Originally posted by abecedarian
Social Security: 778.574 billion
National Defense: 716.300 billion
I think there is an essential difference between the spending on military items and the spending on what is lumped under social services (of all
I don't deny that military industries are important and that they contribute significantly to the economy, not only in the normal way of providing
jobs and income for employees and connected industries, but also in the way that a strong military assists America in its foreign policy postures,
which are always linked in turn to economic considerations. I'm not a military basher in that way. America needs a strong military and should have the
best military affordable
America also needs strong social services. I'm quoting myself from another thread, but social services are like lubrication in a society. They ease
friction. The idea that social services are lost money, or money down the drain, couldn't be further from the truth. That money is recycled in the
economy. Just like military spending.
The key difference is that the principal way that one sees a benefit from military spending is in the course of military action. To analyse the
ramifications and results of military spending in a comprehensive way is something I'm not prepared to do. I haven't looked into it.
However, when the product you make is taken overseas, where a significant portion of it is destroyed (ammunition, employee man hours), or when it
spends time sitting in a parking lot undergoing periodic trials and maintenance but mostly doing nothing, or when, and this is the most dangerous use
of military hardware, when various stateside
"make work" projects, (like drug interdiction, drone deployment, ramped up security, etc.) are
invented, in order to justify military spending, projects that actually endanger the freedoms of Americans at home, then there is a problem. That's
where we are now.
If one sector of the economy begins to cannibalize the rest of the economy, like a disease, like a parasitical growth, like the Military Industrial
Complex, then of necessity, spending on social services will increase
to take the pressure off parts of the economy suffering because of
excessive military spending.
As good as it is to have the number one military in the world, there is a down side. North Korea has the number one military on the Korean peninsula.
Is the US trying to emulate the North Koreans and increase military spending to an even bigger percentage of GDP? America could be like North Korea if
it really wanted to. It could have a fantastic , almost sci-fi
military, capable of projecting American power with impunity, globally.
Does America want that? Does America want to follow North Korea, but on a global scale?
I could have a Ferrari in my driveway if I was willing to commit heinous crimes to get it. Is that what America is doing?
A realistic analysis of the American economy, hunting for the cannibals, is beyond my competence, but I think military spending in the US is clearly
in the cannibal category. It may not be the worst offender, but it strikes me that it is the easiest place to start cutting US spending. There is just
no need to spend more than your next ten competitors combined, particularly when half of them are long time allies.
edit on 27-12-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)