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Thread: Cutting defense spending

  1. #71
    Meat Tornado Array DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    I pretty much agree lowtech.

    We would absolutely have to take into account of the strategic importance of the places involved.

    The gist is this, we are far too overextended at the moment, and we need to take stock of where our resource allocation doesn't match up with a realized benefit for the American people.
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

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  2. #72
    Senior Member Array chachamaru's Avatar
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    Dec 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I'm flabbergasted to see that I'm the first one to respond to this. I was hoping that someone else would take care of this first so I wouldn't have to.

    What the hell?!:steam:

    My buddy is an intelligence officer on a destroyer in the Pacific...

    Do you think he should be killed?

    How dare you speak that way about people who are willing to risk their lives for you.
    What is this buddy doing for my life? How is he risking his?

    Please don't take this personally. I am arguing for the sake of arguing and sport.

    It is an interesting idea though. I mean, isn't that what soldiers are meant to do? Fight and die?
    a cat is fine too

  3. #73
    Queen hunter Array Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    135 so/sp


    As I said 100 times before "I am not American but I will bite".

    Watching things from your perspective I think that making the large reductions in a defense is nonesense if you want to be what you want to be.

    Especially since the army is besically the only thing you besically have.
    Do you have a good education system - no
    Do you have strong industry for the country of your magnitude - not really
    Do you have a good and workable health system - no

    Not to mention that I have a feeling that Americans totally forgot why they have that large army in the first place. The whole point of so massive army is:

    1. That the oponent does not want to invest in its military budget since even if they invest pretty much everything they would lose the 1 vs 1 war against you.

    2. Control the resources and trading routes.
    What in the end allows you to have a trillion Dollar economy.

    In other words when you reduce the strenght of the military you automatically have less control over the world that does not want to be under your control. But you desperatly need that control to maintain the way of life you are used to.
    In other words once you retreat you can't go back to your positions without wars since some one else will take your place and you will simply not have enought resources to get back to previous level.

    The most obvious element in this story is probably oil. Which means that if you retreat too much you will not be able to control the oil market so well. What mean that the countries that are winning the economic against you will probably have even easier time getting to it. Not to mention that one of the pillars of your economy "petro Dollar" will probably go into history if you cut the defense too much.

    Even small cut will probably encourage the other countries to increase their defense budget since that would the US is losing its strenght. What means that there could be some benefits for them by having larger army. Actually the larger countries would probably even try to balance their military strenght with yours. So you will meet each other somewhere at the half of the way. Or somewhere around the middle.

    But if anything of the mentioned happens the idea of US as a super power will be finished. Since you will have much harder time getting to the energy sources, price of energy will not be so strictly under control. Dollar would probably drop even further. What means that it would be much easier to replace it with something else.
    What would decimate your ability to print money as well as your overall enonomic strenght and influence.

    Even if you decide to start/greatly increase the industrial production things would never go back to what they were because you no longer have the huge technological advantage that you had some 50 years ago. Plus it would be harder for you to get resources since there is much bigger demand today then it used to be. And your control over them is what is keeping you a few steps ahead of other players.

    (plus the entire debt thing)

    So if I were to try to solve the problem I would use pretty different logic.

    I think that your army does not need classical cuts it need reorganisation. Since the overal stranght much be maintained.

    For example if you have a 10 000 nukes you can freely reduce that to something like 3000. The effect will remain pretty much the same.

    Also you must find a way how to reduce the production cost of the military equipment. Since that the maintance and production costs can almost certainly be reduced for some degree.

    You need to evaluated which military bases you actually need and for what purposes. But if some smaller bases are useless you can abolish them.
    But everthing that was worth in them you can simply move to some of the larger bases around since it will easier/cheeper to maintain the operation(s) that way.

    In some areas of the world you have bases purely because you are helping some to fight someone. (minor conflict) So perhaps it would be wise to trully help people you consider allies with a few blows. Because that way you will end the conflict and free some of your resources for better use.

    What leads us to your real problem. The lack of effective organisation in your society.

    The most obvious example is probably education system that in the start places you in disadvantage over many other countries. While on the other hand you allow your children to be rised by reality shows , corny You Tube jokes and fantasies that one day they will be a star of some sort. While on the other hand the interest for more technical or scientific fields is not as nearly as large as this one. But that does not mean that you don't need the people that will make the technical improvements that will make your army cheaper and more effective.

