Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Small, Overlooked Opportunity Cost of War

We know that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars cost thousands of American lives, four trillion dollars, and perhaps a million Iraq deaths from the chaos that followed, but there's another overlooked cost.

It's the opportunity cost of the time the President and his staff spend in overseeing the war.  We saw that with the Iraq war.

Instead of spending time on say, monitoring the progress on the health care website, the president was spending time pouring over lists of which bad guys to take out with a missile strikes and deciding how many troops were needed.

Wars can just suck the oxygen out of the room of national discourse.  When serious domestic issues need to be discussed, they are shoved out of the way by decisions to be made on the war front.

Next time our government says we really need to invade a country that has done us no harm, let's just say "no", and instead discuss American health care or infrastructure projects, or education, or how to fund more parks.

What to Learn from Donald Trump Being Elected President of the USA?

For many years the United States government has sponsored the overthrow of foreign governments, whether they be democratically elected like in Iran, or strong men we deemed as tyrants like Saddam Hussein, because America knew how to pick a better government than the foreign countries themselves.

Now with the election of Donald Trump, we can at last lay down that burden.

Monday, July 22, 2013

She goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy

John Quincy Adams, 1821, speaking of America:

"Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. "

"The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit....
[America's] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice."

Oh, if our leaders had listened to John Quincy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What Benefit for the Average US Citizen Comes from being the World's Policeman?

Dan Carlin had a thought provoking podcast about what benefit do Americans gain from our country being the world policeman. We spend 20% our tax monies on our military and "policing" the world. We spend almost as much money on our military as the entire rest of the world. It costs us dearly, but the average American does not benefit from all that money. Would that we would spend some of that money on curing cancer, ending migraines, or finding a cure for Alzheimer's.

Six Trillion dollars for the Iraq and Afganistan Wars

A very brief note on the true human costs of our wars in Iraq and Afganistan here. And a new study showing the total cost of the two wars may be 6 trillion dollars. For what?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Robert Higgs cites an interesting quote from Nazi official Hermann Göring about the benefits of war for the common man.

This account comes to us from Gustave M. Gilbert, the German-speaking prison psychologist who had free access to all of the prisoners during the trials and talked to them frequently in private. On the evening of April 18, 1946, Gilbert visited Göring in his cell, and he later described their conversation as follows:

We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Göring shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare war."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. (Nuremberg Diary, pp. 278–79)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bumper Stickers Available

You can order t-shirts, hats and bumper stickers at www.cafepress.com/supportourtroopsnow.

You can upload the following jpeg to http://www.BuildASign.com and print a bumper sticker: Here's a higher resolution one used at CafePress:

Both images are public domain no attribution, so feel free to download them and use them as you would like.

The URL of this blog is on the bumper sticker so anyone who sees your bumper sticker will know where to order one for themselves to help spread the message. I do not make any money from the sales of any merchandise or this blog.