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02/27/2014 10:09:43 PM · #26
Originally posted by Cory:

Defense and pharma pay me well.... ;)

Not that I disagree that we do seem to be just a bit disproportionately equipped.... OTOH, it does look like we could easily take over the world by force....


As a Canadian, I laugh at that last statement, we would only have to wait till November for you to leave of your own accord ... unless you didn't buy snow tires, then you might have trouble even doing that.
02/27/2014 10:30:01 PM · #27
Originally posted by rcollier:

Originally posted by Cory:

Defense and pharma pay me well.... ;)

Not that I disagree that we do seem to be just a bit disproportionately equipped.... OTOH, it does look like we could easily take over the world by force....


As a Canadian, I laugh at that last statement, we would only have to wait till November for you to leave of your own accord ... unless you didn't buy snow tires, then you might have trouble even doing that.


You're kidding, right?

02/28/2014 01:04:38 AM · #28
Originally posted by chazoe:

Originally posted by rcollier:

Originally posted by Cory:

Defense and pharma pay me well.... ;)

Not that I disagree that we do seem to be just a bit disproportionately equipped.... OTOH, it does look like we could easily take over the world by force....


As a Canadian, I laugh at that last statement, we would only have to wait till November for you to leave of your own accord ... unless you didn't buy snow tires, then you might have trouble even doing that.


You're kidding, right?


Speaking with swagger about invasion as if it's a silly trifle is a bit missing the point...

Message edited by author 2014-02-28 07:54:26.
02/28/2014 03:26:32 AM · #29
I have much sympathy for the USA on this issue. In two world wars, the USA were pretty much forced into the European part of the fight because they felt obliged to stand by their friends (and some who weren't especially friendly), and also because the USA was the only nation with the co-ordinated will and industrial horsepower to tip the balance against tyranny/imperialism. The rest of us in the free world would have been in deep shit without the USA.

Since then, the rest of the western world and the UN increasingly have a "Better call Uncle Sam" attitude when the crap hits the fan, while not ponying up to any significant extent themselves.

US administrations of both stripes have also involved the country in quite a few military adventures that were clearly ill-advised and of dubious potential value to anybody. The American people have to put aside any personal misgivings they may have and actively support their forces in some military adventures in which achieving the government's stated goals is wildly, perhaps even criminally, unrealistic. Nobody wants to be thought unpatriotic, so the administration of the day wraps itself in the flag to garner approval. But alas, they also wrap a whole lot of fine young people in stars and stripes as well, when they ship them home.

Yes, I see that the lobbying system and all the rest of the factors mentioned here are a big part of the problem, but the rest of the world doesn't give the USA much in the way of options. When somebody's crying 'Help Us!', the USA is damned if it comes and damned if it don't.
02/28/2014 07:24:07 AM · #30
Originally posted by ubique:

I have much sympathy for the USA on this issue. In two world wars, the USA were pretty much forced into the European part of the fight because they felt obliged to stand by their friends (and some who weren't especially friendly), and also because the USA was the only nation with the co-ordinated will and industrial horsepower to tip the balance against tyranny/imperialism. The rest of us in the free world would have been in deep shit without the USA.

Since then, the rest of the western world and the UN increasingly have a "Better call Uncle Sam" attitude when the crap hits the fan, while not ponying up to any significant extent themselves.

US administrations of both stripes have also involved the country in quite a few military adventures that were clearly ill-advised and of dubious potential value to anybody. The American people have to put aside any personal misgivings they may have and actively support their forces in some military adventures in which achieving the government's stated goals is wildly, perhaps even criminally, unrealistic. Nobody wants to be thought unpatriotic, so the administration of the day wraps itself in the flag to garner approval. But alas, they also wrap a whole lot of fine young people in stars and stripes as well, when they ship them home.

Yes, I see that the lobbying system and all the rest of the factors mentioned here are a big part of the problem, but the rest of the world doesn't give the USA much in the way of options. When somebody's crying 'Help Us!', the USA is damned if it comes and damned if it don't.


+1

02/28/2014 09:39:11 AM · #31
Originally posted by ubique:

I have much sympathy for the USA on this issue. In two world wars, the USA were pretty much forced into the European part of the fight because they felt obliged to stand by their friends (and some who weren't especially friendly), and also because the USA was the only nation with the co-ordinated will and industrial horsepower to tip the balance against tyranny/imperialism. The rest of us in the free world would have been in deep shit without the USA.

Since then, the rest of the western world and the UN increasingly have a "Better call Uncle Sam" attitude when the crap hits the fan, while not ponying up to any significant extent themselves.

