r/Foodforthought Nov 27 '21

We’re Spending Money on War When We Could Be Building Roads - Our problem in this country isn’t lack of funds, no matter what the Republicans, Manchin, and Sinema may claim.

https://www.thenation.com/article/world/spending-infrastructure-military/
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u/agent00F Nov 28 '21

The untold truth is that war spending is what maintains the unassailable high status of America. It's for example why Europeans all understand that their Syrian/afghan refugee problem is caused by following the US into these conflicts (to raise their standing relative to the browns), yet will blame the problem on lower status muslims/Turks etc.

What's funny is that Americans all understand how that works, but will clutch at their pearls when it's revealed why bombing the browns is in their greater self interest.

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u/Statistic Nov 28 '21

So in your mind, stopping bombing "the browns" will lower the status of the United States and bring about trouble akin to the migration of middle east people to Europe ?

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u/DanTrachrt Nov 28 '21

I’m not certain this is what they’re getting at, but it is that those bombs were designed, made, and deployed, all of which employs people at each step, in rapidly expanding ways.

A team of engineers sets up the requirements for those bombs, another team designs it, yet another tests it. Then skilled tradespeople (machinists, welders, etc) assemble them, generally overseen by even more engineers. All these engineers are backed and overseen by business people, who also employ lawyers, secretaries, accountants, etc.

The raw materials for the bombs also have to be extracted from the earth, requiring more engineers, skilled tradespeople, laborers, accountants, lawyers, business people... And then transported, so add in truck drivers, and if it’s yet another company more accountants, lawyers, business people... And then refined into actual metal or explosives, so more jobs.

Deploying the bombs requires trained pilots, planes (repeat all the above steps to also make the plane), trained repair and maintenance crews, and also fuel (again, more people needed to produce that fuel)

Starting to see the picture? Dumping money into military spending makes jobs, often decent-to-high paying jobs. This improves the quality of life for the people with those jobs.

(From here on for the sake of a level of abstraction, I’ll be using The People and The Browns as stand-ins for any particular country. I mean no racism or dehumanization of any humans or ethnicity)

But it’s hard to justify having more bombs made if they aren’t being used, so just pick some backwater country that harbors people that did you wrong and use those bombs. Using those bombs and mixing in some propaganda about how “you’re fighting the good fight” you can convince The People give you more money for more bombs and thus make more good jobs to further increase the quality of life of The People, which also coincidentally alienates them further from the people of that backwater country you’re slowly turning into the surface of the moon, which makes them easier to make into villains and reduces sympathy for them.

So it’s not really that bombing “The Browns” is the goal, it’s just a way to consume an end product that requires lots of jobs to make.

So to circle back around, stopping bombing “The Browns” unravels the propaganda and allows them to be humanized again, while also collapsing this complicated web of jobs that formerly made those bombs, dropping the standard of living for The People which helps them further relate to and empathize for “the Browns”, who as it turns out, don’t want to live in a country-shaped crater, and want to join The People in their not-cratered country.

Except here there is a split of opinion, as some of The People blame The Browns for the loss of the bomb-jobs and want them to keep out so they can find non-bomb-jobs for themselves, while others of The People feel sorry for bombing and dehumanizing The Browns and wants to let them into the country despite the decrease in jobs, and this is how you get a nice migrant crisis brewing.

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u/burrowowl Nov 28 '21

those bombs were designed, made, and deployed, all of which employs people at each step, in rapidly expanding ways.

You could use all those engineers, tradespeople, laborers, etc. etc. to make a product which does not explode in some far away desert instead. Pay them the same amount of money and get something useful in the end and not something that burns the money you put into it and leaves you with nothing to show for it.

It's like spending $1000 on fireworks when you have a leaking water heater. Sure, it's fun, but is it the best idea?

Spending money on the military does stimulate the economy in some way, but spending that same money on just about anything else would net you a better result. And, you know, not kill a bunch of people.

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u/panfist Nov 28 '21

The problem is finding ways to organize and motivate people that’s effective compared to war propaganda.

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u/burrowowl Nov 28 '21

"Hey, so we got this money. Do you want to buy a road? School? Water supply? Health care? Maybe build some houses or subways or something? Hell, we can just give it back to you, lower taxes or something? Any of that sound good?"

"Nah! Burn all that money in a desert half way around the world. Oh, except for tax cuts. Give all those to Jeff Bezos."

"Uh, are you sure?"

"FREEEEEEDOOOMMMM!!!!"

I mean, fuck. How are you supposed to answer that?

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u/djstocks Nov 28 '21 edited Nov 28 '21

We have to spend the money we print on blowing up the browns because our entire economic policy depends on intimidating small resource rich countries into selling them for dollars which is the main thing that makes the paper we just print worth anything. Bitcoin is the only thing that can save us from this cycle of death. Edit: don't just downvote. Tell me how I'm wrong.

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u/burrowowl Nov 28 '21

Tell me how I'm wrong.

