Military Keynesianism

Keynesianism, an economic theory developed by the British economist John Maynard Keynes during the 1930s. In an attempt to pull countries out of the great depression Keynes advocated for increased government expenditure and lower taxes to stimulate demand.

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In my brain this seems like a poor return on investment #justsaying

 

What is the purpose of the US military… I mean most organizations have a role to play…

  1. Is it a defense force for the continental United States and a protector of the off-shore assets of the US? (if so one could argue it is massively over-funded)
  2.  Is it the worlds policeman, protecting the weak against tyranny and oppression? Since there is no real mandate for this… it could likely be construed as a self imposed vocation…even if this was true… why would you want this thankless job?
  3. Is in the business end of a hawkish foreign policy cosh meant to bludgeon dissenters and intimidate nation states into towing the line…
  4. Is it a creator of jobs and wealth? Both through the personal that serve in his ranks AND perhaps (more importantly) in the myriads of industries that support the military through manufacturing and logistics etc.
  5.  Or, maybe, I suppose it could be all of the above?

Recently the US Army told congress, ‘We DON’T want anymore tanks… seriously… we don’t know what do with with them… in fact the ones that you’re making for us are coming off the assembly line and getting parked in a warehouse and covered with tarps’. Okay… I’m paraphrasing, but this was the gist of an otherwise overly wordy statement.

You would think that congress would listen to its military leaders and maybe cut down on the manufacture of tanks. Only Congress allocated an additional 120 million dollars to upgrade the ubiquitous M1… saying the tank fleet represented an important strategic element to the nations defense. Much to the chagrin of the military generals who want to use that money for something more useful (you know… because tank battles are so 1944).

But tanks get built in congregational districts that employ… (actually a tiny minority) of the voters there. If you cut back on tanks, you might cut back on jobs in those districts and potentially that congressman or woman is out of a job next election. Wait… so you’re using tax payers money to build something no one wants so that you prop up a noncompetitive industry and keep your job? Isn’t that unethical? Well in the very least it smacks of some serious socialism. You know the supposed kryptonite of free market capitalism (the thing you’re supposed to be into).

Also, if the M1 Tank represents such an important strategic element… how come it gets sold to pretty much ANYONE with capacity to buy them… You know like countries with… questionable human rights concerns, like Egypt (co-invader of your ally Israel during the Yom Kippur) who have bought 1005 M1’s. And everyone’s favorite bone saw aficionado  Saudi Arabia who have bought 373… plus a whole bunch of other higher end stuff. Giving your tech away seems super un-strategic to me.

In any event. The industrial military complex is so enmeshed into the economy of the United States you can’t just rip it out without seriously injuring the patient. That… and in an insightful ideological coup anyone who criticises the military or indeed military spending is labelled unpatriotic… which obviously makes any reasoned or logical debate very difficult. (especially for some in public office)

While I’m picking on the United States government this likely true for most countries where an inordinate amount of money is spent on the ‘defence’ of that country… where it could likely could be better spent on stuff that actually benefits the majority of the citizenry. Because I’m a libertarian, for me that would mean paying less taxes. But for other people that could mean schools, libraries and health care. But thats a different debate for another time.

Killing people in other countries only ever benefits a tiny minority, but yet is rarely an issue that taxpayers take umbrage with…

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Libertarian joke

While walking home one evening I came upon a man standing at the edge of a bridge, about to jump. “Wait!” I yelled, and ran over to see what was the matter.

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“It’s this country,” he lamented. “It’s falling into ruin and there’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

“Cheer up,” I said. “We’re all in this together. Say, are you a liberal or a conservative?”

“I’m a libertarian,” he said.

“Me too!” I exclaimed. “See, you’re not alone. Are you a free-market libertarian or a libertarian socialist?”

“Free-market libertarian,” he said.

“Same here!” I said. “Paleo-libertarian or neo-libertarian?”

“Paleo-libertarian,” he said.

“Hey, so am I! Chicago or Austrian school of economics?”

“Austrian,” he said.

“Me too! Hayekian or Rothbardian?”

“Rothbardian,” he said.

