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Military Empire and Climate Cycle Views

Archive for the month “April, 2018”

Income Inequality Theories

Overall

High Income Inequality and Low Social Mobility are both important parts of the high military spending empire theory.  Between the great Roman Empire and the modern American Empire lies the doldrums of Europe in the Middle Ages.  Medievalism is a special case of empire, characterized by the relative economic stagnation of the high military spending empire, with little scientific advancement and excessive church domination.  Medievalism has widespread social inequality as there were many serfs dependent on their lords for protection with expensive castles with moats and knights in shining armor.  The militarism is obvious in this situation.  Traveling is dangerous, too, with the need to be armed and preferably with sufficient companions and not alone.  Legends like the Three Musketeers with many roving bands that survive by their arms and wits.  This fear based economy is very inefficient and unproductive.

America History

In the modern era, income inequality robustly correlates inversely to the top income tax rate.  With a high income tax rate over 90% in the fifties and over 70% in the seventies, all income quintiles doubled their income from 1945 to 1980.  Since Reagan brought down the top tax bracket to 28% the top 1% have more than quadrupled their incomes, while the other 99% have had no material net increase in income for nearly forty years.  Yes, the famous study by the non-partisan congressional research office from 1979 to 2007 shows the top 1% quadrupling their income while even the rest of the top 5% show no progress.

Fool’s Gold

A recent study of American attitudes shows that 12% of us think that we are in the top 1% and 23% of us expect to be in the top 1% sometime in our lifetime.  That 35% total matches the 35% support for President Trump, otherwise known as the Republican base.  Of course the there are Democrats who think this way and Republicans that never expect to get rich, yet this delusion of the general public says a lot about our politics today.  If 12% believe they are in the top 1%, then clearly 11% are deluded.  And the thought that 23% expect to be in the top 1% shows how much we are a nation of aspirational fools.  Thanks to the Occupy movement of 2011 we have increasingly come to our senses, with polls last year showing 70% opposed the Republican health care repeal plan and 70% opposed the tax cut that mainly went 70% to the real top 1% not the deluded many aspirants.  This is what seems to be fueling the coming Blue Wave in American politics.  Plus the insults to women and immigrants and shootings of our school children, and we are all getting tired of the tweets and 2000 lies in the first year alone.  Yet the purveyors of fake news have done a good job persuading many that real news is fake, so we remain a deeply divided nation.  To the extent the Russians have aided this division, they must be delighted.  Seventy years of empire since the last World War and the drying up of social mobility in America have all aided this process.

Convenient Excuses 

One of the leading convenient excuses to get us to accept our situation is that the new divide is between those with a college education and those without.  Yes, in many ways the college degree is the new equivalent of the high school degree in generations past.  But the US, once a leader in college degrees, has fallen behind many European countries.  The 1% have put today’s students deeply in debt and threatened to take away Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid rather than restore high taxes on the rich to easily make these many problems disappear.  Too many experts get into the class divide argument of college versus no college degree rather than recognize the real main cause of many problems that the top 1% (really the top 0.1%) are hogging all the benefits for themselves.  These experts excuse their union busting in the eighties and the spiral up of top executive salaries in the last forty years.  It used to be that top CEOs earned fair wages.  Then the practice became commonplace to try to outbid others by 20%, leading to an endless spiral upwards.  CEOs in America earned 120 times their workers in 1980, compared to 35 or 50 to one in Japan or Europe.  Then a PBS show by Bill Moyers reported fortune 1000 CEOs averaging $37 million while their workers made $38,000 in the year 2000.  Almost 1000 to one.  Most figures reported since then are lower, probably by including all stock exchange companies, not just the top 1000.  That this is unearned is shown by the Chrysler buyout by Mercedes Benz, where the CEO of the failing US company was paid $33 million while the successful German CEO was only paid $7 million, one fifth as much.  Clearly top wages in America were way out of line and not based on performance or real results.

