Solon and Cutting the Defense Budget

Discussion in 'Economy' started by PoliticalChic, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    First, we should recall the story of Solon, of Athens.

    1. “Under Athenian law at that time, if a loan went into default, the creditor could seize the debtor and his family and sell them as slaves to get money to pay off the debt. The cruelty and arrogance of the rich caused the poor to form into gangs to save themselves and rescue those who had been made slaves through usury. The best men of the city saw Solon as someone who was partial to neither the rich nor the poor, and they asked him to lead. The rich consented because Solon was wealthy, and the poor consented because he was honest.

    2. Both rich and poor believed for a while that Solon was on their side. But soon the poor people became disgusted that Solon would not use his power to seize the property of the rich. Solon's friends advised him that he would be a fool if he did not take advantage of the opportunity that fate had presented.

    3. Neither the rich nor the poor got all they wanted from Solon's reforms. There was no complete redistribution of wealth as the poor had demanded, and the rich were angry about the loss of the money they were owed. Both the rich and the poor now hated Solon for not obeying their desires. Even those who had been friendly to him before now looked at him with grim faces, as an enemy. But with time and success came forgiveness. When the Athenians saw the good result of the release of debts, they appointed Solon general reformer of their law.” Solon - The Lawmaker of Athens

    Now, we must find our own Solon, and Congress can create ‘him’ as follows:

    a. 10 appointees who are members of the military, from different levels, with no more than five ‘flag officers.’
    b. 10 retired military
    c. 10 partners from top accounting firms, as they are expert in areas such as purchases, accounts payable, and structuring reports that can be audited regularly.
    d. 10 partners from top management-consulting firms to streamline the Pentagon along the lines of the corporate environment.
    e. 10 who are smart, innovators in various fields, whose job it will be to question everything…to be annoying to the status quo.

    Like Solon, the reforms of this committee must be obeyed…with the caveat that only a two-thirds vote of Congress can overrule. (The above suggestions from Beck and Balfe, “Broke,” p.325-327.)
     
  2. Mr. Sauerkraut
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    Mr. Sauerkraut Active Member

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    @political lady (i won´t call you a "chick")

    First let me tell you that i really enjoy your posts. they are well foundet and always of high interest. I never heard of solon and after i just read about him, i´m really impressed how much wiseness this man had. His central aphorism points out the general problem we have in the western world: Don´t excess!

    I think these two words are the best describing of our situation.

    Too much richness comprises unavoidable poverty.
    Too much false freedom comprises unavoidably misusage.
    Too much freak justice comprises unavoidably insecurity.
    Too many guns are comprising unavoidably high murder rates.
    and so on

    This is the key. The acceptance that there is always a "too much". In any way in any situation under any circumstances. As well as you can drive too fast, eat too much, fly too high or dive too deep, a society can overstretch its cohesion.

    Not prosecuing criminal bankers is a cohesion.
    Fondsmanager which are burning billions of dollars and anyway insisting on their bonus payments is a cohesion.
    Enterprises which are consciously polluting the enviroment is a cohesion.

    Building fences do defend this isn´t communism. It´s true freedom.
    these are noble views but how will you bring the military-industial complex to release its power? as long as they have the power to enforce every project even if necessary or not and so to force the congress to cut in important social projects, i don´t see a chance for your hopes.

    [​IMG]
    yc-14: 105,9 Million Dollars for one not needed plane
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Thank you so much for the kind words.

    The last several decades have established a belief in America's importance for the stability of the world, and, in part, may be considered as a reason for the vast expenses invested in 'defense' forces...

    But I have followed the career of your Minister of Defense Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, and what seems to me to be his willlingness to take on much of what has been seen as America's role. It was quite a surprise to see the use of 'krieg' from a German official.

    And:
    "The current mandate for German troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is set to expire in February 2011, but the mission is expected to be extended by parliament. "
    Opposition blasts visit to Afghanistan by defense minister and wife | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 14.12.2010

    The Times rightly pointed to Afghanistan as being one of the major questions on which Chancellor Merkel’s leadership will either wax or wane. “It is a deeply unpopular war. Ms. Merkel has yet to tell the Germans it is a necessary war. Nor has she tried to drum up popular support for the mission of the German troops there. … Ms. Merkel does not know even how to start to be a war leader; there hasn’t been one in modern Germany …” WorldWatch | theTrumpet.com by the Philadelphia Church of God

    On January 12, two of Germany’s top military manufacturers—Rheinmetall and MAN Group—announced their intention to merge their military vehicle production. The resulting combine will produce a new national champion and leading supplier for wheeled military vehicles in Europe. According to MarketWatch columnist David Marsh, the German government “has been providing behind-the-scenes assistance to make sure industry goes in the right direction” (January 18). The new combine “meets the long-held German desire to build industrial companies with world scale in the defense field,” he said. Germany’s corporate revival is just the precursor to a much larger, non-peaceable event. Ibid.


    Perhaps we are seeing another reason to reduce America's military budget.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    "how will you bring the military-industial complex to release its power?"

    Reality rears its ugly head.

    Our citizenry is beginning to take note of the following:

    a. National debt $13 trillion
    b. State and Local debt $2.5 trillion
    c. State and Local pensions (underfunded) $3 trillion
    d. Social Security $7.7 trillion*
    e. Medicare $ 38 trillion*
    f. Total US debt $64.2 trillion
    g. Total GDP of entire world $61.0 trillion
    *covers commitments for 75 years

    b., c. The Other National Debt - Kevin Williamson - National Review Online

    d., e. The 81% Tax Increase - Forbes.com

    f. 65 Trillion - U.S. Financial Obligations Exceed The Entire World's GDP

    g. Silver: Declining supply, increasing demand - Precious Metals - Resource Investor
     
  5. Mr. Sauerkraut
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    Mr. Sauerkraut Active Member

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  6. william the wie
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    william the wie Gold Member

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    Drones and robots make war cheap. Right now there are at least five alternatives to grunts kicking in doors. Hulu's News and Information has a huge number of series and many of them deal with this problem. Only political wrangling prevent the deployment of these much cheaper weapons systems. The 5&10 toe buster mine of the 1990s is notable only for not yet going viral. Cheap and nasty war is coming to a neighborhood near you but hopefully not soon.
     

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