Military Industrial Complex

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ShoeshineBoy, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Great link describing the extent of US military spending:

    It would be difficult to past the whole link in here but consider this:

    --We are stationed in 147 countries. That's 70%!
    --We spend more on defense than the next 45 nations combined.
    --Our defense spending accounts for almost half of the globe's.

    The author then points out - and you Ron Paul lovers will enjoy this:

    "In conclusion, I again turn to the wisdom of Ron Paul, the only presidential candidate speaking the truth to the American public. In a speech before Congress several months before the Iraq invasion, his words were reminiscent of President Eisenhower’s.

    The basic moral principle underpinning a non-interventionist foreign policy is that of rejecting the initiation of force against others. It is based on non-violence and friendship unless attacked, self-determination, and self-defense while avoiding confrontation, even when we disagree with the way other countries run their affairs. It simply means that we should mind our own business and not be influenced by special interests that have an ax to grind or benefits to gain by controlling our foreign policy. Manipulating our country into conflicts that are none of our business and unrelated to national security provides no benefits to us, while exposing us to great risks financially and militarily.
    If we followed a constitutional policy of non-intervention, we would never have to entertain the aggressive notion of preemptive war based on speculation of what a country might do at some future date. Political pressure by other countries to alter our foreign policy for their benefit would never be a consideration. Commercial interests and our citizens investing overseas could not expect our armies to follow them and protect their profits.

    If as a country we continue to allow our politicians and their military industrial complex corporate sponsors to spend $700+ billion per year on weapons, to the detriment of higher education, alternative energy projects, and national infrastructure needs, we will be paying an extremely high price.

    We are in a classic guns or butter scenario. The Bush Administration has decided to choose guns while borrowing from our grandchildren and the Chinese to pay for the butter. This can work for awhile, but as deficits accumulate, the dollar plummets, and inflation rears its ugly head, our great country will decline as other empires who overstepped their bounds declined."

    So my question is this: do you buy the author's assertion that is all this defense spending is bad for the economy?
  2. clacy


    Yes and no. I do think that maintaining military supremacy is improtant, as I certainly don't trust most of our nearest competitors in that arena (ie, China, Russia, Iran, N. Korea, etc)

    I do think it's important to be fiscally responsible however. I think it's a little silly that we're in 70 countries.

    I tend to believe that we should really try to minimize our involvement in foreign entanglements, yet maintain a very strong defensive position at home and abroad in a few select locations.

    Having an anti-missle defense system is a very good thing, in my opinion.
  3. An incredibly biased article.
    Notice that they never express Defense Spending as a percentage of overall GDP. If they did, they would have to admit that it is currently less than the 45-year average!

    See chart below:
  4. lindq


    Our problem is not so much the military/industrial complex as it is the MILITARY - INDUSTRIAL - GOVERNMENT complex wherein every senator or representative is guaranteed lifetime employment by defense contractors.

    The revolving door just keeps revolving and revolving, and we keep paying and paying.

    And unfortunately there isn't a damn thing we can do about it.
  5. You might as well make the same claim for Healthcare and Big Pharma . . . Case in point:

    Former Senator, Billy Tauzin of Louisiana who crafted the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill - - - the biggest Federal entitlement in several decades.

    He became a lobbyist for the Pharma Research and Manufacturers of America for a reported $2.5 million per year just 2 months after leaving Congress.

    Thanks to him, the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill that he got through Congress gives the Govt. absolutely ZERO pricing power with Big Pharma.

    Thanks Mr. Tauzin.
    You are a total scum-bucket.
    I hope you get hit by a bus crossing the street some day.
  6. We spend a lot on defense. But every few years we spend an awful lot on defending indefensible banking practices. We did on the S & L crisis of the 90's. And it is a little early to fully account for how much the Gubmint will spend defending the sub-prime debacle and so-called financial instruments called CDO's.