US administrations of both stripes have also involved the country in quite a few military adventures that were clearly ill-advised and of dubious potential value to anybody. The American people have to put aside any personal misgivings they may have and actively support their forces in some military adventures in which achieving the government's stated goals is wildly, perhaps even criminally, unrealistic. Nobody wants to be thought unpatriotic, so the administration of the day wraps itself in the flag to garner approval. But alas, they also wrap a whole lot of fine young people in stars and stripes as well, when they ship them home.

Yes, I see that the lobbying system and all the rest of the factors mentioned here are a big part of the problem, but the rest of the world doesn't give the USA much in the way of options. When somebody's crying 'Help Us!', the USA is damned if it comes and damned if it don't.


Absolutely.

I do believe we're getting better as a nation at separating the ideas of supporting the troops and supporting the cause. Which is a good thing.
02/28/2014 12:37:07 PM · #32
Originally posted by rcollier:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Spork99:

If you look at some simple electronic chips, if you buy one that's made in China, they cost maybe $.55 each. If you price the U.S. made Mil-Spec version of the same chip, you'll find prices about $20.

So corporate America is ripping-off the taxpayer with overpriced products? I'm shocked!


Not entirely. Much of the difference is in the requirements set up by the military. They will typically specify that it must be manufactured in the US. That costs more. They will also insist on guarantees of expanded operating ranges...perhaps an upper temp limit of 60C vs. 50C for the cheaper version. That costs more. They have their own set of test standards, the "Mil-Spec"...that requires additional testing by the manufacturer and drives up the cost.

A "normal" chip might have an annual sales volume of 10,000,000 units and be required to pass testing that is developed by the company itself.

The "mil-spec" chip might have an annual volume of 10,000 units and is required to pass a more involved test program developed by the government that requires investment in a lot more specialized equipment.

Now the government will insist that those components be used in systems they buy, even if the system could operate with a "consumer grade" component instead of the "mil spec" component. In fact with some kinds of systems, the consumer version will outperform the military version. One example is handheld GPS units. The military issue version was much more expensive, larger, heavier and more difficult to use. Plenty of units went to battle relying on off the shelf Garmin GPS units.


I suspect that this is true of pretty much every country, including China. I doubt the chips in the nuclear subs were manufactured at Foxconn on the Apple production line. :-)

While their labor costs may be cheaper, that would only be a fraction of the overall cost of creating highly customized components in low volume.


When the government controls, if not owns, the suppliers, the cost to the government is much lower.
02/28/2014 05:39:47 PM · #33
We are a military economy, no doubt. To change that, however, faster than measured in "generations" would probably trigger economic chaos. I'm guessing every dollar we spend and make is not too far removed from some tendril of government military spending.
02/28/2014 05:51:17 PM · #34
Another contextual consideration is that the US GDP is 16 trillion a year. The other 10 countries combined is only about 30 trillion. Our GDP is twice as large as the next largest which is China which itself is twice as large as the third largest.

Message edited by author 2014-02-28 17:52:00.
02/28/2014 06:30:29 PM · #35
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Originally posted by chazoe:

Originally posted by rcollier:

Originally posted by Cory:

Defense and pharma pay me well.... ;)

Not that I disagree that we do seem to be just a bit disproportionately equipped.... OTOH, it does look like we could easily take over the world by force....


As a Canadian, I laugh at that last statement, we would only have to wait till November for you to leave of your own accord ... unless you didn't buy snow tires, then you might have trouble even doing that.


You're kidding, right?


Speaking with swagger about invasion as if it's a silly trifle is a bit missing the point...


It's called humour (which apparently wasn't near as obvious as I thought it was). Pretty much the same thing Cory had in mind with his last statement.
03/01/2014 06:37:37 PM · #36
Let's hope we don't see any further spending in Crimea anytime soon...
03/04/2014 04:49:02 AM · #37
Originally posted by rcollier:

Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Originally posted by chazoe:

Originally posted by rcollier:

Originally posted by Cory:

Defense and pharma pay me well.... ;)

Not that I disagree that we do seem to be just a bit disproportionately equipped.... OTOH, it does look like we could easily take over the world by force....


As a Canadian, I laugh at that last statement, we would only have to wait till November for you to leave of your own accord ... unless you didn't buy snow tires, then you might have trouble even doing that.


You're kidding, right?


Speaking with swagger about invasion as if it's a silly trifle is a bit missing the point...


It's called humour (which apparently wasn't near as obvious as I thought it was). Pretty much the same thing Cory had in mind with his last statement.


