Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, October 21, 2017 03:46:14 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

Football »

Giroud`s overhead kick gives Arsenal 1-0 win at Red Star


Agency :Olivier Giroud scored late in the second half for Arsenal to maintain its perfect Europa League campaign with a 1-0 win over 10-man Red Star Belgrade on Thursday.Five minutes after Milan Rodic was sent off for a second yellow card, Giroud struck with an overhead kick five minutes before ...

Entertainment »

Ali Fazal and Shriya Pilgaonkar come together for Web Series


Shriya Pilgaonkar who was appreciated for her Hindi film debut as Shahrukh Khan’s love interest in Fan and for her viral short film Jai Mata Di, is now going to be seen in a web show called Mirzapur produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani for a global online platform ...

Editorial »

Flood victims yet to get enough support


GOVERNMENT and aid agencies have provided emergency relief for flood victims but not sufficient to settle flood victims as per media reports quoting Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) researchers who tried to figure out the distribution system in the Haor areas. Over 37 lakh people were affected in the floods ...

City »

Islami Andolon Bangladesh brought out a rally in the city on Friday in protest against price hike of gas and electricity.


.

International »

Iranian Army chief, Assad discuss joint military strategy


Reuters, Beirut :Iran's military chief met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday during a visit to Damascus to set out a joint military strategy, Syria's state news agency reported, a sign of deepening Iranian influence that has alarmed Israel.General Mohammad Baqeri said Iran was determined to continue supporting the ...

Editorial »

Mr Xi`s new vision for China


CHINESE President Xi Jinping has laid out a far-reaching vision for a more prosperous nation and a dominating role for China in the world as the US President Donald Trump is working on a reverse way isolating his country from the world leadership role. In the domestic front he has ...

International »

May to urge EU leaders to speed up Brexit talks


AFP, Brussels :British Prime Minister Theresa May will appeal to European Union leaders at a crunch summit in Brussels on Thursday to push forward the deadlocked Brexit negotiations.At a meeting moved to a new venue at the last minute due to an eruption of toxic gas, May will urge her ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders recruit Brendon McCullum


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders have recruited wicketkeeper-batsman of New Zealand Brendon McCullum for the up coming fifth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur Riders Ishtiaq Sadek said to the newsmen, " We have confirmed that McCullum will join our squad on November 15. He will play ...

Entertainment »

Titaan Chowdhury hosting `Sampan`


'Sampan' is one of the popular programmes of Chittagong centre of Bangladesh Television of present time. Dance, music, magic, etc are presented in this show. Popular face of the small screen Titaan Chowdhury is hosting this programme. Positive side is Titaan is hailed from Chittagong. So it becomes easier for ...

City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the Alia Madrasha Special Court in the city's Bakshibazar on Thursday seeking bail on Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust Graft cases.


International »

Threats to start war with North Korea `dangerous, short-sighted`: Hillary


Reuters, Seoul :  Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that "cavalier" threats to start war on the Korean peninsula are "dangerous and short-sighted", urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table.Clinton also called on China to take a "more outfront role" in enforcing ...

Sports »

U-12 School Handball Tournament begins tomorrow


Sports Reporter :The Atom Gum Under-12 School Handball (Boys' & Girls') Tournament begins tomorrow at the Shaheed (Captain) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium.Bangladesh Handball Federation will organize the handball meet under auspices of Pran Confectionary Limited.In this regard, a press conference was held at the Dutch-Bangla Bank Auditorium in ...

Editorial »

Diplomacy must work in Korean peninsula


THE Korean peninsula is closer to war again as a North Korean official reaffirmed on Monday Pyongyang's commitment to developing a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching "all the way to the East coast of the mainland US." He said his country is currently not interested in diplomacy with ...

Entertainment »

Only Sunny Leone could dare to wish Diwali in this unique manner


Sultry actress Sunny Leone who has millions of die-hard fans around the world has come up with a new video and that too in her own style. Sunny Leone has posted a new video in which she is wishing a Happy Diwali, especially to the boys. This video is, in ...

City »

Liberation Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq speaking as Chief Guest at a discussion meeting organised by the BADC Sramik -Karmachari League on the occasion of its 56th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) at its Conference Room yesterday.


 
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