Martin Wolf asked the question: What is the role of the state?
It is my understanding that our modern notion of the role of the state started in France at the time of the French Revolution. The French Revolution was a major turning point in world history, and that was the revolution that changed the world.
What is the role of the state? What is the number one priority? Most people would say it is defense of the country against foreign invasion of any kind.
One hundred years ago we had the saying “the sun never goes down on the British Empire” – because at that time we had 25 percent of mankind under British domination. What happened to such a powerful empire? That Empire was not beaten on the battlefield by another country. That empire imploded – death by taxes – at the end of the day someone had to pay the bills for the British adventurers around the world.
Here is another example: the Soviet Empire. In the case of the Soviets as well – a long term of over spending on military expenses also placed the Soviet Union on the poor house.
Did Americans learn a lesson from past history? No, Americans have adopted the same path into extinction. Here is just a reminder on the road to extinction: It is a very sad state of affairs – Living on borrowed money from foreigners and at the same time thinking that they are very wealthy. Since George W. Bush became president on January 20, 2001 to the day when he ended his 2nd term, the US government added to its outstanding debt $ 5 trillion dollars.
It is no coincidence, but as you can see by the enclosed actual figures the total adjusted amount of US defense spending during the eight years of the Bush administration was over US$ 4 trillion dollar.
My question is: for how many more years do you think foreigners are going to continue funding the defense spending of the United States?
Never mind foreigners funding American military adventures around the world – who is going to fund all the trillions and trillions of dollars of US domestic expenses that are coming due very fast from now on – liabilities related to the Baby Boom generation?
The Soviet Union economic system collapsed around 1990. The US capitalist system collapsed in 2008. Today China is reinventing a new economic and social system for its people.
I have no idea what the world is going to look like in 20 years when you take in consideration that the largest economy in the world today – for all practical purposes – is on a imploding mode and it will become less and less important over the coming years in terms of the total global economy.
We have passed the point of no return, and I don’t care about anybody say “That is the real truth for the US economy. On top of all the problems that we already had related to the US economy, what happened in the last 3 years when Wall Street had to be bailout from its massive bets that went sour to the tune of trillions of US dollars, plus incompetence in the US financial markets that are mind boggling to me – there is only one word that comes to mind when I think about the future of the US economy: Titanic.
In 2004 I read with interest the book by Immanuel Todd “After the Empire” – The Breakdown of the American Order.” Six years later the sinking of the Titanic is right on schedule.
After reading the book by Nomi Prins “It Takes a Pillage” published in October 2009 then one understands the magnitude of the Wall Street bailout – basically the last nail on the coffin of the US economy.
If you want further information about how Wall Street is laughing all the way to the bank at the expense of American taxpayers, and how Wall Street went back to business as usual then you should read the latest article by Matt Taibbi on Rolling Stone magazine “Wall Street Big Win”.
Anyway, all I can say is that during the coming financial and economic collapse we are not going to have the safety net of the US government anymore. This time around we are going to go down to hell in a hand basket – with the compliments of an incompetent US government and all the welfare programs that the US taxpayer is giving to Wall Street.
Total public debt outstanding on 01/19/2001 was $5,727,776,738,304.64 and since George W. Bush became president on January 20, 2001 the US government added to its outstanding debt $ 5 trillion dollars.
United States government actual budget figures during the 8-year Bush administration.
United States Government Annual Budget during the Bush administration. Each year, on the first Monday in February, the President of the United States submits his budget request to Congress for the following fiscal year: Total US government Budget for period year 2001 to year 2008 = US$ 20 trillion.
The cumulative total actual US Government budget for the 8-year period of the Bush administration was US$ 20 trillion dollars.
Here is Bushes’ actual military spending – this does not include ANY costs related to Afghanistan or Iraq as they are all in supplemental spending bills: Total Bush administration actual defense spending for 8-year period 2001 to 2008 = US$ 3,898 billion
Note: The Iraq and Afghanistan supplementary spending as of end December 2008 = over $ 650 billion.
Plus other supplementary amounts that the government requested the total adjusted amount for defense spending for the 8-years of the Bush administration it will reach over the US$ 4 trillion dollar level.
Note: The cumulative total actual US Government budget for the 8-year period of the Bush administration was US$ 20 trillion dollars and the actual defense spending for the 8-years was US$ 4 trillion dollar equal to 20 percent of the total.
Let’s not forget that the Military Industrial Complex became a very important piece of the US economy for the last 70 years; since the 1940’s.
For a long time the United States has been the number one arms dealer around the world.
Why peace on the Middle East it is just a mirage?
The US taxpayer supplies Israel with foreign aid – mostly military armaments. In turn that creates more demand from the US Military Industrial Complex to supply armaments to countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, and so on…
Now we go back to the original question: What is the role of the state?
Is it part of the role of the state, as it is the case in the United States, to cause conflict around the world to keep its Military Industrial Complex busy at home building all kinds of toys to sell around the world?
The US government is doing a great job in that area: Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East in general, Taiwan, North Korea, Iran, many parts of Africa, Venezuela, Colombia, Germany, Japan and so on…