I READ GALBRAITH AT UNIVERSITY—AND LOVED HIM
THE MAN HAD A MARVELOUS DRY WIT—AND ACTUALLY MANAGED TO MAKE ECONOMICS ENTERTAINING (WHICH IT IS DESPITE MOST ECONOMISTS).
"We all agree that pessimism is a mark of superior intellect." -John Kenneth Galbraith
The chart you see below says a great deal about why the U.S. economy is so screwed up. It is so lopsided in favor of defense, it defies credulity (and the defense figures, by the way, are seriously understated).
Why is this considered acceptable by most Americans?
Has it occurred to no one that maintaining a massive defense establishment—with bases in just about every country in the world (less friendly nations excepted) alarms other counties and creates an arms race?
Defense expenditure (a misleading term in itself) has been out of control since the end of World War II at incalculable cost to the wellbeing of most Americans.
It has made a small number of Americans, primarily members of the MICC (Military Industrial Congressional Complex) extremely wealth.
America does need to be strong militarily—but there is a difference between necessary strength and ineffective arrogance. As with most things in life, it is a matter of balance.
It is worth noting that for all this massive expenditure on the tools of defense and destruction, the American track record—where winning wars is concerned is lousy.
A rethink of priorities might be in order. This is a great country and its people need looking after better than has been the case. If the argument is that he first duty of a government is to provide security—which is what many consider to be the case—I question whether military expenditure is the only way, or even the best way, to provide it.
Such are the thoughts of a pretty good (concerned) friend. The present situation of egregious defense expenditure, coupled with rank social injustice whereby growth benefits only a few, is unsustainable.