Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, January 22, 2021 07:18:03 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Opinion

Of welfare state

By
02nd-Feb-2015       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
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

Editorial »

Bangladesh still risks losing EU GSP benefits


Bangladesh is still at risk of losing the European Union's (EU's) generalised system of preferences (GSP) plus as the latter has again warned about its readiness to launch the procedure for withdrawal of preferences in case of the country's failure to produce sufficient results. A news report in a national ...

City »

Director of ISPR Lt. Col. Abdullah Ibne Jayed greets Secretary of Defence Ministry Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal as the latter has been promoted to NDC Senior Secretary.


.

International »

Mongolian Prime Minister submits resignation after Covid-19 protests


Reuters :Mongolia's Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa submitted his resignation to parliament on Thursday after protests in the capital Ulaanbaatar over the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state news agency Montsame reported.Khurelsukh said in his resignation statement that he should "assume the responsibility upon himself and accept the demand ...

Entertainment »

Shraddha becomes voice of voiceless yet again


Shraddha Kapoor being a wonderful actor and a wonderful person, she adds meaning to the word empathy every time she does something in support for the speechless and needy. Recently, the actress has raised her voice to show support for the voiceless animals by asking people to sign a petition ...

Editorial »

Ensure education more equal in the new normal after opening


A STUDY showed distance learning programmes through television, radio and internet, adopted after the school closure due to Covid-19, remain by and large ineffective. The interim Education Watch Report 2020-21 said the prolonged closure results in growing monotony and boredom in millions of children who are confined to their home, ...

Football »

Messi given two-game ban for Super Cup red card


Agency :Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has escaped a lengthy ban for lashing out at Athletic Bilbao's Asier Villalibre in Sunday's Spanish Super Cup final defeat and will only serve a two-game suspension.The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said on Tuesday Messi had been banned for two matches, meaning he will miss ...

International »

BJP more dangerous than Maoists: Mamata


Times of India :West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday called the BJP more dangerous than the Maoists and accused the saffron party of making false promises to the people of the state before elections.The TMC supremo, whose party is witnessing an exodus ahead of the assembly elections due ...

Business & Economy »

NRB Bank gets new EC Chairman


Business Desk :Khandakar Ruhul Amin has been elected as Executive Committee Chairman of NRB Bank Limited at a meeting of the board of directors of the bank held recently.He is also the Chairman of Sonaimuri Upazilla Parishad of Noakhali District. Amin is a versatile and seasoned business professional with extensive ...

Entertainment »

Mamo`s Agamikal movie to be released in March


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :National Film Award winner actress Zakia Bari Mamo-starrer movie Agamikal is scheduled to be released in March. Producer of the movie Tutul Chowdhury confirmed the matter yesterday. “We are trying to release the movie on the occasion of coming Independence Day. We are also taking necessary preparations ...

Editorial »

Good planning still pays


MEDIA report in a national daily on Tuesday highlighted how bad planning and good planning of development projects make huge cost differentials and none but project officials at respective Ministries and at Planning Commission who make cost estimates are the ones can't avoid the responsibility. It said the Local Government ...

City »

Helena nominated Member of Women Affairs Central Sub-Committee of AL


Advisory Council Member of Cumilla Uttar Zilla Awami League, Director of FBCCI and Founding Chairman and CEO of Joyjatra Television Helena Zahangir has been nominated Member of Women Affairs Central Sub-Committee of Bangladesh Awami League.

Entertainment »

Alia Bhatt hospitalized during shooting


Alia Bhatt is quite a workaholic and puts in a lot of effort in every project. The actress is trying to complete the shoot of her next Gangubai Kathiawadi which had been stalled for the longest time due to the lockdown. However working for this gritty drama which is helmed ...

Football »

FIFA rejects Atletico appeal on Trippier ban


Atletico Madrid are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after FIFA rejected their appeal against defender Kieran Trippier's 10-week suspension for violating betting rules in England, a club spokesman said on Monday.The club will immediately file an appeal to sport's highest court over Trippier's ban, which was ...

International »

A convoy of Sudanese security forces deploy during a rally in al-Geneina, the capital of the West Darfur state.


Business & Economy »

Tateyama, Jamil new vice chairmen of NRB Bank


Business Desk :Tateyama Kabir has been re-elected while Mohammed Jamil Iqbal has been elected as Vice Chairmen of NRB Bank Limited at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the bank held on Sunday.Tateyama Kabir is one of the most successful exporters of motor vehicle of Japanese origin around ...

 
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