“An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched.”
IN REALITY WE SPEND A GREAT DEAL MORE ON NATIONAL SECURITY THAN THE ABOVE GRAPHIC INDICATES
Politicians like to talk about the Defense Budget—but that excludes a whole raft of defense related expenditure such as the Veterans Administration, nuclear weapons (placed under the Department of Energy), Homeland Security—and so on.
Add these in and that raises the true total covered by the MICC (Military Industrial Congressional Complex) to in excess of $1 trillion a year. Add in the interest we pay on the money we have borrowed to fund National Security expenditure and our wars, and we are up to $1.? trillion. You can certainly add hundreds of billions—and that is almost certainly on the low side.
BUT IS U.S. MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME REALLY DECLINING IN REAL TERMS? YES IT IS
THE BLUE LINE IS THE IMPORTANT ONE. The above chart actually underestimates the problem because the CPI (Cost & Price Index) shortchanges housing, educational, fuel and other costs. In short, there is more inflation than the CPI admits. For instance the CPI states that housing costs have gone up by roughly 40 percent whereas the Case-Shiller index shows that the cost of a home has risen by 68 percent.
The media don’t get into this kind of detail because it takes work—and because the people who own them don’t wish them to. Meanwhile, the rest of the developed world invests in stuff which makes them more competitive and improves the quality of their lives—and we wonder where we are going wrong.
It is really not a mystery. We are spending too much money on the wrong things to the benefit of the wrong people—and have been doing so since 1945.
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