I have a terrible, dirty little secret. Even though I depend on my bicycle as my primary means of transportation and spend my days writing about bicycles on this blog, I spend more money on war than on my bike. A lot more.
In Elly Blue’s latest “bikenomics” column for Grist, she linked to this site, which graphically shows where your federal tax dollars go. Turns out, I spend about twice the initial cost of my bicycle on the US military (meaning I either make a lot of money or my bike was very cheap … I’ll leave the truth up to your imagination).
Considering that I have to pay these taxes every year, for years where I don’t buy a new bike, I spend as much as 4 or 5 times more on war than on my bicycle repair costs every year. This points out two obvious things:
- War is expensive.
- Bicycles are incredibly economical.
According to the 2000 census, the median income for a Seattle household was about $45,000 per year. That means the average Seattle household spends almost $1,600 on the military every year. That’s an awfully nice bicycle (or two) every year turned to dust. That’s also 20 percent of the annual out-of-pocket annual cost to own a car.
Imagine what could happen if our government invested in healthy living instead of destruction.