The military-industrial complex and the economy
I loved Carl Strock's Sept. 22 column, “Tax the rich? And squelch job creators?”
We've been fed this this song and dance since Reagan, for more than 25 years. With all the tax breaks given to the rich (something like 5 percent of the U.S. population now owns more than half the wealth in this country) we should by now be up to our ears in jobs so much so that immigration would not even be a blip on the political radar, let alone the divisive issue that it is, because we'd need every able body we could get our hands on to work.
Instead we have fewer jobs at lower wages, fewer companies offer decent health insurance (if they offer it at all) or pensions, poverty is up at its highest levels, people are losing their homes, while multi-national corporations (can you say, “outsource,” “off shore” and “tax shelter”?) and the 400 richest families in America enjoy obscenely massive profits.
Wouldn't you love to know what those 400 families invest in? A view of the movie “Why We Fight” sheds a great deal of light on this question. “There's gold in them thar bombs.” To learn more about the movie click here.
In 1935, Smedley Butler, a major general in the United States Marine Corps, wrote a book titled “War is a Racket” in which he described the workings of the military-industrial complex and the money being therefrom. His book still holds true today. Ever wonder how we could go from being allies with the Russians all through WWII to almost overnight becoming the bitterest of enemies? The weapons manufacturers of the Cold War know. “Nothing just happens,” Col. Fletcher Prouty was once heard to say. “Everything is planned.”
There just is not enough quick and big profit in peace to suit the corporations that now run America.
Just as an aside, in about 1933-34, a group of very wealthy American industrialists approached Butler to help organize a military coup and overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt and bring the blessings of Fascism to America. It was known as the “Business Plot” and Prescott Bush (father of Bush I and grandfather of Bush II) was one of the organizers. Being a man who really loved his country, Butler blew the whistle to a congressional committee, which sort of did something about it. Of course, those involved denied everything and the mainstream media at the time (forerunners to our current “lame-stream media”) ridiculed him. The final report of the committee concluded that there was evidence that such a plot existed, but no one was ever investigated, no charges were ever filed, there was not so much as even one trial and no one, but no one ever went to jail -- sound familiar?
If you're surprised that you didn't learn anything about this in history or social studies class, join the club. I attended one of most expensive public school districts (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) in the Capital Region and I didn't learn about this until about a week or so ago.
While Strock was busy writing his excellent column, 5,000 people from the organization Occupy Wall Street actually occupied Wall Street this weekend (well, the park nearby at One Liberty Plaza because the massive police presence would not let them trough) and several non-violent protesters remain there as I write. They are protesting exactly what Strock so beautifully describes in the aforementioned column and what Butler brought to light more than 70 years ago.
I get two local newspapers and neither one of them has covered any of this. I can't speak for the televised news as I have not watched that in quite some time. My guess is they have not covered it to any extent either. I guess the mainstream media is out to lunch at the same place they were when Prescott Bush and friends were trying to overthrow our democracy in 1934.
Anyway, here is what Occupy Wall Street has to say:
“Please join us. If your pension has been wiped out by the sub-prime mortgage bubble, if you have seen your home foreclosed, if you cannot afford your health care bills, if you have lost a loved one in the wars in the Middle East, we speak for you. Every person counts. Every act of resistance matters. If you can’t make it, tell people you know in New York City about the protests. Follow us online. Send donations to help us continue. We are the only line of defense left against a corporate state that will destroy civilization if it is not stopped.”
You can learn more by clicking here.
After all, the CIA and the FBI shouldn't be the only ones going to these websites.