Constitutional Costs of War
In the US constitution the power to declare war is reserved to Congress. Congress is considered superior to the executive in that it is defined in Article One while the Executive is defined in Article Two. But there has been no declaration of war since World War Two. Since World War Two the congress has let the executive choose our wars. This has been referred to as the Imperial Presidency. Since World War Two America has acted more as an empire than a republic.
This modern transformation of America resembles what happened to the Roman Republic as the institution of Emperor dominated the Senate as the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire. Today we call that process America becoming the world’s policeman.
The founding persons were well aware of the dangers of too much militarism. The father of the constitution, James Madison, deliberately under funded the War of 1812, because he knew that excessive militarism inevitably leads to a loss of civil liberties. George Washington warned us of the dangers of excessive foreign entanglements.
The cost of war and empire is enormous, starting with the diversion of key resources away from the pursuit of happiness and economic productivity to the pursuit of death and destruction. Jefferson’s life liberty and the pursuit of happiness are all jeopardized by the pursuit of endless war, such as the 186 incursions into Latin America during the twentieth century and the extension of the Monroe Doctrine worldwide with the Iraq War in 2003.
Reporters Without Borders gives America a low rating, especially during the Iraq War, because one of the liberties that suffers during war is the free press. Censorship runs higher during wartime. Jefferson has said he would rather have a free press than the right to vote. His reasoning was that with a free press the right to vote is more likely to come, while the right to vote can be meaningless in a controlled press society.
Habeas Corpus was a right taken away during the American Civil War by Lincoln and in modern times with the prisoners in Guantanamo, Cuba, during the wars against terrorists.
US Constitution System of Checks and Balances
- Article I, Section 8: “Congress shall have the power to declare war.”
- Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Papers: President is to be Commander in Chief.
- Hamilton: Congress declares wars, raises and regulates fleets and armies.
- Article II: President leads foreign policy.
Founding Figures (Rule of Law vs Rule of One)
George Washington warns us of the dangers of foreign entanglements and standing armies. James Madison engaged in War of 1812 frugally to avoid the loss of civil liberties. Thomas Jefferson would prefer a free press over elections. (With a free press elections are possible, without a free press elections are meaningless.)
Rome started out as a Republic with a powerful Senate, but ended as an Empire ruled by an Emperor. America started out as a Republic but with WWII changed to the Imperial Presidency. Presidential powers in Foreign Policy today often overextend into war starting, with the Congress an after-thought. Empire, Military Spending, Feudalism, Power, Control, Violence, Corruption, all have lots in common.
Civil Liberties and War
Historical Wartime Abuse examples: 1798 Sedition Act, 1846 Spot Act, Habeus Corpus lost in Civil War, Japanese internment in WWII, Cold War controlled press, 1964 Gulf of Tonkin.
Perpetual War (Empire): 1947 National Security Act creates CIA with covert operations and media control Operation Mockingbird; Monroe Doctrine with 186 incursions in Latin America in the 20th Century; Iraq War: worldwide Monroe Doctrine; Terror War, widespread telephone and email invasion of privacy as Homeland Security budget quadruples in from 2002 to 2006 and grows to match that of the CIA with present estimate of $80 billion each.
Military Controlled Government
Regional Military Economics R=.97. No major component of the US federal budget is extremely unequally and politically distributed among the 50 states than military spending. This gives overwhelming political clout to those in charge of the military budget, especially presidents, congressional leaders, and committee chairpersons. Those regions and states that get more or less than their pro rata (tax load) share of the military budget gain or lose economically & politically accordingly. Military spending depletes the productive economy and redistributes to the regional “warfare” economy: creates “middle class” type welfare-like program.
“How Democracies Die” Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt, 2018.
Trump has four authoritarian aspects: Attacking the Press (and the courts), threatening Election Opponent “Lock Her Up”, Anti-immigrants, Condoning violence at rallies. Fortune 500 founders are 40% offspring of immigrants, like Steve Jobs whose parents were from Syria. Ben Franklin tells lady on street that the constitutional convention gave us a “republic, if you can keep it”.
14 Characteristics of Fascism Dr. Lawrence Britt (5-28-03 Rense.com):
- Powerful and Continuing Nationalism, 2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights, 3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause, 4. Supremacy of the Military, 5. Rampant Sexism, 6. Controlled Mass Media (40 million tweet and facebook followers plus FOX news for Trump), 7. Obsession with National Security, 8. Religion and Government are Intertwined, 9. Corporate Power is Protected, 10. Labor Power is Suppressed, 11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts (climate hoax), 12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment, 13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption, 14. Fraudulent Elections.
World Press Freedom, Reporters Without Borders:
(2011-12 Index: G8 countries); 10) Canada, 16) Germany, 22) Japan, 28) United Kingdom, 38) France, 43) United States, 57) United States (extra-territorial), 61) Italy, 142) Russia.
(2017 Index: G8 countries); 16) Germany, 22) Canada, 39) France, 40) United Kingdom, 43) United States, 52) Italy, 72) Japan, 148) Russia. Both of these lists are roughly in order of the national military percentage of the economy, except that Italy is low due to Berlusconi being both owner of the media and the government, and Japan in 2017 in the midst of a constitutional crisis over changing the constitution to grow the military.
