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Aug 07, 2012

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Ishmael

Apropos:

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

Roch

"And I want North Carolina to be the most sought-after state in the nation for defense contracts." -- Killer Kay

Why?

sittinginthemiddle.

In 2011, businesses in 87 of North Carolina’s 100 counties were awarded or executed $4.06 billion in prime contracts from the Department of Defense, an increase of 13 percent and $471 million over 2010.


Thats why, in case you don't understand basic economics, defense contracts produce a lot of good paying jobs in our state which is good for our economy.


Ed Cone

So governmental spending on economic stimulus can be a good thing?

And government spending can produce good jobs?

OK, then.

Brian Clarey

Ha ha ha ha!

You're like an eloquent Sweathog, Ed! And I'm reclassifying Bubba as Woodman.

Dale

Fiscal responsibility requires that we use up our existing stocks of chemical weapons before buying any new weaponry.

Kim

OK, one more time. Government bad, unless they are making bombs or spying into your neighbors bedroom. Get it?

Thomas

Sitting - Can you cite the source of your information?

Andrew Brod

SITM appears to have commented in support of the defense contractors' statement, which means that he/she/it just called for raising taxes.

sittinginthemiddle.

So governmental spending on economic stimulus can be a good thing?

And government spending can produce good jobs?

OK, then._ Ed


It is the one true responsibility of our government to defend our nation, it is a requirement of their existence. That good jobs are a result of defense spending in NC should not be compared to government stimulus in the same context. Of course you already knew that Ed, you were just trying to exude your ideology and ignorance.

sittinginthemiddle.

"SITM appears to have commented in support of the defense contractors' statement, which means that he/she/it just called for raising taxes"- Andrew


Nice try, for a professor you sure lack reading comprehension. I am pretty sure all I did was answer a question for Cockroach who doesn't understand basic economics.

Ed Cone

We spend more on military stuff than the rest of the world combined. It's clearly not all about defense.

So, sure, defend the country, and enjoy the economic benefits of doing so.

But spending more than necessary for legit security concerns is corporate welfare, stimulus, and a social program. As Hagan pretty much admits.

In any case, we've agreed that government spending can have economic value. After that, it's a matter of priorities. I'll take more butter, and fewer guns, thanks.

Andrew Brod

"That good jobs are a result of defense spending in NC should not be compared to government stimulus in the same context."

Why not? What economic theory holds that government spending that creates jobs building missiles is different than government that creates jobs repairing bridges?

Hint: There is no such economic theory.

Ed Cone

I think SITM's point is that there's a valid reason for military spending, so the economic benefits are gravy.

But obviously not all military spending is necessary, and, also, there are valid reasons for other kinds of spending, so the contrast she attempts to draw between military spending and other spending breaks down at that point.

justcorbly

i think I understand now…. Federal funds spent widening a road between a mall and a suburb in, say, Wake County is a profligate waste of cash and, if it creates any jobs at all, hands them out to undocumented workers. But, Federal funds spent on widening a road running between Fort Bragg's main gate and a Fayetteville suburb puts honest purehearted North Carolinians back to work.

Who knew money could be so choosy about that stimulus thing.

Meanwhile, a serious overlap has always existed bettwen those folks who tell us that federal spending as an economic stimulus is a waste of time, and those people who tell us that the New Deal failed to end the Great Depression, that it was brought to its demise by government spending in WW2. I would try to figure that out, but I'm running low on aspirin.

Ed Cone

I'm waiting for someone to say that we don't waste defense dollars.

Because that would indicate a belief in waste-free government programs.

Also, probably, the tooth fairy.

Andrew Brod

If defense spending generates "gravy," then so does infrastructure spending.

SITM can't have it both ways.

Ed Cone

Agreed, just anticipating the necessity argument.

Lots of things are essential. Now that we agree that government spending can create value, maybe we should look into some of them.

Sean

we spend more on our military than the next 17 countries combined -- 16 of which are our allies.

if exaggerated dick swinging was an olympic sport, the USA would be gold-silver-bronze every time.

justcorbly

Defense spending is an integral part of this economy, like it or not. So, precipitous cuts in defense spending would have an impact. Unless the money was spent on something else. If I spend 30 seconds or so, I can come up with at least a few things we really ought to be spending more money on.

Sean

tapering down the military budget without impacting ongoing conflicts and, more specifically, our national defense, is the only thing civilian government should take into account. yes, it'll suck for people to lose jobs in the weapons-making industries, but that should not be the concern when trying to balance the budget.

surplus should go towards paying down our debt and *investing* in the future of our country in areas with long-term returns -- better education, modern infrastructure on land and via fiber optics, etc. teach people who make guns to make european level broadband wires.

