Sunday, May 9, 2010
MIlitary Spending Finally Getting Looked At
U.S. Secretary of Defense wants to cut the U.S. military budget. According to this LA Times article, the Secretary is seeking BIG cuts.
How big? 2 to 3%!
Forgive me not being overwhelmed with the Administration's foresight and actions taken to cut the U.S. budget deficit and avert disaster. The very programs and institutions we enacted to protect us: Our military, Social Security, Medicare, Fannie Mae et al, are the very institutions whose gluttonous consumption of capital, effort, and resources will eventually lead the U.S. to ruin. Talk about your unintended consequences.
AFTER, yes AFTER that happens... the Left will point its finger at the military expenditures and the Right will point to the social programs... and they will both be half right... and then the battle might really begin...
I had an interesting exchange with the an individual on one of the social networking sites recently. No one I had ever met; a young man that felt the need to take me to task regarding my blog (I had invited one of his friends to read my posts as another point of view regarding the Oil spill in the GOM). I would best describe him as an angry young man (and my guess is he would describe me as an idiot, scumbag, moron, capitalist pig), probably of university age, who had moved away from the U.S. and now resides in a "Socialist" country. When he mentioned resources "that rightfully belong to the State" I realized that I was dealing with a political viewpoint not often encountered by an American. I am getting slow in my old age; earlier in the exchange, when I mistakenly assumed he was a garden-variety-college-kid-socialist, I tried to get him to expound on his view of using government agents to enforce his world view on the population - I pointed out that throughout history ALL socialist regimes had enforcement arms filled with the worst society had to offer willing to do the bidding of the government - the KGB and the SS come to mind, and I pointed out that the TYPE of person working for these organizations exist in EVERY society and that the only thing preventing the FBI or the CIA from going SS is the U.S. Constitution... he wasn't having any. I got a ducking, half answer that led me to believe that this young man was ready to lead the Red Revolution... and that he was prepared to make life fair "by any means necessary".
How very disconcerting.
I am a capitalist and a libertarian, but a casual perusal of history points out a couple of common threads... one seems to be that it is not REAL DEPRIVATION that pisses people off so much as RELATIVE DEPRIVATION. That large income and wealth disparity, not people starving, is the catalyst for upheaval (which sort of sits with my world view that in the end its all about sex, not money per se. While money may not buy love, it sure can rent it for a while. I will leave that alone for now because it will surely piss people off, even though we all know that it is what it is). The young, American communist I was speaking with came from an economically challenged upbringing, and he is PISSED OFF. Yea, I know, correlation does not prove causation... but we are talking humanity here... and it doesn't take a PhD in psycho babble to take a reasonable stab at this one. We have had a TREMENDOUS expansion in the distance, or multiple, between our top 10% of wealth and the bottom 10%. No doubt about that one. The question should be what, if anything, should be done about it... not who are we going to kill to fix it. The late 18th Century French Aristocrats flunked that one.
I should imagine that it is quite possible for a handsome, well spoken, charismatic leader to emerge and bring us down this road again... after all, it has happened before.