Ohneiser Ponders the Impact of the U.S. in Afghanistan
What benefits would the country experience with less spending on the war?
Does Afganistan economics affect us?
Just as the movie Six Degrees of Separation exhibited, one could argue all things are connected and therefore every person in every country worldwide is part of the same of economic framework. Does the boldness of wars like Afghanistan act as a tool of growth, benefitting very few while punishing many. Couldn't these resources be put to better use? Yes, I hear talking heads on various "news channels" where journalists predictably fail to challenge well-tuned war promoters who label concepts with well-designed pronouns and obtuse nouns. Are we trained to accept what they are saying, hearing only what they want us to hear? That is where economic analysis provides a more sober look into what is really going on.
Here are some effects:
- The cost of gas goes up, as the U.S. military is the largest user of oil on earth, since it costs plenty to move battle-hardened vehicles around, to and from Afghanistan. Ever try moving a ship?
- Some folks make money and have jobs pre-positioning inventory to be shipped overseas to support the military, consulting, sub-contractors and, of course, there is the military complex.
- Trillions of dollars spent or encumbered via borrowing, denying our families future prosperity unless we are directly in the line of benefits spewing from the military support industry. There is no peace dividend as anarchists still have many, many other countries to use for just the same purposes Afghanistan provides today.
- In order to account for such resource draining exercises the federal government pushes its costs to states and raises tax burdens including long-term debt encumbrances.
Here are economic efforts that such resources could accomplish if we could shift the focus away from purely military efforts:
- Could we not all benefit from scientific breakthroughs like being able to efficiently store energy no matter what source created it, or curing a major illness?
- Could we not work with other nations to build large-scale power, water or other infrastructure?
- Couldn't our engineers figure out how to pull power from the 130 million tons of water/second flowing through the Circumpolar currents below Cape Horn or pump flood waters out of the Mississippi and from around New Orleans to Arizona/Texas for agricultural development, etc.?
- If one accepts that predicable violence guarantees escalated efforts to control such violence how can we be certain burning holy books was accidental?
- On what pretext does handling any books by our military as part of a war even make sense?
- Wouldn't Afghanistan make a nice place to deposit spent nuclear fuel rods, which would have at least reduced our long-term liabilities starting with President Carter stretching to the debacle over Yucca Mountain?
Just some food for thought as the economics dictate that the Afghanistan efforts are evidence of an economic disease rather than a global cure. Perhaps our politicians will honestly discuss a better future for America in tangible long-term efficient and economically justifiable ways, supporting a more constructively managed world from which all of us can benefit.