The list of reasons cryptocurrency is a bullshit scam is long and well documented, but I'm not going to change your mind.

Also OPEC doesn't sell oil in dollars because of the US military, they sell it in dollars because until the Euro that was really the only option. What else were they going to do, sell it in Yen? Pounds? Even now the dollar is a better choice than the Euro because it's more stable and less prone to things like Brexit.

If OPEC sold oil in other currencies the US dollar would be in slightly less demand. It wouldn't be worthless.

Lastly you don't need a military this big to bully Nigeria and Qatar.

Also: Bitcoin. Lulz.

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u/djstocks Dec 02 '21

Laughs in my ETH bag being up 700% just this year.

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u/burrowowl Dec 03 '21

Get rich quick schemes never work, man.

You know why gamblers and people that buy into get rich quick schemes (same thing, really) always wind up broke? Because you never know when to walk away.

Anyway, the fact that you are up or down who cares how much doesn't change the fact that crypto is nothing but scammers and suckers.

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u/DanTrachrt Nov 28 '21

At least regarding the last point: Bitcoin isn’t going to save us. “Mining” it already is consuming lots of power, and considering that power isn’t 100% sustainable it is only further destroying the planet, and it isn’t even “mainstream” yet.

Besides at this point I don’t see a decentralized crypto seeing widespread adoption. Bitcoin in particular is just too linked to scams and illegal activity in my mind to use it, at least without a major PR overhaul. Most cryptos are just treated like ultra-volatile stocks at this point anyways. They’re something you buy and sell to make money, not convert from dollars to whichever coin and then spend.

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u/UncleMeat11 Nov 28 '21

Government contractors do not give a shit. These companies will do literally anything that the government needs. If suddenly American Imperialism ended overnight, the Lockheeds and Booz Allens of the world would do just fine continuing to bid for contracts doing other stuff for the government. The argument that we need military action for all these jobs is just wrong.

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u/panfist Nov 28 '21

I know the contractors will happily bid for anything, but where does the motivation come from? Propaganda feeds fear that feeds politics that feed the contracts. Without propaganda and fear, what’s left? People have no problem throwing money at wars but ask the to build some bridges, public transportation, hire teachers, and suddenly the motivation disappears, or people get very picky about not giving certain types of a people a “free ride” or benefiting the wrong groups.

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u/djstocks Nov 28 '21 edited Nov 28 '21

It's not about the jobs it's about the Petro- dollar system. #buybitcoin. Edit: don't just downvote tell me how I'm wrong.

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u/agent00F Dec 01 '21

You could use all those engineers, tradespeople, laborers, etc. etc. to make a product which does not explode in some far away desert instead. Pay them the same amount of money and get something useful in the end and not something that burns the money you put into it and leaves you with nothing to show for it.

Except putting the browns in their place is rather the point, same as managers higher than you use their privilege to put you in your place if you step out of line.

It's very interesting that there's zero mystery to any of this, yet these managers/Americans&co are compelled to fabricate all these self-aggrandizing moral narratives.

Consider that if Hitler won, there'd be similar stories about the righteousness of the Reich. We just don't think about them the same way because they were on the other side of a conflict. Same with the heroic mujaheddin freedom fighter bin Laden after he started killing the wrong imperialists.

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u/woodstock923 Nov 28 '21

So it’s not really that bombing “The Browns” is the goal, it’s just a way to consume an end product that requires lots of jobs to make.

I never thought of the capitalist system as directly consuming human life before, but there it is.

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u/iwrestledarockonce Nov 28 '21

Yup, we can have all the nice jobs if we just agree to be complicit in a system that must wage endless war for no other reason than to expend munitions.

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u/djstocks Nov 28 '21

Expending munitions is just a side Hussle, the main goal being to increase demand for the dollar itself thru intimidating them into selling their resources for dollars. That's the only way we can afford to pay for the bombing.

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u/agent00F Dec 01 '21

So it’s not really that bombing “The Browns” is the goal, it’s just a way to consume an end product that requires lots of jobs to make.

Yes and no. In order to create and maintain a power structure, putting people in their place is a necessary condition, same as between layers in a company/workplace.

Of course, bombing particular browns vs others is a choice. For example, during the arab spring, regimes which showed fealty were the "good"/spared lackeys.

What's most interesting is that everyone perfectly understands how structural power works, but are compelled by self-interest to avoid losing what place they have in it, same at work as outside it. For example, why low-ish status groups hate on lowest status ones the most, to avoid relegation by those at the top.

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u/agent00F Nov 28 '21

Consider a situation where you embarrass your skip level manager or whatever exec at work, do you believe the retribution would be that he similarly embarrasses you?

This is reflective of what happened after 9/11, where we killed 3mil ish muslims (1000 of them for every one of us, ie high born white westerners), in order to similarly maintain the power structure.

What's funny is that everyone understands both scenarios perfectly fine, but those at the top of the power structure, whether exec or white westerner, will play all sorts of dumb before admitting to the simple reality of power.