I see where you're coming from, but A: mechanized warfare has changed immensely and the follies of Hitler and Napoleon are not nearly as insurmountable (particularly considering an overwhelmingly dominant airforce) and B: the US is great at invading due to its overwhelming power. Occupation is where it can't perform, but so far as wars are concerned and spending, the OP's point is how overwhelmingly "out front" we are, and why. You joke of invasion, and I'm typically one for levity, but the gravity of the situation is that the US can steamroll most any country with brute force, and for what? Perhaps the oddest thing is that the US stands behind the UN as the principle enforcer, stating it is important to have a coalition and agreement in actions, yet stands as the country that could most easily defy that directive for its own benefits.

We've cut our space program, and it was miniscule by comparison and yielded huge scientific advances that no other nation was capable of. That's surely indicative.
03/04/2014 07:21:39 AM · #38
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Originally posted by rcollier:

Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Originally posted by chazoe:

Originally posted by rcollier:

Originally posted by Cory:

Defense and pharma pay me well.... ;)

Not that I disagree that we do seem to be just a bit disproportionately equipped.... OTOH, it does look like we could easily take over the world by force....


As a Canadian, I laugh at that last statement, we would only have to wait till November for you to leave of your own accord ... unless you didn't buy snow tires, then you might have trouble even doing that.


You're kidding, right?


Speaking with swagger about invasion as if it's a silly trifle is a bit missing the point...


It's called humour (which apparently wasn't near as obvious as I thought it was). Pretty much the same thing Cory had in mind with his last statement.


I see where you're coming from, but A: mechanized warfare has changed immensely and the follies of Hitler and Napoleon are not nearly as insurmountable (particularly considering an overwhelmingly dominant airforce) and B: the US is great at invading due to its overwhelming power. Occupation is where it can't perform, but so far as wars are concerned and spending, the OP's point is how overwhelmingly "out front" we are, and why. You joke of invasion, and I'm typically one for levity, but the gravity of the situation is that the US can steamroll most any country with brute force, and for what? Perhaps the oddest thing is that the US stands behind the UN as the principle enforcer, stating it is important to have a coalition and agreement in actions, yet stands as the country that could most easily defy that directive for its own benefits.

We've cut our space program, and it was miniscule by comparison and yielded huge scientific advances that no other nation was capable of. That's surely indicative.


The US is great at invading much smaller countries that don't have the power to level American cities at the push of a button. However unlikely you think that scenario, it is a possibility should the US too involved in what Russia considers it's own affairs.
03/04/2014 01:28:00 PM · #39
If you think the United States military spending is out of control you should look at the 2014 Farm bill. Right at 1 trillion dollars. When you break it down the majority goes to roof top flower farms in Manhattan. Our old budy Buffet gets a 15 million dollar subsidy for growing his personal flowers. Now that is crazy in my opinion. The military server a critical role in the world. Where I do not agree with many theaters we go in to help, I do see the purpose of having the Most Powerful Military second to none in the world.
03/04/2014 01:52:35 PM · #40
Originally posted by Spork99:



The US is great at invading much smaller countries that don't have the power to level American cities at the push of a button. However unlikely you think that scenario, it is a possibility should the US too involved in what Russia considers it's own affairs.


I was including that scenario as part of the "brute force" that the US has at its disposal. I consider it a very credible point when considering military strength; both, so far as the US using it, and it being used upon the US.
03/04/2014 01:59:24 PM · #41
In 1961 Dwight Eisenhower made his last speech as president warning Americans about the Military Industrial Complex. That combination of defense contractors and the military. He was afraid that an arms race would take away from other budget items such as schools, hospitals, roads, etc. In his last speech he coined the term Military Industrial Complex. His greatest fear has seemed to come to pass.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said a similar thing recently. "Does the number of warships we have, and are building, really put America at risk, when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined 11 of which are our partners and allies?
Is it a dire threat that by 2020, the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?
These are the kinds of questions Eisenhower asked as commander-in-chief. They are the kinds of questions I believe he would ask today."

03/04/2014 02:03:22 PM · #42
SRindexofdependenceongovernment2013chart2400.ashx

How about the peoples dependence on the govmt
03/04/2014 02:11:46 PM · #43
Originally posted by cowboy221977:

SRindexofdependenceongovernment2013chart2400.ashx

How about the peoples dependence on the govmt


Federal budget and Census data show that, 91 percent of the benefit dollars from entitlement and other mandatory programs went to the elderly (people 65 and over), the seriously disabled, and members of working households. People who are neither elderly nor disabled and do not live in a working household received only 9 percent of the benefits.

Moreover, the vast bulk of that 9 percent goes for medical care, unemployment insurance benefits (which individuals must have a significant work history to receive), Social Security survivor benefits for the children and spouses of deceased workers, and Social Security benefits for retirees between ages 62 and 64. Seven out of the 9 percentage points go for one of these four purposes.