False Justification

The idea that cutting taxes of corporations and the rich will help the economy is problematic.  Businesses need customers even more than they need capital.  About a third of the corporate tax cut is being used to buyback stock, which supports the price of stock, but does little to boost the economy.  Tax cuts for the middle class will lead to increased sales for the businesses and will boost the economy.  Unfortunately, the Trump tax cut will go 70% to the top 1% and only 30% for the middle class or the bottom 99%.  Actually widening income inequality will only aggravate national health and social problems like low social mobility, high homicide rates, high mental illness rates, high obesity, high teenage birthrates, and high imprisonment rates as shown by the “Spirit Level” authors in 2010.

Community versus Private Sector

There has long been an imbalance between utilities run by government compared to those investor owned utilities. Public utilities charge 60% of the investor owned utilities overall in these United States.  Europeans with health care for all pay about 60% as much as people in the United States pay for less health care coverage.  Occupied countries like France in the early forties and East Germany during the Cold War also seemed to operate at only 60% economic levels of comparable unoccupied countries.  Why keep paying this 40% for overpaid executives and dividends and profits to investor owned utilities?  Why keep paying unnecessary middlemen like health insurance companies and plan administrators and specialized medicine rather than general practice medicine?  Why keep paying this 40% to occupying forces?  None of these imbalances make sense.

Collapse Rate

The award winning Eugene Register Guard newspaper of Eugene, Oregon, USA, had an editorial in the early eighties about how rural economies collapsed at an 8% rate absent new business development moving into an area.  Coincidentally or maybe not, 8% was the average percent of the economy on military spending from 1945 to 1980.  Military spending depletes capital and research from all good producing industries like manufacturing, construction, mining, and agriculture, hence is a major cause of the agricultural decline of that period.  Eight percent was the average drop per year during the 1929-1933 start of the Great Depression.  Eight percent a year was the long term decline of the cigarette tax in Oregon I learned in the 1981 legislative session.  Eight percent per year was the annual decline in the Wisconsin Dry Cleaner Tax started in 1998.  Eight percent per year seems to be the rate economic sectors decline in general, unless new industry replaces the old as is common in capitalism in normal times.  The 2009 US economy dropped 6%, but for just one year (about nine months).

For the chapter on various social conditions under empire theory:

https://www.academia.edu/11421799/MILITARISM_CONTROL_Empire_Social_Decay 6p

Please cite this work as follows:

Reuschlein, Robert. (2018, April 29), “Income Inequality Theories”, Madison, WI:  Real Economy Institute.  Retrieved from: https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Income-Inequality-Theories,2018156909.aspx

Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute

Nominated Vetted 2016, Given Odds 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

Possible Favorite in 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Announced October 5th.
Contact: bobreuschlein@gmail.com, Info: www.realeconomy.com

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Demonization Fuels Military

Overall

The modern public relations industry was born producing propaganda for the First World War.  People of German heritage in America, America’s largest single ethic group, were vilified and attacked even from the pulpit in that war.  Called “Huns” scary depictions were on many a poster, and Senators like Wisconsin’s Fighting Bob La Follette were ridiculed for opposing entry into that war.  Enemies need to be created and exaggerated to urge people to fight in wars.  “Us versus Them” dualisms succeed only with depersonalization of the Other.  The opposite of religious teachings of empathy, the ultimate religion, nationalism, encourages us to see the worst in others.  This attitude is a dangerous thing when widely held for a long period of time, as in the Cold War.  The usual 2% with deviant tendencies, criminal tendencies, can then more easily perpetrate crimes without conscience.  If they have the training, this can lead to extreme events.  If all you have is a hammer, then the world tends to look like nails.  It is easier to commit crime against another person if you can compartmentalize and consider your victim a depersonalized “other.”

