Paul Anthony Samuelson was an American economist, and the first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. His textbook Economics – ISBN- 0-07-0 092863-0 has become a classic in which he states in a chapter – Central Problems Of Every Economic Society - that a nation has to choose between two options when spending its finite resources. It may buy either guns (invest in defense / military) or butter (invest in production of goods), or a combination of both.
United States president Lyndon B. Johnson used the phrase to catch the attention of the national media while reporting on the state of national defense and the economy. Another use of the phrase was British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher's reference in a 1976 speech that, "The Soviets put guns over butter, but we put almost everything over guns.
Investors who are confused as to the Guns or Butter choice when it comes to investing should talk to their adviser. The consumer sector charted is probably not a good choice.