“Same as me! Consequentialist or deontological?”

“Consequentialist,” he said.

“Die, statist!” I yelled, and pushed him off the bridge.

The animals went in two by two…

Sunday lunch today is avocado and jalapeño on rye. Ostensibly because I am lazy. Weekends are supposed to be exclusively my domain for sourcing food and making it palatable. It’s been windy of late so we’ve harvested loads of avocados that have fallen down. That and pretty much the only thing left in my vegetable garden are jalapeños and some melt your face off version of a habanero… which are actually too hot for me. Even some of my co-workers who can tolerate exceptionally virulent levels of capsaicin are weary of this particular pepper.

Avo and chilli

In any event, procuring fresh rye from the bakery early this morning I amused myself by judging a struggling father with his three young daughters. He’d most likely been excommunicated from his domicile by the wife with instructions to… take yourself and these hellions and give me an hour of peace. (at least this is the narrative that I interjected into the images as he attempt to herd his girl children more or less in one uniform direction)

Filling in the rest of the blanks in my recital I decided that he had procreated and received two girls and then decided to have another go at it in the hopes of a boy. Serves you right I mused with a very real sense of schadenfreude as I slurped the foam off the top of my latte. Of course I have no idea if any of my fiction I assigned this hapless individual is even remotely true. But since this is my story I figure it doesn’t really matter.

In my mind he broke a universal ethical by-law… that one that says you should only ever (as a maximum upper limit) procreate in order to replace yourself and your breeding partner and once you hit that limit its game over. He needed to pay for his crimes (against humanity).

Of course then I started ruminating, having postulated a theory, if what I had just conceptualised I actually believed to be right and true. Broadly I suppose (and with some reticence that I admit this) I probably do believe it is unethical to breed a number more than your replacements. Of course my mind immediately threw up some caveats to this rule. What if the third child was adopted. Yes… that would be okay. What if the third child was an accident, yes… I suppose that would also be okay, since there wasn’t a wilful, premeditated plan to overpopulate the planet. What if, you’d done the math and taken into account all those that had opted for no children or just a single child in your quest to even things out. Hmm. I was less certain about this… so I decided this was likely out of my area of expertise since I have actually no idea what a sustainable human population size is… and really this was all based on a feeling that there are just too many Homo Sapiens on holy terra and really who am I to exert my morality on those around me….

If you want to, and have the means, breed yourself into oblivion for all I care. As a libertarian I obviously feel quite strongly about having the fiscal means to support your brood. Since while it is certainly in your capability to breed a football team in sires, I feel it is very unfair to expect other people to help you pay for them. That nice hippy couple that has the good sense to swallow the kids should not have to subsidise your spawns education etc with their taxes. And neither should I.

This probably means I think that only people with means should breed.

Which sounds a little eugenist when I sound it out. The reality I suppose is that children born into a society where their costs cannot be supported by the parents must be borne by every other person in that society. Which erodes the freedom of everyone of those members. That and I suppose my intractable belief in taking personal responsibility for ones actions probably makes this all an inviolable talking point.

Which makes me feel very conservative all of a sudden. Happy for you guys to mow my lawn for minimum wage, but don’t you dare think about having any kids. Seriously… I will have you deported. Ok, time for church!

Phalli and the Federal reserve

Where the hell did August come from? It kinda snuck up on me all discreet like before charging out from the undergrowth screaming hysterically, poking me in the eyes with its keys and then kneeing me in the groin. Fortunately, having received a fair amount of blunt force trauma to my scrotum (and surrounds) during my tenure on this planet I am now able walk it off much quicker than your average male. Seriously I’m surprised anything down there actually works… no that slight leftward curvature was there before.

I also feel I have been somewhat remiss with my blogging lately and have recently become concerned that my karmic tally might wander off into positive territory, creating spam and digital flotsam that clogs up the internet kinda feels like my calling. Obviously I would have liked to have another vocation, one perhaps slightly more utilitarian that actually bettered humanity, but the divine Sorting-hat that decides these sorts of linear life progressions had other ideas. And so here I am, cupping my bruised testicle with one hand and finger typing with the other.

