Going back more than a century, we have been embroiled in one conflict or another around the globe. As I see it, we have no intentions politically to stop the march of troops and weaponry to other perceived “enemies.”
Let’s begin by the most basic fact. War is profitable.
I would estimate the number of Americans who work for corporations who make huge profits from weaponry and all the sub-contractors who make parts for warplanes, warships and technological equipment for missiles, drones, etc., is probably in excess of 30% of America’s workforce.
Major oil and energy companies reap huge profits from warfare, as do aircraft giants. The Pentagon doles out multiple billions for military aircraft, ships, and yes, tanks – fossils that were of use in World War II and basically useless since then.
We also make a huge amount of money supplying the latest weaponry to other countries, some of whom may later turn against us. Those planes, ships and missiles are destroyed in conflict, and what do we do? We keep building more to sell overseas. Afterward, our corporations go in and rebuild their airstrips and roads which we destroyed. Who ends up paying? We, the taxpayers.
To cease the wartime production lines would put a sizeable number of American workers out of a job. The late President Eisenhower, a military man, warned us to “beware of the military-industrial complex.” Too bad we didn’t heed his warning.
Socialism is not a failed system
A recent letter attacking Elizabeth Warren stated, “Socialism is a failed system everywhere and every time it has been tried.” Hogwash.
Apparently the writer believes a country must choose between capitalism and socialism. Wrong.
Most developed countries have adopted elements of socialism ... some more, some less, while remaining capitalistic. Just ask the Scandinavian peoples if they like the socialism they have, which is much more than what we have. It appears to work for them because year after year surveys have found them to be the world’s happiest peoples.
What has not worked is the extreme version of socialism, known as communism.
By the way, while communism is an extreme version of liberalism, there is an equally failed version of radical conservatism ... fascism.
What most countries struggle with is how much government to have. Libertarians are on the side of less government. Fascists and communists are on the extreme side of more government. Somewhere in between is what most people seek. In this gray area between the extremes there is no right or wrong. Rather there is what each country decides is right for itself.
Socialism is not “a failed system.” It is alive and well all over the world. What each country needs to decide for itself is how much or how little socialism it wants.
Stoking fear of socialism as though it is an absolute is counterproductive, unless the writer is a Libertarian who wants to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, national defense, etc., which I doubt.
Hilton Head Island
Remember the hidden costs of evacuation
Here we are in the aftermath of another hurricane evacuation, feeling fortunate that we were spared the worst of the storm. However, many in our community were not spared one of the impacts of theseevacuations — the cost of evacuating and lost wages because businesses are not open.
First, the cost of evacuating. I was struck two years ago when a TV reporter interviewed people who lived in the direct path of Hurricane Irma and asked, “Why didn’t you evacuate?” The answer, “We couldn’t afford to.” Or a friend, upon returning home from the evacuation, said, “Well that cost a thousand dollars.”
Second, lost wages and profits. And again, when a TV reporter interviewed a young man about his evacuation experience, his major concern was getting back to work. No work, no pay. Also, stores closed, lowering profits.
We all understand the need to evacuate when we are in harm’s way, but local and state government officials need to have this discussion with communities to see how the negative economic impact of evacuations can be kept to a minimum.
In the meantime, remember those who have lost wages and tip a little higher for a while, or pay your landscaper even if your lawn wasn’t mowed, etc. I know they will appreciate it.
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