“If we used our ‘defense’ budget to help people, the next generation would know how to care for one another.”

This is a comment by Justin Cascio on the post “Male Disposability: 1/19“.

Justin said:

When I consider how wealth is concentrated in our society, and how much is squandered on “defense,” I have no doubt we could afford to help every such person, women and men and everyone else. If we did it for a generation, the next would know how to care for one another, and for themselves.

I don’t feel jealousy on behalf of men that this woman gets help when I know there are men in worse shape that no one helps at all; I want to change society so that we remember that they both are human beings whose lives can be improved, whose suffering can be reduced, and for relatively little cost; that they are us, but for circumstances; and that we would remember what it is that we are trying to protect ourselves from, anyway.

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Comments

  1. Amen, Justin. Society has been indulging in violence as a way to ‘work off’ frustration and indifference for a long time, and we need to put those days behind us.

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    That’s presuming our enemies let us. So, this being a discussion among rational adults, I presume that there would be an adequate defense left to us.
    Anybody got a figure for that?
    Yet?

    • You mean, how much do we need to spend on a standing army to fight off 19th-century style invasions of our shores? That’s easy; zero.

      Our only enemies these days are best fought with intelligence-gathering, not boots on the ground. After all, you can’t use soldiers to fight terrorism any more than you can use them to fight inflation. We simply don’t need the soldiers, tanks, jets, and missiles we’re currently (over)paying to keep running.

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    Copy. The reason nobody’s going to mess with us in conventional war is that we have the best conventional military in the world so far. If we get rid of it, we won’t have the best conventional military in the world. That would change things.
    As to terrorism; see failed states. Sometimes you may have to go there. Or Iran. Presuming Obama and Hagel aren’t down with them getting the Bomb, intelligence gathering isn’t going to do it.
    And, what do you do with the intel? Suppose, say, Iran is supporting terrorism–they are–and won’t stop? Just put the intel in a file someplace?
    You recall the infamous sanctions which were supposed to have killed half a million Iraqi kids? If sanctions on Iran start to bite, we’ll hear the same thing and back off.
    Now, of course, there’s the Yamamoto view. You can’t invade America, he said to his buddies, there’d be a rifle behind every blade of grass. Hmm. Wasn’t referring to the military which was miniscule. Gee. Wonder if that might have been a factor in various folks trying to beat us.

    • “The reason nobody’s going to mess with us in conventional war is that we have the best conventional military in the world so far.”

      Yes, that’s why nobody’s invading Canada too–their overwhelmingly huge military budget. Come on, you don’t actually believe this stuff you’re spewing, do you? Wingnuttery really blinds people to the real world (until elections shock them into temporary awareness, that is).

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    As for money, I have a place to start:
    Subsidies for corn-based ethanol. Even Aljazeera Gore has admitted it is an energy wash. Saves no energy and reduces pollution not at all.
    He pushed it, he said, because he was fond of the farmers in Tennesee. Then later, before the Iowa caucuses, he was fond of the farmers in Iowa.
    It costs us money in subsidies, and it increases the price of food. Not only does it increase the price of anything which includes corn, corn byproducts, or animals fed on the stuff, by keeping fields in corn, it reduces the availability of other crops. And, corn, pulling a lot out of the soil, is usually alternated with beans in the midwest, or at least in my state. There’s more money in corn every year, but that means the price of fertilizer goes up since you need more of it.
    IOW, it’s a government program to buy farm-state votes with taxpayer money and on the backs of the poor facing inflation in food prices. What’s not to like?
    Let’s get rid of that and put it into housing the hardest cases. Anybody got a spare bedroom? Maybe the feds could give you a couple of hundred bucks a month to put one of these folks up until they get themselves unwrapped from the axle.

  5. John Schtoll says:

    Justin: I believe that humans are animals and that we aren’t as far removed from lions , tigers and monkeys as people like to think and that if we spent a generation helping EVERYONE, in a generation very few people would want to work because why should they.

    WARNING ANECDOTE COMING:

    My oldest child just told me about a friend of hers who is pregnant with her first child, she got pregnant on purpose because “a child will allow me to collect welfare and have a decent place to live no matter what”. Her mom is on welfare and has been since she was 20 years old and so was her mother.

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/01/world_population_may_actually_start_declining_not_exploding.html

    Has to do with declining world population.

    One observer noted that a declining population mathematically destroys the various social safety nets the progressives consider normal. After all, they’re a pyramid scheme and those don’t work when the pyramid is upside down.

  7. RIchard Aubrey says:

    Further to biofuels:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/science/earth/in-fields-and-markets-guatemalans-feel-squeeze-of-biofuel-demand.html?_r=0

    It’s a crime against humanity. Also racist. But it made Gore a lot of money, so there’s that.

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