America: the cost of war, the alternatives
In the first part of this article, we discussed the debt and tax burden that the war in Iraq imposes on the American citizen.
What that burden essentially means is that a great deal of taxpayer money will be diverted into the lenders’ coffers and away from the myriad of beneficial things it could have been spent on. In other words, the nation will be to that degree materially poorer in terms of the necessary things that are not built or made.
This, when you look at it, is insane, both in economic and humanitarian terms, and it’s no wonder that so many tireless efforts go through someone’s propaganda channels (the media) to convince Americans of that they are in immanent danger of being so. murdered in their beds, that some other nation is populated by beings who are somewhat less than human, that it is perfectly fine to blow up someone else’s children, and that they have little or no kinship with their fellow man.
However, it is quite easy to observe, if one cares to look, that Man in affinity with Man survives and that he survives less and less comfortably and well, if at all, to the extent that he allows that natural affinity.
Basing a national economy on a particular endeavor – in the case of modern America, war – is a matter of choice, not economic inevitability. There is no law that says you should base your economy on building missiles, theme parks, improving the environment, fancy hats for all citizens, gleaming churches and public works, or anything else. It only seems like we don’t have a choice when vested interests take control of the economy and remove or hide that choice behind a smokescreen of complexity and falsehood and then we make sure that what they want is what we get.
And if it turns out that those vested interests are slaughtering pigs who don’t care how many people die while they get rich, you’ll end up with … well, an economy based, for example, on war and constant, relentless preparation for war, no matter how small your personal inclination is to blow the limbs off of people you have no argument with and have never met.
By diverting massive funds to the Iraq war, the United States Congress made a decision. Perhaps you believed you had no other choice or were blinded by vested interests to the options that were actually presented to you.
Yet for that diversion of taxpayer dollars, he chose to build tanks and missiles, planes, ships, etc., whose sole function is to tear down things that other men have built. In doing so, it rejected the opportunity for advances in health reform, support for education, investment in infrastructure and dozens of other initiatives, which could have been possible and which would have improved the lives of its citizens.
When trillions of dollars are taken out of tax payments and spent on, in this case, the Iraq war, they are not available to spend on healthcare and homeschooling – this is what economists call “opportunity cost.”
These, for example, are just a few of the other programs that Congress could have funded with that $ 720 million per day. You may be able to think of others: in an ideal world, in a truly democratic society rather than one that pretends to be, citizens would arrive at their priorities through consensus and debate, although there are undoubtedly central priorities that almost everyone we could agree.
What could the people of the United States have done with the money spent on the war in just one day?
Well, they could have built 6,000 new homes for the New Orleans flood victims, or provided a 20% down payment for 30,000 homes. If you can spend the money on missiles that just explode, then you can easily spend it on things that people have a use for, like houses they can live in.
With just 10 days of funding, they could have financed the replacement of all the homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Again, if you can dedicate men and material resources to blowing up people’s houses, you can also dedicate men and material resources to repairing people’s houses.
With another two weeks of funding, they could have rebuilt the entire levee system in New Orleans to meet the new federal standards. In other words, one of America’s great cities could have been rebuilt with less than a month of spending on the Iraq war. Instead of demolishing Baghdad (shock and awe), a great city could have been restored (hope and pride).
And no American young man or woman would have had their limbs blown or killed in the process, no Iraqi man, woman or child would have been killed, and no terrorist organization would have had an excuse to recruit disconcerted or upset people into their organization. ranges.
On the other hand, spending a day on the war could have covered a year’s health insurance premiums for 650,000 uninsured American children or 180,000 American families. Six months of spending in Iraq could have paid for a full year of universal health coverage, including the 47 million Americans who are currently uninsured. Instead of killing thousands of people, one could just as well have spent the money doing well many times that many people.
One day of money spent on the war could have provided incentives to replace 144,000 gas-guzzling cars with new hybrid cars, saving the United States from having to import more than 20,000 barrels of oil a day. Another day of spending in Iraq could have been used to equip 360,000 homes with renewable energy technology, saving another 20,000 barrels per day. In other words, with just a few months of spending on the war, the United States could have halved its dependence on imported energy.
Another possibility: Funding for a day of war would have been enough to provide 124,000 American students (10% of all one-year high school graduates) with four-year state college scholarships. With just 10 days of the money spent on the Iraq war, the United States could have provided a free college education to all children graduating from high school in the 365 days of 2009. With less than a year of Iraqi war money Iraq, America could have provided free college education to an entire generation of its children.
But the decision was made: a year of death and destruction in a foreign country instead of a whole generation of American children receiving a free college education.
Someone is making the decision, while the citizen is given neither the option nor the necessary information on which to base a reasoned decision.
Someone is working very hard to bleed America dry and tear it down.
When the American people looked for an enemy, someone pointed to Iraq.