Civil Rights

When militarism becomes widespread and accepted, not only enemies are created.  Any people that are different from the dominant groups may more easily experience some of the alienation and stereotyping that goes with racism, sexism, heterosexism, and enthno-centricity.  Other-ism, or as Robert Fuller calls it “rankism,” comes from treating any group of humans with less dignity.  The thinking becomes, “I outrank you because my group outranks your group.”  This false sense of superiority does not recognize the humble concept “but for the grace of God, there go I.”  The violence and fighting were much worse on the Japanese front than on the German front in World War Two, probably in part due to racism.  In Vietnam the enemy were called “gooks” and in Iraq they were called “hagi’s” with perhaps some racism.  A century ago, marrying outside your race was illegal in parts of America.  Sunday morning at church is considered the most segregated hour of the week in America.  Even the term “hour” shows some segregation as many a black religious service lasts for two or three hours.

Measuring Demonization

A good proxy for the strength of demonization in a society is the percent of the economy going to military spending.  When people compile lists like the fourteen attributes of fascism, about eight of these attributes reflect militarism and demonization as well.  Things like the health and stratification of society are also adversely affected by militarism.  Paradoxes also abound, such as how a socialist government-dependent structure like the military “protected” the rest of us from socialist communism during the Cold War.  Likewise, the military can have high standards and develop high esprit de corps as a functioning unit.  None-the-less the ills of militarism will still tend to appear in a militarized society.  Judging people is inherent in the military, and judgement is considered a vice.

Voluntary Military

The military draft was eliminated in America in 1972 because the poor did not have the resources to avoid the draft, with the result that about one third of the deaths of American soldiers in Vietnam were black even though blacks only represented about ten percent of the society back then.  The modern volunteer army now often tends to consist of many rural white people, another major community in America that is poor.  There is a tendency for racism and religious fundamentalism to persist in this group, with less contact with the diversity of cosmopolitan cities.  The American base in Okinawa Japan is very controversial over there because of the high level of rapes of Japanese women.  The Japanese constitution normally allows local areas to have their way, but the national government does not allow Okinawa to kick the American base out of their territory, despite plebiscites.

Crime and the Military

Two international and one interregional US studies in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, show a strong correlation (R=.996) between crime or murder and long term average military spending.  This association seems to have three foundations.  First is the low manufacturing productivity growth with high military spending (R=-.997).  Second is the compartmentalized thinking coming from applications of the enemy concept leading to a lack of empathy for victims of crimes by the 2% prone to such deviant thinking.  Third is the direct relationship between members of the military and former members of the military in things like high crime around military bases and many mass murderers being former veterans or coming from veteran families.  Please understand that this is not an indictment of many fine citizens with military careers, only the fringe 2% including some suffering from the effects of war.  Veterans coming home from wars often suffer high divorce rates, suicide rates, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including many hundreds of thousands eligible for disability payments from recent wars.

Jesus and Empire

From a close study of the gospels over four years of Sunday afternoons and other sources, I have concluded leader Marcus Borg of the Jesus Seminar group was basically right about certain things.  He concludes that the main theme of Jesus was opposition to the domination syndrome.  That is similar to the concern about rankism of Robert Fuller. When we separate ourselves into various groups we tend to cut ourselves off from the full power and enjoyment of treating all people equally.  Taking advantage of others because of rank and privilege, race, sex, nationality, and even family, leads us ever so slightly down the paths of personal alienation and demonizing of others.  Some feel that taking the Christian religion away from the “love your enemies” standard into “just war” theory was a poor way to reconcile Christianity with the Roman Empire.

For the complete text of my “Jesus and Empire” sermon:

https://www.academia.edu/9979093/JESUS_and_Empire_12-4-05_4_p._2005

Please cite this work as follows:

Reuschlein, Robert. (2018, April 8), “Demonization Fuels Military”, Madison, WI:  Real Economy Institute.  Retrieved from: https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Demonization-Fuels-Military,2018156110.aspx

Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute

Nominated Vetted 2016, Given Odds 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

Possible Favorite in 2018 Nobel Peace Prize October 5th.
Contact: bobreuschlein@gmail.com, Info: www.realeconomy.com

Reduce Military War System

Overall

The Peace Economics theory requires a whole new way of looking at national defense and national security.  The huge finding that military spending is essentially a non-productive loss of key resources normally used to increase the size of the economic growth rate means that excessive military spending can prevent a nation from keeping up vital economic strength.  Economic strength is more important to national defense and national security than military strength in the long run.  But what does that mean?  There are two key approaches.

