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America Is in Economic Shambles. Does It Have to Be?

11/13/2011

Annie Leonard, hostess of the superb “The Story of Stuff“, a video about our throwaway economy, is back with a new video: “The Story of Broke”. In it, she talks about wasteful government spending, and the need for the public to stand up and demand that taxpayer money be invested in their future instead.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. John Erickson permalink
    11/13/2011 6:36 PM

    While I can’t agree fully with massive cuts to the military (though ending combat ops in Afghanistan an Iraq will save hundreds of billions), the subsidy handouts need a thorough re-working, especially when companies like GE can “double-dip” and get subsidy money AND defense dollars. And there’s plenty of other groups (tobacco farming? REALLY?) that should be dropped altogether. We tax enough, we just don’t collect what we’re owed, and don’t spend it wisely. But that’s the problem of our money-driven lobbying. I wish I had a better answer we could implement immediately.

  2. Christine permalink
    11/14/2011 8:18 PM

    Great video, Scott, I’m definitely sharing this one!

  3. Christine permalink
    11/14/2011 8:23 PM

    And John, it’s hard to believe that you support the massive military industrial complex as a good use of your taxpayer’s dollars, when the U.S. spends 43% of all the military dollars on the globe. Doesn’t that sound a little excessive? China spends 7.3%, for example. Here’s a graphic that makes the numbers clear:
    http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending

    • John Erickson permalink
      11/14/2011 8:39 PM

      Oh, I will be the FIRST one to say that we’re still spending as if we were fighting the Cold War, and most certainly don’t need to be. Unfortunately, some of the first cuts being talked about are for Veteran’s Administration care and other benefits paid to the soldiers who have served for multiple rotations – and especially the ones who have been wounded.
      Do we really need the B-2 Stealth flying? Not a whole bunch – we could maintain a few flying for training, and a group in mothballs, and save a bunch. The F-35 is the proper way to go – the F-22 is a MASSIVELY expensive (and justly technologically advanced) plane to fight an enemy we’ll probably never see. The Littoral Combat Ships are a boondoggle, when there are other designs (including one for the US Coast Guard) that would do the job just as well (if not better) for far less.
      My point? Support the people who have given so much over the past ten years, and keep them supplied with the tools they need (MRAPs for the infantry, for example), but pass on the “showcase” projects.
      I just get twitchy when people start talking “defence cuts”. With the lobbying industry our government has, that usually means “keep the toys, to Hell with the boys”. :)

      • 11/20/2011 11:02 PM

        Taking care of veterans should definitely be a top priority. As far as making smart changes to what hardware the military uses (a field about which I know very little), I suspect that’s complicated by whose lobbyists have succeeded in securing which contracts.

        That’s a shocking graphic, Christine. There’s no need for anywhere near that amount. But it certainly helps justify it, since the disproportionate spending inevitably creates more enemies.

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