    Another thing is that you are so obsesed with the concept of free market that it seems that you can't see the obvious. Which is that in other countries people can and are willing to do the same job as you for 20-100 times less money than you do. (and the quality of the work would not be that much lower) Maybe I am wrong but I simply don't see how can you compete with those people/countries. So the only who can profit in the US out of this are people who own big companies that are selling you goods produced in third world countries. (and I believe that this has been empirically preoven as well)

    Why I think that ?
    Because every times you buy something from abroad you give money to people who sold you the goods. Plus you are sending money and jobs to the producers abroad.
    (Especally if the seller is also none American)

    So when you pump enough money and jobs out of the states you have only one choice: starting to take loans. But if you take enough loans you will end up exactly where you are now. I know that free market is how you traditionally do things but this model simply can't give results if you compete with someone who is so much cheaper than you , works 15 hours a day and it is not that much interested in the knowledge or actual progress.

    But I will say one more thing that is a little bit politically incorrect.

    When I take a look at American society I see something that looks very much like the child that was home schooled. His/she learned all the fact and all the definition and even knows how to put them into practice. But it simply doesn't know how to cope with problems that were not in the books or chaotic social environment.

    In other words you don't know how to cheat.

    For example here is what one of my ex goverments did. They took the control over entire pharmaceutical industry. But they gave the medicine to every one that needed it. You only had to pay the production cost, what means that the dosage you needed to get well was between 2-5 $. While on the other hand the studies for becoming a doctor were free. So there was not insurance companies , big budget spending on healthcare , private interest etc. Just those few dollars for meds when you get sick and some not overly high taxation that the goverment needed to pay the doctors it owned (and their teachers). And the fact is that the nation was never as healthy as it was in that period.

    Same thing can be said for becoming a nuclear force or owner of dangerous viruses. You just send a few people abroad to study the physics, enginnering or biology and after that you just supply them with materials that are being produced by countries infrastructure. Or allow them to teach what they have learned to even more people. So if you are a dictator none of this should be a problem to organize.

    I mean when the goal is not proft and people do things just because they want to do that the price can be reduced greatly.

    Or you can use your people as some sort of slaves and give them a task of opening mines and war factories in order to produce weapons. But since the jobs are paid with very small amout of money, and food for those worker is produced for even less it can look as if country is spending very little on the military. While in fact they are keeping the mass weapon production "under the radar".

    These are just simple examples of how you are losing your position in the world and you are not even sure how this is this possible. While the answer is quite simple: some of us simply don't play by the rules.

    But when it comes to the army I think that it is stupid to start dismantling it now when it became pretty much obvious that there will be wars across the globe over the resources since the demand is getting much larger than supply. What will make classical trade impossible or at least rare. What in the end could mean that all of your cuts and debts would mean nothing if you would be unable to aquire enough resources to maintain your way of life.

  4. #74
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    The spending creates benefice if only because it circulates the money in the economy in ways that the market by itself could not possibly manage, no private individual and no firm in the economy could ever hope to match the state in spending, cut the spending and you automatically reduce the amount of consumers and amount of money in the economy.

    These are all Keynesian truisms and they've been a matter of fact since before the second world war, culturally the right cant handle that, the primacy of consumption rather than production seems to cancel out so many time honoured ideals, not least of which are precious work ethics.

    The reality is that like Keynes said it could be reduced to paying one man to dig a hole and then paying him to fill it in or paying someone else to fill it in but if you want all the prosperity taht the modern age can deliver you need to circulate the money.

    If you can convince everyone to give it up fair play but at the minute everyone talks like its someone else who'll be unemployed, who'll have things harder than they ever did etc. Its all very abstract and I think the idea that pressure could be put on military spending, which effects the establishment more than social spending, could make it a lot less abstract.

    I'd predict that the final outcome will be less money circulating, in order that the upper echelons will not see any fall in their year on year improvement in living standards and personal income, but it will carry on circulating because ultimately even the upper echelons prosperity depends on it. Cutting spending can provide them with money during a recession when there's no profit to be made but ultimately when recovery gets under way it'll be business as usual.

  5. #75
    Certified Sausage Smoker Array Elfboy's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    I have not read any of the previous posts but I believe a strong national defense is very important. that being said, a strong national offense is largely immoral and a waste of billions of dollars in hard earned tax money or (worse) billions of dollars inflated out of thin air

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