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Where the wealth goes, Durable goods- Military vs non-military  


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen rightly understands that the national debt is the biggest single risk to the enterprise to which he has devoted his entire adult life, the military industrial complex. Well, his actual words were, "The most significant threat to our national security is our debt." He went on to explain that the debt "limits" the government’s ability to "resource" the military.

The "resourcing" Mullen is worried about includes all the junk in our collective military trunk, all the people currently in uniform, in civil service and contractor suits and khakis, and the millions of retirees (of which I am one), all of the facilities in 177 countries around the world, the spy/eavesdropping/technical surveillance infrastructure and people, and the costs of war/occupation/endless training and puppet–prop-uppery in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Pakistan, Colombia, South Korea, etc. All of this equals, to Mullen, "national security."

But of course, the overblown national security enterprise is less about real American security than the security of the ruling classes, and international and central banks interested in fiat currency "stability" and global commodity "predictability." At a basic American citizen and community level, it is also, sadly, about income security.

The elaborates on Mullen’s concern, and explains (quoting the great Robert Higgs among others) how the government spending has impacted productivity, jobs, recession and recovery in the 20th century. One of the charts is especially eloquent, and reveals much about Mullen’s very real concern that someone soon may stop feeding him.

This chart, covering durable goods shipments over the past decade, is useful in seeing how our military industrial sector has grown – long after the end of the Cold War! Forget for a moment that this spending, as Higgs and others explain, saps the strength and energy of the private sector, and is itself tax and debt funded, equal or greater than its fellow tax-feeding bureaucracies in Washington, Medicare, Social Security, and state and federal civil servant and military pensions. We hear that Social Security (already in the red) and Medicare (in trouble from the beginning) programs are publicly working to address fiscal realities. Civil retirees at state and federal level are already on notice, and federal retirement programs are changing. But the military, and its extended security complex, has done little but creatively account for its needs, and ask for more each year. In lieu of making real and serious cuts, and reducing America’s inappropriate and costly empire, Mullen and Gates fear-monger global security, and promote false patriotism.


2 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: Where the wealth goes, Durable goods- Military vs non-military

A must to open, just to get a clearer look at that chart and graph if nothing else.

Veteran Advisor

Re: Where the wealth goes, Durable goods- Military vs non-military

  Was that Mullen's signal to the PTB that's he's ready to retire, and that was him proclaiming his allegiance to the status quo? Are we going to see him soon in a suit now provided by a certain right wing network, while providing his opinion and military analysis of Obama's decisions, and probably contrary to what he says and does now, along with a big-money job at a defense contractor corporation, and numerous, paid bogus corporate board positions ??????

  It's really funny that he said that, considering he's one of the top people that has contributed the most to that debt with their constant requests for more funding, and funding of useless and underperforming pet-projects. Does anybody remember the million/billion dollar Navy ships, that the Coast Guard couldn't and wouldn't even use, because they weren't built to withstand extreme conditions at sea?

  If you switch the Navy for the Army in PENTAGON WARS, he'd be one of the major characters.