Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, February 24, 2020 05:38:13 AM
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

Football »

Ronaldo marks 1,000th game with record-equalling goal


AFP, Rome :Cristiano Ronaldo scored for a record-equalling 11th consecutive Serie A game in his 1,000th professional match as Juventus extended their league lead on Saturday with a 2-1 win over basement club SPAL.The 35-year-old tapped in six minutes before the break to equal the mark held by Gabriel Batistuta ...

Editorial »

We don't need experts to tell us banking sector is ruined


 AS Bangladesh Bank has miserably failed to function properly, the country's banking sector is heading towards a total collapse and is being held hostage by a few individuals and entities. This remark comes from the local think-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue on Saturday marking the government's move for appointing a ...

Entertainment »

Kirti Kulhari skips cab and takes auto-rickshaw


Mission Mangal actor Kirti Kulhari was spotted taking a rickshaw ride in the city. The actor who prefers to take auto to travel for short distances was quite happy as she posted on Instagram “When all the ubers and the olas of the world leave u stranded, it's the Rickshaws ...

International »

UN chief urges new transit point for aid to Syria


AFP, United Nations :UN Secretary- General Antonio Guterres has urged the Security Council to authorize a new passage point on the Turkish border to allow humanitarian aid to reach the embattled population of northeast Syria, where medical supplies are running short.The recommendation came in a report issued Friday to Council ...

Editorial »

Govt incapable of deciding how to deal with Rohingya crises


NEWSPAPERS reported that the government is shifting its previous stance on sheltering one lakh Rohingyas to remote Bhashan Char due to constant objections from the international community, especially the aid agencies. Bhashan Char is only 25 kilometres from Sandwip Island and it has a fast siltation rate. There is also ...

Football »

Lewandowski double edge Bayern past bottom side Paderborn


Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich squeezed past bottom side Paderborn 3-2 on Friday as Robert Lewandowski netted twice to spare goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's blushes in their final game before facing Chelsea in the Champions League.Lewandowski now has a league-leading tally of 26 goals in the top flight, illustrating his importance to ...

Entertainment »

Priyanka wishes Sophie a happy birthday


Priyanka Chopra has shared a sweet birthday wish for sister-in-law and Game of Thrones actor Sophie Turner on her 24th birthday. She shared a picture from the 2017 MET Gala where she not just made her first appearance with now husband Nick Jonas but also met Sophie. Sharing the picture ...

Sports »

Venezuela's Rojas sets new indoor women's triple jump world record


Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas on Friday set a new indoor women's triple jump world record of 15.43m at a meeting in Madrid.The 24-year-old world champion bettered the previous world record of 15.36m set by Russia's Tatyana Lebedeva in Budapest in March 2004.Rojas's new mark also left her just seven centimetres short ...

International »

Sanders condemns Russian interference in 2020 elections


Agencies :Bernie Sanders on Friday condemned Russian interference in the 2020 election, telling Russia President Vladimir Putin that "if elected president, trust me, you are not going to be interfering in American elections."Sanders issued a statement in response to The Washington Post's report that the Vermont senator was briefed by ...

International »

China's President expresses thanks to Bill Gates help for tackling virus epidemic


AFP, Beijing :Chinese President Xi Jinping has written a letter expressing thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the organisation's "generosity" and support tackling a deadly virus epidemic, state media said Saturday.The outbreak of the new COVID-19 strain has claimed 2,345 lives in mainland China and infected more ...

Entertainment »

Angrezi Medium’s song Ek Zindagi is all about living dreams


Homi Adajania’s upcoming comedy-drama film Angrezi Medium is about the lovable relationship between a father and his daughter. The chemistry of the relation is portrayed beautifully by Irrfan Khan and Radhika Madaan in the trailer and now the makers have released the first song from the fil titled Ek Zindagi ...

Football »

Messi sees 'strange' things at Barcelona after social media row


Lionel Messi said Wednesday it was "strange" to see Barcelona locked in a row over a company accused of criticising current and former players, including himself, on social media.Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Tuesday the club had terminated its contract with PR company, I3 Ventures, who had been ...

Editorial »

21 February should be celebration of free speech


THE historic Amtala, where Language Movement activists gathered on February 21, 1952 to defy a curfew and protest the then Pakistan government's refusal to recognise Bangla as one of the State languages of Pakistan is covered by encroachers.Pakistan government was ultimately compelled to include an article in the country's Constitution ...

International »

How Trump visit could leverage CAA and Kashmir against PM Modi


Agencies, New Delhi :As India rolls out the red carpet to receive US President Donald Trump next week, rough spots that have arisen in the wake of the Modi government's decisions on Kashmir and the subsequent passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act will need diplomatic resolution. The Modi government's sudden ...

International »

India ‘bigger problem’ than China: Michael Bloomberg on carbon emissions


PTI, Washington :India poses a bigger problem than China when it comes to fighting climate change, particularly on reducing carbon emissions, Democratic presidential aspirant and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has said.During his maiden appearance on a Democratic presidential primary debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Bloomberg said it ...

 
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