Friday, July 09, 2010

Guns or Butter

So I was watching Olberman last night and they had Barney Frank on, and he was as usual making more sense than the average politician -- not that I expect that this matters much. He pointed out how America spends as much on our military as the rest of the world combined, how given its virtually unlimited and unaccountable budget the Pentagon has absolutely no incentive to economize (It a Basic Law of Ecconomy* that people with no reason to economize don't.), thus we get the $700 hammer et cetera, and also that independent of the wars we're losing so expensively in Iraq and Afghanistan, we're still throwing a lot of money at the last one we won, in the form of lots of troops in Japan and Europe, doing what exactly?
This makes me wonder: if we're so threatened on our borders, why don't we bring those 15,00o Marines back from Okinawa and have them march the deserts of the southwest. At least then their paychecks will go into the bras of American hookers.

The sad truth is this: all governments are schemes for "wealth redistribution," as Glen Peckerwood's Tea Partiers say. In the absence of this function the most piratical simply end up with everything of worth -- in which case a rapacious few live slightly better in armed camps precariously protected from the squalid masses -- and other pirates. (We can see this sort of devolution in places where "the market is free;" that is to say the narcocracies of northern Mexico. ) Progressive or socialistic governments redistritbute the wealth in welfare, cultural enterprise, and payola; fascist governments redistribute it in arms and payola. There's a lot of skimming either way, but the difference isn't moot. Investment in arms actually gives a very, very poor return on the government's investment, besides being morally deplorable. This is just an economic fact. A billion dollars put into a bomber is of benefit to a few thousand people who build and a few dozen who crew the bomber. A billion dollars put into a social program or a brick and mortar project of almost any other sort puts the same billion into the pockets of the recipients or builders, et cetera, and then we end up with something of potential long-term benefit to people of the community or even the nation. There is only a sweepstakes chance that the bomber, after it's done, will ever do anything for anyone -- though it might well explode an Afghan wedding or two. After all, we had a multi-trillion dollar Air Force on the job on Septemeber 11, 2001, and it didn't ameliorate the situation even slightly in any fucking way. So, we can contuinue to piss money into the rathole of bloody boondoggles and fetishized objects, or we can actually return some of the wealth of the people to the people. Which will Washignton opt for?


Other basic economic laws include:

Good; quick; cheap -- pick two.

Ex nihilo nihil fit, or: People who try to get something for nothing end up getting nothng for something.


Post a Comment

<< Home