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Chronicling the collapse of a failed society
In the midst of the Great Recession, the United States government has squandered at least another $84,000,000 in its latest military misadventure in the Muslim world. At $756,000 a pop,the cost of the 112 missiles launched so far against Libya – excluding what must be the exorbitant related operational costs – is a stunning $84,672,000. This substantial figure does not take into account the logistical aspects of moving soldiers, warships and other equipment into position, nor the ongoing expenses related to keeping them in place.
In the days of trillion dollar deficits and bailouts, $84.6 million may seem a trifling sum. And compared to other wasteful elements of our corporate-controlled federal government, it is relatively small. But relativity is not the point: $84.6 million is a lot of money, and could have been used in infinitely more productive ways.
The money could have been used to construct hospitals and schools. It could have been used to establish scholarships for college students around the nation, or to create a bonus scheme to reward excellence in the woefully underpaid field of teaching. It could have been donated to homeless shelters around the country, or given to any number of deserving charities devoted to the various causes of social development and sustained human progress. It could have provided one year’s wage to some 4,000 families without any source of current income, or provided much-needed medical services to any of the millions without access to health care today. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a less productive way to spend $84.6 million – virtually any other possibility would have been preferable to waging still more war.
In the past, government spending was largely a conduit of public wealth into the hands of certain corporations within the military-industrial complex. Today, in addition to this abominable tradition we now have a new form of government welfare for the rich: bailouts. Military spending and massive corporate bailouts have become two of the largest, most wasteful aspects of government expenditures – both of which are unpopular with the masses to varying degrees, but both continue unabated regardless.
Government spending represents the wealth of the American people. It is reprehensible that our national wealth is being diverted from the people and programs that need it most, into the coffers of massive, multinational corporations. We could get by handily with a tiny fraction of our current military budget, and private corporations – particularly in the financial sector – deserve zero aid from the federal government. It’s time that our money was put to work in the causes that benefit us. Endless armaments and military campaigns benefit no one in the long run, and only a few in the short run.
Government should represent the concerted effort of a society to better themselves and sustain the onward march of human progress. Our national wealth and resources should be devoted to education, health care and scientific research for the benefit of all mankind, not to a perpetual state of war.