I have some crazy facts and figures about how our governments spend our money. I have concluded that of the almost 40% of our money they take, 75% is wealth redistribution and 25% is govt services including legitimate defense. To arrive at this breakdown, I count much of defense spending as cronyistic regressive wealth transfer to the military industrial complex, and I use the figures below* to demonstrate my point, to wit: Out of the top ten defense spenders, China, Russia & India spend about $300B; the other six besides the US are our indisputable allies and they spend about the same in total: $300B.
World total $1,753
We could actually spend nothing and the odds should be even. But let’s say we want to spend as much as China, Russia and India combined and make the odds 2 to 1 in our favor? That would mean we would spend $300B. In the event of actual hostilities, of course we would ramp up crazily (WWII cost $4T in today’s dollars), but if we just wanted to be as powerful as all our enemies combined, isn’t one way of thinking of it to just match their spending? Of course we couldn’t be the world’s policeman, but that would likely make us safer for two reasons: one, we would stop drawing the world’s fire; and two, we would take away the moral hazard from government to create a threat we need them to fix – that is, they do poke hornets’ nests to justify military spending (and also to benefit cronies – another big reason we have unnecessary enemies in this world).
I understand I’m greatly simplifying the concepts here, but I find that’s a great place to start to access our instincts on some of this stuff that the media and the govt deliberately over-complicate so we won’t call them on it.
What do you think? I’ll read comments from here, facebook and twitter, and also look forward to your calls at showtime: 404-872-0750 and 800 WSB TALK.
*I show the chart above so you can visualize my point but I use the more recent numbers from wikipedia for my calculations.