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1104826.jpg
03/04/2014 02:20:45 PM · #44
Originally posted by cowboy221977:

SRindexofdependenceongovernment2013chart2400.ashx

How about the peoples dependence on the govmt


I don't believe any numbers that come out of the Heritage foundation. That chart could have come out of a Dr. Seuss book.
03/04/2014 02:27:29 PM · #45
Cowboy, that's a very deceptive statistic, because it lumps discretionary spending and mandatory spending together. For example, Social Security (which funds itself) is listed as somewhere around 21% of current expenditures... A more realistic analysis would be "What percentage of Government discretionary (not mandated by law, congress votes on it every year) spending goes to the military?" And the answer to THAT is "Well over half, more like 60%".

It's like you said to your wife, when she complains about the cost of your recreational activities, "Look, honey, our total budget is $4,000 a month, and I only spend $200 a month on my hunting and fishing. I work hard, and that's just 5%..." But she could counter, "Dear, the mortgage, the car payments, food for us and the kids, clothing, etc are budgeted at $3,800 a month for this family; your recreational activities represent 100% of our discretionary spending..."
03/04/2014 02:47:48 PM · #46
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Cowboy, that's a very deceptive statistic, because it lumps discretionary spending and mandatory spending together. For example, Social Security (which funds itself) is listed as somewhere around 21% of current expenditures... A more realistic analysis would be "What percentage of Government discretionary (not mandated by law, congress votes on it every year) spending goes to the military?" And the answer to THAT is "Well over half, more like 60%".

It's like you said to your wife, when she complains about the cost of your recreational activities, "Look, honey, our total budget is $4,000 a month, and I only spend $200 a month on my hunting and fishing. I work hard, and that's just 5%..." But she could counter, "Dear, the mortgage, the car payments, food for us and the kids, clothing, etc are budgeted at $3,800 a month for this family; your recreational activities represent 100% of our discretionary spending..."


And I would, rationally I believe, argue that the mortgage and car payments are also discretionary spending, granted, they are a long-term commitment type of discretionary spending, but there's no reason she couldn't be driving around in a $2,000 jalopy like I do - and the mortgage? Sure you need a place to live, but it could be done for $1000 a month instead of $2500. And the kids really don't need clothes from the top designers.

Once you strip out the 'luxury' and 'unnecessary' spending, I think it'd be pretty easy to show the wife that in fact, her discretionary spending budget each month totals far more than my $200 recreational budget. Sure, she'd be angry and argue with me, and then speed away in her Lexus or Mercedes, but I'd still be right... And I'd love to see her justify that $700 worth of fines for speeding and reckless driving next month as 'mandatory' spending.

;)

Now, you might ask where I'm going with all of this. The answer is that I don't care, but it was damned fun to tear apart your analogy. :D
03/04/2014 02:59:57 PM · #47
Originally posted by Cory:

Now, you might ask where I'm going with all of this. The answer is that I don't care, but it was damned fun to tear apart your analogy. :D

Well, if you think she's driving a Mercedes around when they have a 4K monthly income and a mortgage to pay, if you think the 2 kids are in designer clothes etc, then you're pretty out of touch, which I know you're not, so no, you didn't blow my analogy out of the water.

Anyway, the POINT is that X% of Federal expenditures are "mandatory": they are locked in by existing laws. Whether they are Lexus laws or jalopy laws is irrelevant. The REST of Federal spending is "discretionary": the congress votes it up or down as they see fit. And 60% of THAT is military.
03/04/2014 03:02:54 PM · #48
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Cory:

Now, you might ask where I'm going with all of this. The answer is that I don't care, but it was damned fun to tear apart your analogy. :D

Well, if you think she's driving a Mercedes around when they have a 4K monthly income and a mortgage to pay, if you think the 2 kids are in designer clothes etc, then you're pretty out of touch, which I know you're not, so no, you didn't blow my analogy out of the water.

Anyway, the POINT is that X% of Federal expenditures are "mandatory": they are locked in by existing laws. Whether they are Lexus laws or jalopy laws is irrelevant. The REST of Federal spending is "discretionary": the congress votes it up or down as they see fit. And 60% of THAT is military.


So the solution is clearly to make military spending mandatory. ;)
03/04/2014 03:11:57 PM · #49
If you think the costs of the US military can be reduced by cutting food stamps to military families, while buying new tanks which will never be used (cost 181 million to buy and now being stored in the desert since the army doen't want them);congratulations, you think like congress.

Message edited by author 2014-03-04 15:13:50.
03/04/2014 03:20:04 PM · #50
Military is also giving away 13,000 MRAPs ($500k each) to domestic law enforcement. So there is a trickle-down benefit for us citizens. :(
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