There has been much agitation of late about America’s economic crisis and the end of social spending. All of us, it is said, must be ready to do some belt-tightening, among a hundred other clichés. Of course the real effects of eliminating most social programs – as ineffective as they can be – will be to ruin and destroy people’s lives. It is part of an apparent two-pronged strategy which supports the outright murder of those abroad in unexplained wars and the slower murder of the less fortunate here at home.
This may seem like an exaggeration.
Let’s begin with actual spending on social programs. By percentage, America spends a little over 16% of the GDP, comparable with Canada. (This number is actually incorrect, because it uses public figures and doesn’t figure in, for example, the black budget for the Pentagon and assumes that all government accounting is above-board. But we’re going to use official figures anyway.) However, unlike Canada, Americans do not have access to free health care, who (by the way) do not have anywhere near the deficit problems that we do.
At the same time, we know that American banks received untold amounts of money in the bailout. The word “untold” is used because in 2008 the $700 billion Bush (and later Obama) bailout that was publicly admitted turned out to be wrong. It turned out that was the first installment of at least $3.3 trillion that was poured into the black holes of the banks, some of which were not even operational in the United States. In addition, there were also $9 trillion in “short-term loans” extended to banks all over the world.
The National Debt is in the neighborhood of $14 trillion. Or, in other words, a little more than we just gave to the banking industry over a 2-year period.
At the same time, the Pentagon receives about $1 trillion a year in public funding. Once again, this is just the money we know about; obviously, spending on all wars is vastly more than this.
What’s more, the Pentagon’s trillion dollar spending spree exceeds the general funds of all 50 U.S. states combined, which, says the National Association of State Budget Officers, will come to about $636 billion in 2011. Translation: Pentagon spending for war is greater than all public outlays for all purposes by all states. And while hard-pressed states wallow in debt and lay off teachers and police, “defense” contractors enjoy record or near-record profits.
Pentagon’s Trillion Dollar Spending Spree… by Sherwood Ross
So how do we fix this problem? By getting rid of welfare, teachers, police departments, and cutting money to rebuild infrastructure for the roads and the grid that is falling apart? By getting rid of illegal immigrants? By drilling holes in Alaska? By extending purposeless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and perhaps Pakistan?
Anyone who proposes these things as actual solutions is wasting your time. Achieving economic growth is not that hard. It never has been. It involves public works projects and allowing people to profit from their labor. You rebuild infrastructure and create worth from the bottom up, not the top down. We’ve just seen the biggest experiment in trickle-down economics in history, giving some $13 trillion to bankers. Has that fixed everything? Has that reduced the estimated 30% or more unemployment rates?
We are steadily heading towards a time in which the only profitable working class job will be to join the military and shoot people in our new colonies. And perhaps that’s the point.