FROM MY CORNER: The Cost of Aging
What a remarkable experience getting old is. Just about time you learn enough about life to realize how obsolete government is as a means to acquire a degree of security in sharing your country’s wealth, the government finally decides you’re no danger to them anymore.
As a senior citizen, you can get away with about anything as long as you don’t get too media scrappy about any criticism you produce. You can point out that there are no poor politicians, for instance, without being threatened for stating the obvious.
You may clarify for your friends how the Supreme Court has become what one fine writer, David Kaplan, explains in his new book, “The Most Dangerous Branch,” has become a clever way for our corporate oligarchy to circumvent Democracy.
Profit as the reason for government existing has been institutionalized. Trump is the most visible example of this phenomenon. I’ve seen others. After I lived in San Diego a year, it became obvious to me how it can affect a single city.
One out of every five dollars in conservative San Diego’s economy is a Federal Defense dollar. It costs several fortunes to keep America’s Pacific Ocean fleet from sinking due to the combined effect of air and salt water. It’s quite a big business.
I’ve known San Diegans who’ve earned a fortune selling defense stocks to local military personnel, who bought them with their defense incomes in order to reinvest them to earn more defense profits. War is a compounding business.
Hopefully our new young politicians are intellectually capable of realizing what a subtle con the business of defense manufacturing can be. Every state has defense contractors. It’s a national pastime.
Don’t think I’m against defense. After all, I’m a former U.S. Army Captain. I just wish we had a far less expensive defense. But with America maintaining military forces on 800 bases in some 150 nations of the planet, it’s difficult to pretend it hasn’t substantially become an empire-building process.
However, the game is sneaking up on its practitioners as they continue to decline to share the wealth of their enterprise with all American citizens. Lately, it’s become apparent how poorly defense has been found to house its own people – by privatizing that defense necessity to more “defense” corporations.
And, also how it produces thousands of PTSD-afflicted Veterans, who end up homeless – without the corporate defense industry effectively getting them back on their feet. Not to mention 30 million others in America can’t even find living wages. Oh, I did mention it. Oops!
Of course, now I may be stepping over the red line of the warrior professionals who manage defense criticism. Perhaps I should censor myself. People who don’t appear to stick firmly to the glorification of our military do occasionally find themselves in brackish water.
The job of attempting to explain to your fellow Americans how you can remain a patriot, while explaining how too many people make a fortune off it, is a precarious gamble. Defense doesn’t like its golden goose disturbed by too many facts. America is not a forgiving nation on this count.
So, I’m glad I’m getting old. I’d not enjoy coming up against the corporate defense establishment. The soldiers, marines, sailors, and pilots, of course, aren’t the issue. They deserve their pay. It’s the political moguls and their corporate chums reaping their massively overpriced defense manufacturing profits that concern me.
But, I’m probably just getting a little senile, don’t you imagine? Just getting overly finicky about the subject?
Until next time,