Banking and the Military
American corporate profits went from 7% to 12% of GDP in the last forty years. Financial profit share went from 6% to 30%. Financial profits GDP has gone from 0.4% to 3.6% of GDP, a nine-fold increase overall. The industrial triangle book of Gordon Adams showed that major banks and major defense contractors had corporate interlocks of 15% between just those two industries, the same percent for all interlocks in other companies.
Empire “Opportunity Cost”
Military Spending is both wasted manufacturing & lost capital investment. Military Spending takes away from the productive stream of the economy key research and capital resources. Such resources normally keep manufacturing competitive producing new products constantly being tested by the consumer and business marketplaces. Military Spending converts such resources to a national service that does not enhance the economy. 90% of military spending is for this national service. A small part of the 10% spent on research returns as civilian spinoffs. Military Spending is like a junk food diet, filling but not nourishing, Fat & Carbs without Protein to build muscles.
Military Spending National Economics
The following four correlations studies best illustrate the nonproductive nature of military spending: R=-.997 Manufacturing Productivity (G7+Sweden, Denmark)(1960-1978, Sivard Reuschlein); R=-.993 Capital Investment (NATO 4+Sweden)(1960-1979, Sivard Reuschlein); R=.999 Productivity (3+2 factor) US Model (1920-1996, Reuschlein); R=-.97 Economic Growth vs Net Military Burden (1941-1948 World War II, Reuschlein)
Crime, Murder and the Military
Using combined data from 1973-75, 1984, 1991 always indexed against the US, I was able to put all these countries on one graph. Focusing on the G7, leaving outliers Britain and France out, the correlation was R= .996. Later I noted that Britain and France correlated well (R= .93) with New England and Virginia, the four hundred year old mature societies. Japan, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United States are all about 150 year-old societies. The older countries and colonies were at 40% crime levels relative to their military spending compared to the younger societies.
Social Correlations with Military Spending
In rank order from high to low, here are some of the leading developed world international social factor correlations with military spending, largely from the 2010 book “Spirit Level”: Social Class Mobility R= -.923; Factory Productivity R= -.868, Prisoners R= .852, Teen Births R= .818, Homicides R= .803, Work Hours R= .794, Mental Illness R= .789, Income Inequality R= .765, Press Freedom R= -.763, Obesity R= .753, Infant Mortality R= .679, Unsustainability R= .548, Recycling R= -.482.
Spirit Level Comparison
Health & Social Problems index correlates -0.878 with military and -0.875 with inequality.
The above index from the Spirit Level book does a better job of proving the empire theory over the income inequality theory: These next 6 robust correlations are from the components of the “Spirit Level” health and social problems index above: showing the military economy correlation first and the inequality correlation second, the strongest six correlations are: for reduced social mobility .923 and .934, for increased prisoners .852 and .658, for increased teen births .852 and .735, for increased homicides .800 and .571, for increased mental illness .789 and .737, and for increased obesity .753 and .524. Overall the military is a much stronger average of .823 over .693. The military and inequality factors are themselves strongly correlated at .765. Based on this I would strongly suggest empire levels of military spending are a better explanation than just growing income inequality for all these disastrous social statistics.
Current History, Great Recession
Bush military buildup is similar to the Reagan military buildup. One difference is the much smaller tax cut under Bush (Less Deficit Lift). Repeal of Glass-Stiegel made crash worse under Bush (Derivatives grew 10 times since repeal). Real Estate problems developed under both military buildups. The role of the military buildup is almost completely ignored. I publicly predicted a recession in January 2007, predicting disaster for the $70 billion Iraq Surge. It takes about six months to deploy troops in Iraq, and sure enough, the unemployment rate started going up in July 2007 and worsened continuously for two years. The Financial collapse made conditions worse, but the military buildup started the downhill slide which exposed the weaknesses of the financial structure. The 2008 military budget is twice the increase of years before and after. The four economic quarters of the fiscal year 2008 are the four steepest drops in economic growth rate in recent memory.
Empires decline because they divert economic achievement resources to power projection. Military spending and manufacturing capital draw from a common resource pool so as one increases the other decreases. Low military high growth societies incentivize new product creation and achievement. High military spending low growth societies incentivize market share nitpicking & control. High Military Spending States give us 80% of US key political leaders, especially presidents, including all eleven Cold War elections.
There will be no recovery from the collapsing nature of empire until and unless the military is reduced. The US industrial Midwest swing states that decide presidential elections will all benefit greatly from reduced military. Even the military itself will benefit from faster future growth after the initial reduction. All Great Lakes states are half the national average in military spending per capita and will benefit the most from the initial military reduction. The parasitic mostly coastal Financial and Military industries can’t be allowed to kill the inland industrial “goose that laid the golden egg.”
For original eight per page power point slides with charts and graphs at Telos 2018 Conference:
Constitutional Theory as Cultural Problem: Global Perspectives TELOS February 17, 2018, 3pm China House, “Constitutional Implications of War” Professor Robert Reuschlein, EE, CPA, MBA, Ed.D., Real Economy Institute, www.realeconomy.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please cite this work as follows:
Reuschlein, Robert. (2018, March 4), “Constitutional Cost of War” Madison, WI: Real Economy Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Constitutional-Cost-of-War,2018154802.aspx
Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute
Nominated Vetted 2016, Given Odds 2017 Nobel Peace Prize