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PostPosted: September 7 16, 9:44 pm 
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Has an anecdote about a townie he overheard.
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I guess maybe I'm just war weary, but again we have a Republican candidate for President telling us we need even more military spending. All the memes out there tell me that we spend more than the next 10 nations combine on our military and 8 of those are our allies. The internet also tells me we have the number 1 (air force), 2(navy) and 4(army) biggest airforces on the planet. If all that is true, when is it enough? Why do we need to spend even more? When will we start spending our money at home fixing our roads and bridges, our schools and so on?

I'm tired of war. I'm tired of our militaristic society where everything is violence and death. I think it's time to stop and to cut spending drastically.


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PostPosted: September 7 16, 9:53 pm 
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Don't tone police me bro!
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PostPosted: September 7 16, 10:40 pm 
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Schoolteachers need better lobbyists than the defense contractors'.


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PostPosted: September 8 16, 3:58 am 
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Wars are not popular. Jobs are incredibly popular though, and there are tens of millions of jobs in the US that are highly dependent on military/defense spending. Those voters get nervous when candidates speak of reducing military spending. Does that mean the local base is going to be closed/downsized? Does that mean Raytheon won't be continuing to develop/build product X?

The sad truth is that the military industrial complex dwarfs even the auto industry in the US. Saying you want to decrease military spending to most is like going to Detroit and saying we need to drive fewer cars.


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PostPosted: September 8 16, 5:34 am 
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But is that the reality? Surely there are ways to reduce spending without drastically reducing personnel. I mean it's the military, not a fortune 500 company. Further, there is a good argument to be made about the ability to quickly ramp up production should the need arise.

And, regarding where to begin cuts from the budget, I'd guess overseas operations cost $$$


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PostPosted: September 8 16, 6:16 am 
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AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:
But is that the reality? Surely there are ways to reduce spending without drastically reducing personnel. I mean it's the military, not a fortune 500 company. Further, there is a good argument to be made about the ability to quickly ramp up production should the need arise.

And, regarding where to begin cuts from the budget, I'd guess overseas operations cost $$$


The problem is, most of the spending doesn't go to troop personnel. It goes to Fortune 500 companies.

Boeing
Locheed Martin
Raytheon
BAE Systems
General Dynamics
Northrop Grumman
United Technologies
L-3 Communications
Huntington Ingalls
Honeywell

The list goes on and on and on. Sure, these companies and the people who work for them could do other things. They could design and build consumer goods or something instead.

There are other aspects too. Steel production, gasoline use, yadda yadda. Again, could be put towards other things, but that takes time to shift over.

I fully believe that money spent on wars is pissed away. Bombing a block, then turning around and paying to re-build it is not adding any value to the US economy. But that huge ol' "defense" slice of the pie chart is mostly spent at home, and is an enormous part of the US economy.

My personal view is that we should avoid military conflicts at all costs, and work towards scaling back military spending while shifting that work to more productive efforts (infastructure projects, etc.). But that needs to be gradual.


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PostPosted: September 8 16, 7:14 am 
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"I could totally eat a person if it were a life/death situation"
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Popeye_Card wrote:
I fully believe that money spent on wars is pissed away. Bombing a block, then turning around and paying to re-build it is not adding any value to the US economy. But that huge ol' "defense" slice of the pie chart is mostly spent at home, and is an enormous part of the US economy.

My personal view is that we should avoid military conflicts at all costs, and work towards scaling back military spending while shifting that work to more productive efforts (infastructure projects, etc.). But that needs to be gradual.

Agreed and understood with everything else, but wanted to focus on this part.

Because, obviously, this is the crux of it.

Why spend billions overseas to conduct all these operations that may/may not be helping protect our freedom. I really don't know and will readily admit I'm speaking from a point of ignorance here.

And, obviously, we need to have a presence or bases in strategic locations around the world. But, it seems we're also spending a lot of money carrying out mini-warfare or light wars everywhere. Focus on fixing problems at home. Sure, some of the bigger companies may take a hit, but the work is shifted for the worker bees (middle class folks) to more pressing issues (like infrastructure projects).


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PostPosted: September 8 16, 7:26 am 
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Allocate less towards R & D and allocate more towards wages, benefits,facilities for homeless vets and mental health programs. Spending more money on a Star War that'll never happen makes no sense.


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PostPosted: September 8 16, 7:35 am 
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Popeye_Card wrote:
Boeing
Locheed Martin


I was just curious to see what portions of revenue these companies receive in military spending, thinking it was lower than expected and I found this:Stanford Paper

Quote:
U.S. Department of Defense - 57%
NASA & Other Government Agencies - 20%
International - 17%
Domestic Commercial - 6%


So cutting DOD spending would hurt Lockheed alot. I did find, tho,
Quote:
Lockheed Martin Corporation employs 125,000 people in the United States and abroad.


So it seems more like hundreds of thousands American jobs directly tied to defense spending, with the millions coming from secondary effects. I don't think they'd layoff half their labor force if you cut their revenue in half but even tens of thousands of layoffs would be bad.

So couldn't the government hire these trained laborers and engineers to fix roads, bridges, rail and other general infrastructure? Those secondary jobs would be spread more evenly throughout the country.


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PostPosted: September 8 16, 7:46 am 
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Except those secondary jobs as an engineer fixing roads and bridges don't pay dick compared to engineering jobs as a government defense contractor. High paying engineers love their money.

Not to mention there's a bit of a snobbish mental mindset of: "Look at me! I have Top Secret security clearance and get to help design ballistic missile systems!" vs "Woe is me! I design new improved roadways to reduce traffic congestion. Le sigh."


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