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Financing Permanent War
Thursday, April 20, 2006

From Sea To Shining Sea ....

Once a world oppressor the "British Empire" has finally been contained on an island (upper right of map). England (see arrow) is a small island of Kings & Queens, Lords & Ladies, Barons & Baronesses, Counts & Countesses, Viscounts & Viscountesses, Marquess' & Marchionesses, Dukes & Duchess, Princes & Princesses, Gentlemen, Sirs, and commoners who live in manors, palaces, estates, and flats. They once ruled an imperial realm known as "The British Empire", upon which the sun never set.

Britain sailed all over the globe spreading imperialism, mating with locals and giving them venereal diseases. They used Australia for a prison. But then the sun did set as local people woke up and killed the British to have freedom.

America had to battle Britain twice; once during the Revolutionary War, then again during the War of 1812 when they burned down the White House. India had a hell of a time kicking the British out, until Ghandi united the people. Hong Kong was British ruled after they lost the Opium Wars. That was because the Queen wanted Chinese tea and porcelain. She wanted gold & diamonds, too, so Britain enslaved most of southern Africa.

*Once a world oppressor the "British Empire"

The war may never be finished (War Against Terror), not in our lifetime - March 2002, Secretary of State Powell.

If the Democrats are the party of "tax and spend," the Republicans are the party of "borrow and spend."

As the British Empire had financed its countless wars by creating a regular and dependable source of revenue and using it to pay the annual interest and the principal of maturing bonds. For every retired bond, a new one was sold. In this way, the national debt could be made perpetual.

In a 1987 book, "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers," Paul Kennedy, a history professor at Yale, formulated the concept this way: "Without a rough balance between these competing demands of defense, consumption and investment, a Great Power is unlikely to preserve its status for long." The British Empire was crushed by its unsustainable spending on World War I and World War II. For the Soviet Union, the cold war ultimately proved too much for its planned economy to support.

Today, the United States faces its own difficult choices between the competing demands of security, consumption and investment. Abroad, the Iraq war lingers painfully while other potential conflicts loom in Iran and elsewhere. Domestically, privatization of Social Security could cost a cool $2 trillion or so.

In global commerce, the offshore threat to the labor force and competition for business profits are increasing. Up-and-coming companies based in Asia and elsewhere may one day rival even our most successful corporations. That prospect makes increased investment in research and development and in education a pressing need for the economy.

Put all that against the backdrop of the country's already substantial debts, and it is clear that tough decisions need to be made.

The National Debt

Apart from very slight declines in 1947-48 and 1956-57 (the last year there was any reduction at all was 1960), the debt began an upward trajectory into the infinite reaches of outer space. By 1970, the national debt had reached $390 billion. In 1980, it was a modest $930 billion. Next was the deluge. Under Reagan and his Republican Senate, the debt rose to $2,700 billion ($2.7 trillion). Under Clinton and the Republican House, it reached $5.7 trillion. Under Bush and the Republican Congress, it has risen to $6.9 trillion (as of January 1, 2004). Assuming Bush's re-election, the continuation of the illimitable "war on terror," and another recession, the national debt could breach the $10 trillion mark by 2008.

History shows that in the long run, economic policy tends to be just as important as military policy when it comes to a country's national security. In the short run, military spending can be supported by borrowing (Britain) or authoritarian measures (the Soviet Union), but eventually the guns belong to those whose economies can afford them.

IN fact, a great power that ignores its economy can become its own worst enemy. According to Professor Kennedy, when great powers have been threatened with decline, they have tended to increase their spending on security; as a result, they starved their economies of needed investment. Such a short-term strategy ultimately cannot be sustained, and the fall can be abrupt.

Decadence in an empire comes from within, as decadence in an oak comes from within, by rotting at the core. The colonial visitor to Britain sees that the population there is stratified, and that the lower stratum comprises many millions of people who are under-nourished, mal-educated, servile, badly housed, and subject to that chronic kind of idleness named "unemployment"; while the upper stratum is also chronically unemployed in another way—grown indolent through passively drawing dividends from overseas. What’s this, then—the workshop of the world?

*Decline and Fall of the British Empire

Cost to the U.S. of a War with Iraq ($billion)

Direct military spending 140 billion
Occupation & peacekeeping 500 billion
Reconstruction & nation-building 100 billion
Humanitarian assistance 10 billion
Impact on oil markets 500 billion
Macroeconomic impact 345 billion
Total 1.595 Trillion

*Financing Wars on Terrorism and Iraq
posted by EuroYank - Virginia Hoge @ 6:20 AM  
About Me

Name: EuroYank - Virginia Hoge
Home: United States
About Me: Euro Yank is an internationally famous blogger, an American born in Germany that left for the USA with family at age six and has lived in Luxembourg for the past ten years. He is a committed anti-fascist and a student of history who is politically progressive and believes in the ideals of the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights for all Americans. He is also an American war veteran. He was active on American Talk Radio, and has been prominent online with 26 blogs with over 25 million hits. His investigative journalism has exposed top international news stories no one else has reported on. He is also a well-known political commentator. He has been repeatedly censored and banned, but despite these setback continues nonstop. Virginia Olive Hoge is an artist and writer living in Pasadena, California. As a progressive whistle-blower, she conducts investigations into corrupt media and outs the harm it causes to the poor and important social services. She is has been conducting an 11-month investigation of, she is the first one in the nation to do so.
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