

$164,452,000

 

(b)

Supervision .............................................................

4,070,000

 

(c)

State Institution ......................................................

52,581,000

 

(d)

Apportionments ........................................................

104,841,000

 

(e)

Libraries .....................................

1,268,000

V.

Development and Conservation of Natural Resources:

 
 

(a)

Total.....................................

$ 21,634,000

 

(b)

Agriculture .......................................................

17,061,000

VI.

Health and Sanitation:

 
 

(a)

Total ...............................................................

$ 12,249,000

 

(b)

Tuberculosis .............................................

5,748,000

VII.

Highways:

 
 

(a)

Total ...................................................................

$ 38,829,000

Cost of Maintaining Armies. - An attempt to get satisfactory comparative costs for maintaining the military machine in different countries would meet with unsatisfactory results. One important reason for this is the different systems used in maintaining armies. The system which has been used in Germany, compared with England or the United States, for example, will indicate the futility of any close comparison of costs. Germany has followed the plan of compulsory military training for all male citizens. The standing army, then, is made up of this citizenship which is serving without remuneration from the state.

In England and the United States, on the other hand, the army is maintained on the basis of paid enlistment. A part of the citizenship makes the army their vocation, for which they receive pay from the state. From the standpoint of direct cost the plan pursued in England and in the United States would appear to be the more expensive per man. Before total costs could be reckoned, however, a number of other factors would have to be considered. Such would be the expense of training under the two systems, the effect of general training upon the individual citizens, and the effect upon industrial and commercial development. A real comparison of the first item would be difficult because of different wage and living standards in various countries. An enlisted army is paid entirely from taxes, while in the other system services are substituted for taxes. Rather than give the service, large sums might be willingly given in taxes. Of course there is no way of measuring this feeling of sacrifice.

Training, moreover, cannot but affect the individual. Unless conducted in connection with an educational institution it means a postponement of preparation for industrial and social activities. Where general services are demanded, it is evidently impossible to conduct a very large proportion of it in connection with other forms of education. As a whole, it means the postponement of a settled life until the period of military service is completed. Such a situation cannot but have a deleterious effect on industry. Aside from the fact that men do not get settled into their life tasks until comparatively late, it must be remembered that industry is deprived of the services of its entire citizenship during the period of training. If all these factors could be measured on a money basis the cost of the universal service plan would no doubt prove to be much greater than is sometimes thought.

Costs of War. - The expenses of actual wars are not a part of the costs of a standing army, but must be treated as extraordinary. That they mount to almost unbelievable figures is the common knowledge of everyone who has observed expenditures due to the Great War. Legislative bodies made appropriations day after day which, a few years before, would have been greeted with horror,

A few comparative figures of the Great War will recall the enormity of the cost. The direct cost of the war to the United States from July 1 to December 31, 1917, was about $5,992,000,000. If loans to the Allies were added to this it would raise the figure to well over $9,-000,000,000. Had the war continued through the fiscal year in which the armistice was signed it is estimated that about $25,000,000,000 would have been used.

From April 1, 1916, to March 31, 1917, England spent for the war almost $11,000,000,000, a daily expenditure of over $30,000,000. From January 1 to December 31, 1917, the cost of the war to France was about $5,820,-000,000. The figures for the other belligerent countries are similar, and the total reaches an amount so large as to have no real meaning. Modern war places such a burden on a country that the efforts of a number of future generations will be required to remove it.1

Functions of Army and Navy. - It would be impossible to place the maintenance of the army and navy on a cost and value of service basis. If they were useless except in time of war, it would seem that a large amount is being expended with little return. This would be true if only the returns from war be considered. Other services, however, are rendered. The navy gives protection to shipping, and thus aids the development of commerce and industry. The existence of an army gives a sense of security, and no doubt does much to keep down both internal and external disturbances which might otherwise arise. The services supplied by the expenditures of the Federal government for army and navy, then, are largely of a nature the value of which cannot be measured.