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I’m not entirely sure where I was going with all of this… and it seems difficult to segue into a melancholic whine about the Federal Reserve now and how twenty five percentiles can cause so much consternation and ludicrosity*. Which… might… have been my original intention for this post. But really… I’m over it now. I’ve applied the ointment and I’ve been burn free since ten past three.

*Google says its a word. And I trust Google. Although I kinda have to say that because they know what sort of porn I’m into. Which kinda makes me their thrall. I’d like to say its mostly the regular up and down kind. But occasionally I meander off-piste… for… eh… educational purposes. 

In any event. Down with the Fed! I think. My feelings on Central and Reserve banks generally lean towards the dim. But really, they don’t upset me quite as much as they do other peeps with libertarian tendencies. Well lets say its lower down on my list of things we should burn down… like probably near the bottom. Figuratively burn down I mean. Joey with a tiki-torch is really just a recipe for self-immolation.

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Which is obviously something we want to avoid. If at all possible.

 

The quadfecta…

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That is… *thinks* … yeah that’s probably is the most Libertarian thing you could come up with… the perfect quadfecta of child labor, fossil fuels, hard drugs and crypto. Well played sir.

Happy libertarian depreciation day. Also… apparently quadfecta is a real word. Who knew?

Let there be love (experts)

Like most people (I imagine) I occasionally glance at the Democratic nominees before slumping back into my glazed perma-fatigue malaise and picking my nose (and then examining it).

Every so often I am tempted go on a verbal rampage about Joe Biden, who, for some insane reason that I cannot fathom, is still leading the polls and how infuriating this is. Admittedly if Bernie was leading in the polls I’d likely be just as apoplectic and foamy.

In the spirit of full disclosure I kinda liked Yang for a while. But, because I am fickle and open to switching allegiance at extremely short notice my new favorite is Marianne Williamson.

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I think this picture only makes sense if you have a threenage daughter and have therefore watched Frozen more times now than the original Star Wars trilogy.

In all honesty I had no idea Marianne Williamson was even a nominee until recently, there are after all, soooooooooooooo many of them… and they all kinda blur together into this lumpy e pluribus unum creature. Not unlike the beastie from stranger things.

I suppose first off I have to acknowledge the massive internal conflict that exists in my mind between the Ayn Rand objectivist (for lack of a better term*) and the part of me that is incredibly enamored by Marianne Williamson’s rhetoric. These two facets of my personality often don’t play well together, this morning though, the internal libertarian was letting me have my moment in the sun while I listened to Marianne wax on lyrically about her ideology on Dave Rubin’s podcast.

*despite the fact that I don’t really like this particular pigeon hole… and that I think Atlas shrugged (basically the libertarian bible) is one of the most boring books ever written. I know… heresy! 

I wasn’t actually going to listen to this podcast. It didn’t look very interesting AND as much as I have democratic nominee fatigue… I have lost almost all enthusiasm for the IDW. I don’t know exactly why this is, I’m just… over it. Maybe we can still be friends, after we’ve broken up I mean… and while I don’t necessarily want to see other people… listen, its not you… its me. Also I’m sorry. But we had some good times. Even though I wasted money on Jordan Petersons book (which I couldn’t finish)… that still kinda bugs me. But other than that, it was mostly fun.

In any event I’m really glad I did, because it was great. Despite not necessarily agreeing with Marianne, I think she’s a good person. (as much as these things can be surmised over the wireless). I mean we’d likely spar over the economics of her plans. But broadly, I mostly found myself quite receptive to her notions. I mean the libertarian in me prickles at the idea that we aren’t all completely responsible for ourselves… BUT… I appreciate that maybe I could compromise on this… and likely a couple of other things as well. Besides, I am aware, at least on some level, that having NEVER been discriminated against in any way shape or form makes it a difficult concept for me to grasp… so maybe I should just take let slide and be less intractable about the whole thing.

I feel like I’m better off today. Which is a good thing. So thanks for that.

Maybe I should fire someone… just to bring some balance back to the force. Where is my list of vexatious employees? Jesus… is everyone on this list?