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Subject:  Re: Here's your chance: Balance the Fed budget Date:  1/3/2007  7:39 AM
Author:  capitanfracassa Number:  200239 of 605990


Yes, I'm cynical. But I usually try to keep my cynicism grounded.

Please do not interpret my comments as a blanket assertion against "government."

Government is necesssary for the coordination of complex societies. As such, it no doubts adds a lot of value. Anyone who denies that should go live in Afghanistan.

The issue here (at least for me) is not government in general, but some specific functions of government (and mostly of the U.S government) within the specific conditions of corporate capitalism.

The government provides important foundations for wealth to be created. Mostly it does it by providing a means for wealth to be retained.

Yes, 80% of Americans share between them 10% of America. 1% shares 37%. So I guess wealth retention has been a huge success.

It is apparent from current international money flows that many people perceive that the U.S. government, and the states governments, are adding more value to the economy than they are spending.

No. It is only apparent that they perceive it in their interest to do so. That has no connection at all with any value added or not to the economy. When I buy a financial instrument, I don't care about the value it creates. I own companies such as Altria, whose business is poisining its customers. I own Altria because it increases my wealth not because it produces any value at all. Call me cynical.

I submit that Boeing contracts help secure your ability to invest in bonds, and your land, and your education.

They do. The problem is they do it through slaughter.

I also submit that transfers of wealth, make it easier for you to get to work because little kids are not in the roadways begging for money. Finally I submit that SS provides security, not for the old folks, but for the middle aged people who would have the middle of their lives disrupted by the burden of elderly parents. It seems to me finically prudent to pay for the care of elderly people in a systematic way rather than a haphazard way. This is the same principle that life insurance was founded on.

I agree.

I also submit that war is a lousy way to provide security. I further submit that money spent paying diplomats to drink and smooze is a lot more effective than blowing buildings up. However, they have no power if there or no troops in the barracks. It was my experience that the first Gulf War happened because we had a diplomat fail in her job, Saddam mis-read what she told him. The second Gulf war was the result of poor intelligence, or the interpretation there of, both were the result of budget cutting in the foreign service areas. In this case money was not spent as well as it should have been, but still it is being spent more effectively than say, the budget of Nigeria.

This is extremely naive. Within the last half century, the U.S. invaded other countries almost forty times. Half of the wolrd's military belongs to the U.S. Countries not hosting U.S. military bases or recieving U.S. military training are an endangered species. This is not the result of some careless mistake in resources allocation. This is a dominant feature of the U.S. society, economy and political system.

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