Glenn Greenwald has some gloomy thoughts in What collapsing empire looks like.
Please tell me why he's wrong.
The job situation is tough. But there is hope:
Ford Motor Co. has brought 1,340 jobs back to its U.S. plants from suppliers or plants in Mexico since 2008… plans to bring back 635 more jobs by 2012, the company’s president for the Americas said Wednesday. (Cleveland.com August 04, 2010)
Sallie Mae yesterday announced plans to move 2,000 overseas jobs back to the United States from India and the Philippines, reversing a cost-savings measure the company took a year ago. (WaPo April 7, 2009)
Granted, for every good headline I show, someone can match me with doom & gloom. We’ll be ok. Spending will go down on Iraq & Afghanistan. There will be deep defense cuts soon; that is inevitable. Things will even out & reverse before there is collapse. And if collapse is inevitable (which I do not think it is), we’ll pick ourselves back up. Freedom is a great engine for innovation.
I like your sense of optimism, but would like to note the following:
You say, “There will be deep defense cuts soon; that is inevitable.” People have been saying that since the end of WWII. Hawks and soccer moms always find something to be scared of and something to spend money on. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for any significant and long term military spending cuts.
You also say that “Freedom is a great engine for innovation.” So true. Unfortunately, from where I sit, it appears that freedom has taken a back seat to other concerns in our society. That is, of course, just one man’s take based on limited personal observation. But that’s the way it looks to me. Our lives are more restricted and controlled than they used to be.
Just Me: ah, you inject reality into the conversation. I guess I recall the brief period in the 90s when we did draw down a bit on defense spending. From ’92 to ’01 we drew down on defense spending and of course that paid off in terms of economic prosperity. I recognize there are other variables; but defense spending is a biggie. Of great concern to me, perhaps you, and a bunch of other Americans & their yet to be be born grandkids is the meteoric rise in defense spending from ’01 through ’15. Referring to the OMB “Historical Tables” web page (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals), Table 6.1: We hovered at or just under about $300,000,000,000 from ’91 to ’01…starting in ’01 we soared to around $749,748,000,000 in ’11. Perhaps we’ll be able to get down to something comparable to the 90s.
From your lips to god’s ears. I have said for a long time that the law of diminishing returns applies to our defense spending. We long ago passed the point where more defense spending actually makes us substantively safer.
In good news, I heard this morning while drinking my coffee that Sec. Gates has announced a plan to cut defense spending. It didn’t sound like a huge step, but something is something.
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