Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, December 11, 2017 06:17:52 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Opinion

Of welfare state

By
02nd-Feb-2015       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Thomas L. Knapp :
In late January, the US military-industrial complex reported results for 2014's fourth quarter and expectations for 2015. Good times! Northrop Grumman knocked down nearly $6 billion in Q4 2014 and expects 2015 sales of around $23.5 billion. Raytheon did about as well last fall and expects a big radar order from the Air Force this year. Meanwhile the Pentagon announced a travel upgrade for the president of the United States - a new "Air Force One." Base cost for the Boeing 747-8? $368 million, before presidential modifications.
Anyone who doesn't live under a rock (or whose rock gets bombed periodically) knows that the US government spends more on its military than any other nation-state. A useful way of understanding how MUCH more: If the US "defense" budget was cut by 90%, it would  remain the first or second largest military spender in the world (depending on fluctuations in China's military expenditures).
That 90% - and then some - is the single largest welfare entitlement program in the US government's budget, even omitting "emergency supplementals" for the military misadventure of the week and military spending snuck into other budget lines.
In truth, if the US Department of "Defense" consisted of a cramped office in a strip mall somewhere with a couple of old generals sitting next to phones waiting for the word to call out a citizen militia, the chances of a successful military invasion of the United States would fall somewhere in the range separating "slim" from "none." Unlike China, the US has fairly friendly neighbors and enjoys the protection of very wide moats between itself and most prospective enemies.
So: Why the huge "defense" establishment? If you have to ask why, the answer is usually "money."
As the US cruised relentlessly toward its fateful entry into World War II, the Great Depression refused to die. The "New Deal" had failed. Unemployment in 1938 remained at levels similar to those of 1933. The ramp-up to war and the years of carnage didn't change the economic fundamentals. Unemployment statistics went down only because 16 million American men put on uniforms and because American women went to work producing bombs and bullets.
When the war ended, America was set to fall right back into the rut. What to do? The easy answer, and the one that found near unanimous support among Democratic and Republican politicians alike, was to remain on a war footing in perpetuity. Cold War. Hot war. War neither rare nor, usually, well done. As William F. Buckley, Jr. - arguably the ideological founder of the modern American "conservative" movement - put it in 1952, "large armies and air forces, atomic energy, central intelligence, war production boards and the attendant centralization of power in Washington …. we have got to accept Big Government for the duration - for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged … except through the instrumentality of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores."
The primary function of the US government since World War II has been to regularly and routinely transfer as much wealth as possible from the pockets of those who produce things people actually need to the bank accounts of welfare queens like Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.
The purpose of those welfare transfers is not to sustain a military roughly the size of that at the height of the Civil War, when the US completely mobilized for battle on its own borders, a military more than 50 times as large as the one which conquered and ethnically cleansed the territories to its west with single-shot rifles. The purpose of sustaining that military - and all too frequently putting it to murderous work - is to justify the welfare transfers.
But this massive garrison welfare state has for 70 years continuously lived on borrowed time and borrowed or stolen wealth. We can't afford the welfare. Nor can we afford the state.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

International »

Chinese billionaire-in-exile wants regime change in Beijing


AFP, New York :Billionaire Guo Wengui, who is seeking asylum in the United States after accusing officials in his native China of corruption, wants "a change of the regime" in Beijing and the introduction of democracy in the world's most populous country."I want to try and to have rule of ...

Editorial »

Aman harvest has no effect on rice market


PASSING the Aman harvest, rice price has not come down as government leaders earlier said and rather gone up to the dismay of the common people all over the country. Though farmers are happy with higher price; although they have suffered production loss at many places due to late receding ...

Cricket »

Players of Comilla Victorians celebrating after dismissal of Chris Gayle of Rangpur Riders during the Qualifier-2 match of the AKS Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Twenty20 Cricket between Comilla Victorians and Rangpur Riders at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Sunday.


Sports »

Members of Rongdhanu RDS, the runners-up of the Hedayet Hossain Memorial Night Cricket Tournament pose for a photo session at Bangladesh Ground in Old Dhaka recently.


Entertainment »

Gauhar makes to sexiest Asian list for fourth consecutive time


For the fourth consecutive year, Bollywood actress and model Gauhar Khan has been voted to the top 10 list of ‘50 Sexiest Asian Women list’ in the world. It is an annual UK poll, which has been released in London recently. The actress, who is known for her choice of ...

City »

Convenor of Nagorik Oikya Mahmudur Rahman Manna speaking at a discussion organised by 'Mayer Dak, a social organisation at the Jatiya Press Club on Sunday with a call to bring back forced disappeared people to their mothers' laps.


International »

Ex-Fox news anchor Huddy claims Trump kissed her


Huff Post :A former Fox News anchorwoman who accused Bill O'Reilly of sexually harassing her in 2011 is now claiming that Donald Trump kissed her on the lips in an elevator.Juliet Huddy said Thursday morning on the "Mornin!!! With Bill Schulz" podcast (which has a paywall) that it happened around ...

Editorial »

Dust pollution takes toll in cities’ air


PRESENCE of dust and pollution in the air of our cities has reached alarming levels. It's happening mainly due to chaotic construction works, poor management and protracted traffic jams. According to Air Quality Index Report of the Department of Environment's (DoE) "Clean Air and Sustainable Project" earlier this month, air ...

Sports »

Chanchal emerges unbeaten champion in Blitz Chess Championship


BSS, Dhaka  :Chanchal Kumar Ghosh emerged as unbeaten champion in the Blitz Chess Championship with 6.5 points after the 7th round game on Friday at E Commerce Club hall room in Uttara. Five players finished in second to sixth position with 5.5 points after the tie breaking system. They are ...

Sports »

First-place Nao Kodaira (center) of Japan stands with second-place Lee Sang-hwa (left) of South Korea and third-place Arisa Go (right) of Japan after the women's 500 meters at a World Cup speedskating event Friday in Kearns, Utah.


Entertainment »

Akshay to back out of Gulshan Kumar's biopic?


 Akshay Kumar, who has films like Padman and 2.0 lined up for 2018, has created a stir after rumors of him stepping out of the film titled Mogul came to the forefront. Mogul is a biopic on the creator of T-series, Gulshan Kumar. According to the rumors, Akshay Kumar and ...

City »

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, among others, at a discussion organised on the occasion of 10th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Kalyan Party at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.


Editorial »

Mysterious theft of fertiliser from Govt depots


DESPITE fertile land loss, inclement weather and depleting irrigation water, Bangladesh's agriculture keeps contributing a fifth of the GDP each year. Along with other factors, government's policy support in the form of fertiliser subsidy plays a big part here. But misappropriation of the key agro input such as fertiliser by ...

City »

`National Committee for the Implementation of Prime Minister`s Approved Gazetted Salaries` formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Friday to meet its demands.


.

Entertainment »

Are Virat and Anushka getting hitched?


Over the past few days, there are some reports doing the rounds that ace cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood starlet Anushka Sharma are getting married. According to these reports, both these love-birds will tie the knot in Italy.  The manager of Anushka has already slammed these reports by saying these ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news