Sunday, June 29, 2014

Peace Through Bloat

The U.S. largely demilitarized after the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War (save of course for the 60,000 Union soldiers who occupied the South), the Spanish-American War, the Philippine War, and even World War 1. It was only after World War 2 that the Military Industrial Complex first kicked in and essentially took on a life of it's own...................................................................................Part of why this happened when it did was of course the Cold War, but I would argue that there were other, much more important reasons (this, in that I strongly believe that the Soviet threat was greatly exaggerated and, besides, most of our build-up had nothing to do with nuclear superiority and everything thing to do with the building up of conventional weaponry - you know, the weapons that eventually got us bogged down in Korea and Vietnam); fear-mongering by politicians, a bring-home-the-pork mentality by both politicians and constituents, corporate lobbying from the likes of Lockheed, Raytheon, Boeing, Exxon, BP, and even Colgate (I believe that those folks currently have the toothpaste contract with the military), and the fact that the Pentagon itself (not to the mention the hundreds and hundreds of base commanders whose primary focus continues to be to one of keeping that gravy-train chugging along ) seems to be a huge driving force in the padding of this bureaucracy............................................................................................Look, I'm not necessarily saying here that we shouldn't have a strong defense (the fact that there are still a shitload of bad actors out there and I'm certainly not opposed to using the Powell Doctrine when necessary) but the fact that we continue to spend more than the next 13-14 countries combined AND the fact that a lot of our interventions seem to come with a bevy of side-effects leads me to think that we could probably scale back at least a little (and, please, spare me the military industrial Keynesianism). Agree?

6 comments:

BB-Idaho said...

Bloated military spending was a factor in the collapse of the USSR. One wonders if our economy
can continue to support the MI
complex forever.

dmarks said...

Someone, correct me if I am wrong, Rusty, even argued here that we need the military as make-work welfare program, so people who might be unemployed are instead soldiers. What do you think of that, Will?

Rational Nation USA said...

I would be curious as to whether ShackleTurd came up with his argument when he was high on crack or if if was marinated for several years in his chamber of intellectual horrors.

BB-Idaho said...

dmarks, apparently the military
doesn't think like we make kids like they used to .

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

That's interesting (not to mention,scary), BB. Too much junk food and too much sitting at the computer maybe.............As for Rusty, dmarks, I would tell him the same thing that I would say to progressives like wd; namely, that he should take Bastiat's advice and consider not just the seen but the unseen as well. Yes, there are the jobs that are lost but what about all of the new and possible opportunities that this freed up money will create?

dmarks said...

In disagreement with Rusty, I think the military should staff no more and no less soldiers than needed for military purposes.

This precludes, of course, bloating the ranks with unneeded "soldiers"