David Hoggard

"teach people who make guns to make european level broadband wires."

Swords to cyber-shares you say? Too radical and un-American.

Not no way. Not no how.

USA USA

Still looking forward to bubba's response so I can know where the meetings are and what, exactly, it is is supposed to transpire there.

poli. Do you know?

Spag

The self-interest in calling for the possibility of tax increases is missing from your post. The contractors are trying to keep their gravy-train rolling in the face of the sequester. The Democrat offer to end the sequester is to raise taxes. Ergo, the contractors favor tax increases if it means they still get paid. It's not philosophical, it's self-interest.

Ed Cone

Hoggard, your cover as a job creator is even better than mine as a mere employed taxpayer. We both infiltrated traditional marriage. And yet somehow our status as operatives of the conspiracy was discovered.

Andrew Brod

Cool story, Spag, but the defense contractors were testifying before the Republican-controlled House.

David Hoggard

We've got to be more careful in the future, Ed.

I am going to over-pay next week's employee withholdings and prepay my FUTA based on forecasting the next year or so.

Perhaps that will make the trail grow cold and we can go back to 'agenda' setting. Does that jibe with our prearranged 'world view'?

Ed Cone

Of course the contractors are self-interested. The statement by Hagan was interesting (to me, at least) because she acknowledged the obvious about the purposes of much "defense" spending, which politicians do not always do. Then SITM accidentally admitted something she usually denies.

prell

I just want our country to blow up as many other countries and people as possible. The cost and methods mean nothing to me. American Exceptionalism FTMFW!

prell

"Then SITM accidentally admitted something SHE usually denies."

Oh, so SITM IS a woman? Just as we thought. lolJR!

Ed Cone

I thought someone said SITM was a woman? I don't know different. I like women, it's not like an insult.

Andrew Brod

The flip side of this ox thing down in Georgia.

Thomas

I'm with Prell. More freedom bombs!

sittinginthemiddle.

"Why not? What economic theory holds that government spending that creates jobs building missiles is different than government that creates jobs repairing bridges?"- Andrew

The economic benefits that result from defense spending are a requirement of our government as written in our constitution, I don't recall a paragraph in the constitution that speaks to building bridges. Comparing the two is apples and oranges. But thanks for playing.

polifrog

Ed:

So governmental spending on economic stimulus can be a good thing?

And government spending can produce good jobs?

OK, then.

Of course it can be a good thing when the "stimulus" is funneled from elsewhere. For the state of NC that elsewhere is the other 49 states.

Where is the elsewhere when all 50 states are being "stimulated"? Whereas for a locality stimulus can be a positive for the nation as a whole it is a net loss.

First, I believe all spending cuts are a net good for our nation. For that reason alone I like sequestering. The next question, though, is priority and inherent in that question is the dynamic nature of our different expenditures.

I see no danger to a democracy of a "military industrial complex" for the simple reason that a democracy dislikes war. A democracy must fight any war quickly or the leaders suffer the fate of Bush. Long term war or lingering engagements find no life in a democracy. Hence, I see no danger of the "military industrial complex" absorbing the an unhealthy portion of our nation's budget.

Redistributive programs, however, have proven to be a threat to democratic nations and to our nation's budget in particular. There seems to be no brake that restrains the growth of such programs relative to our nation's budget. Not even the necessity of a national defense is a break, as a democracy's addiction to unnecessary redistribution will force it to feed off the budget of the national defense before it will extract itself from redistributive morphine.

For the health of the nation defense should be cut last morphine first.

But, again, all cuts in spending and commensurate cuts in taxes are a necessity so that the private sector can grow our nation out of our current Keynesian depression.

sittinginthemiddle.

" I just want our country to blow up as many other countries and people as possible. The cost and methods mean nothing to me."- Prell


You should probably have that conversation with some women from Irag or Afghanistan who for the first time in their life are allowed to read a book or attend education studies. Freedom comes with a price, sad that cowards don't see that.

Account Deleted

Article 1 Section 8 lists the enumerated powers, one of which is to provide for the general welfare and another of which is to establish and maintain roads.

Andrew Brod

SITM, thanks for answering my question and for making my point. By invoking the Constitution, you make it clear that this isn't about economics.

Ed Cone

As Jeff says, Article 1, Section 8 speaks to the building of roads. Also, state and local governments do a lot of road work, so the US Constitution is not the only rulebook on government spending in this area.

In any case, SITM offers no challenge to the logic of various forms of government spending as a potential source of economic value.

The Constitution does speak to defense, but it doesn't suggest we have to spend anywhere near as much as we do on it. Frog seems to be arguing that we only spend what we need to fight wars, which is a fantasy and also presupposes that government agencies can be run with incredible efficiency.

Andrew Brod

But also that non-defense government agencies are run with incredible inefficiency. It's a zero-one thing.

Thomas

"Long term war or lingering engagements find no life in a democracy."

What is "long term"?

Ed Cone

Ask a Native American.

Thomas

I was just curious about what length of "war or lingering engagements" Polifog thinks this democracy hasn't given life.

Ed Cone

Sorry if not clear, I was trying to respond by pointing to the decades-long war against the Indians waged by our democracy.

Also, we spend a lot of money on military stuff during peacetime.

I'm fascinated by the argument that all military spending is necessary, all our wars have been good wars, and none of the problems said to affect other parts of government apply to the military.

Brian

What an odd thing to be fascinated by Ed...you sure the half-life of shrinky-dinks wouldn't be more fascinating? Just saying.

Thomas

Ed - You were clear. I knew exactly what you were saying. I just wondered if Poli knew. It appears from his assertion that he is ignorant of that and other significant parts of our history.

And it is interesting that government spending on the military is highly stimulative and desirable, but all the rest is waste to be done away with. What's the logical conclusion of that line of reasoning? Hint - it ain't democracy.

polifrog

Ed.

Frog seems to be arguing that we only spend what we need to fight wars...

I do. What happened after WWI, WWII, Vietnam, The Cold War. Do you recall the "war dividend"?

Contrast this to the war on poverty. We won that war, but poverty is continually redefined upward. There will never be a war on poverty dividend. Never.

Why? The answer is that real wars don't satiate the wants of the citizens and as a result the political capital required to continue indefinite wars is drained over time and war spending cut.

IN short, in a democracy the citizens act as a brake on war making because war is unpalatable.

The war on poverty, by contrast, does satiate the citizenry's needs and, thus, the political capital required to grow the spending on the war on poverty has expanded the programs into the realm of wants and desires better described as Morphine.

What is the democratic brake on this? There is none. That makes spending on redistribution a greater danger to our democracy than war spending. In fact, to focus on war spending only is to distract from the certain misery that will follow exponential spending growth in entitlements.

Do any of you seriously believe that war spending will ever approach spending on redistribution in whatever measure chosen?

Do any of you believe that there is political capital to gained from a permanent state of war in a democracy?

I don't.

History supports this observation regarding democracy.

However, Ed pointed out that the US engaging in a game of Cowboys and Indians was as an example of the US in danger of becoming a militaristic nation dependent on its "military industrial complex." No. During this period the whole of the US government generally consisted of a healthy 5% of GPD. What we actually saw was the dislocation of a stone aged people as their various cultures strained to incorporate new knowledge.

b

Frog,

How about the war on terrorism as more modern example?

Account Deleted

I tried to read a book last year called "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" but I had to stop about half way in because the shame broke my heart several times over.

polifrog

b:

Frog,

How about the war on terrorism as more modern example?

I believe the terminology used, "Cold War" and "War on Terror", is misleading.

As we all recognize, neither the Cold War or the War on Terror are wars, however, the battles within them, declared or not, are.

The "War on Terror", like the "Cold War", is shorthand for a particular foreign policy built around an identifiable threat to the world that a super power (the US), due to being a super power, is forced to engage, and hence define. It is the US's responsibility as a super power, and especially as a hyper power since the early 90's, to inform the world of our intent in some generally coherent manner as it relates to an identified international threat. To not do so would leave the world grappling with how to engage us and leave our nation blindly and randomly responding to the world.

Think of it as the burden of international success, as a nod to the fact that as a super power any choice made internationally impacts the entire world. The fact is that Cold War and the War on Terror are essentially maps by which the rest of the world was and is able to make its decisions around us.

Of note: prior to WWII there was nothing akin to these amorphous wars but neither were we a super power.

Recall that after the fall of the Soviet Union the world was at a loss, almost wayward in that the defined paths of international relations had fallen away. It was as if the world's nations no longer knew how to shake hands or whose had to shake. The road map to international relations had been folded up and tucked into the glove box.

9/11 forced a new road map to international relations to be drawn and, of course, liberals fumed over the fact that this duty fell to Bush.

So, no I do not think of the War on Terror as a long term war. But then, that is because it isn't a war.


polifrog

Jeff, one should never feel shame at bringing knowledge to others.

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