Two Time Frames

When offense exceeds defense, as in nuclear war, quick reaction is urgent.  But because of mutually assured destruction, avoidance is the only way to really survive.  Short term military strength is necessary up to a point.  In more conventional warfare, quick success is unlikely unless one side is more than twice as strong as the other side.  There are four clear cases of the “twice as strong” economically being decisive in the World Wars.  When both sides are more equal stalemate is likely until and unless one mobilizes overwhelming forces against the other.  Then the initial military forces are not as crucial as the economic strength comparison.

How Often Wars Happen

United States, European, and Roman history is a good argument for the 54 year cycle in major war history.  There are many wars all the time, but matchups between the top two economies in an area tend to peak every 54 years.  These are the wars a national defense best needs to be prepared for, hence a long term “build the economy” strategy best prepares a nation for this point in time, with a smaller well trained military core kept going between major war events,  In this 54 year cycle, tester lopsided wars tend to happen about 18 years before the major war in America, and 15 years before the major war in Europe.

Size of Military

The larger the military, the more likely it will be used.  A large military will coopt large portions of the military political economy.  Justifications for a large military will be developed to of the maintain this large size.  War is the ultimate justification and wars will go on and on out of fear of losing, and continued funding for a war is often justified out of support for the troops.

Success in Prior Wars  

Low cost paid and success in prior wars encourages a forward leaning posture in foreign affairs.  For example, the lower the percentage of a major nation’s population dying in the last major war made America most aggressive in the early Cold War followed by Britain and then France.  For example, a bad experience in the thirty years war ending in 1648 lead to Swedish neutrality ever since.  Switzerland.s last war in 1815 was in the Napoleonic Era of mass draftee armies. The invention of the military draft lead to Europe missing a major war in the 1860s until World War One in 1914.  Joshua Goldstein’s 1986 study of European wars since 1500 shows a 50 year cycle of major wars with about 1.5% population loss.  After missing that 1860s war, war came back worse than ever with a 5% population loss in each World War.

Role of the CIA Covert Operations

Critics of America’s Covert Operations cite a long history of mistakes and policies favoring commercial interests over democratic interests.  Blowback, the tendency of such operations to boomerang on America, is perhaps best indicated by Iran.  Covert operations seem to represent over-the-top efforts that wittingly or unwittingly help perpetuate the war system.  Previous mistakes often lead to future excuses for wars.

Consequences of the War System

Social decay, crime, and especially murders are all consequences of militarism and the war system, the empire system.  Findings show that murder rates follow military spending rates among the larger developed nations.  The million murders in America in the thirty years after John Lennon’s death 12-8-80 could have been cut in half if military spending had been cut in half.  That would have saved 500,000 lives.  Indeed, something like that did happen halfway through that thirty year period, as murder rates were cut in half one decade after the Cold War ended in 1991, and US military economy rates were cut in half by the year 2000.

Defining National Security

Keeping a narrow definition of national security defined around results wars, leaves out the large number of lives that can be saved by avoiding 15,000 domestic US murders, consequences of lack of health care (35,000 deaths) and consequences of income inequality and poverty.  Excessive militarism increases murders, health care deaths, and inequality deaths vastly in excess of the 10,000 US soldiers and civilians lost in the war on terror the last 20 years.  Stifling the American dream of income increases for middle class Americans since the seventies is the deepest consequence of the de-industrialization caused by empire in American history.

For a detailed model of optimal military spending levels for a major power:

https://www.academia.edu/4475604/DEFENSE_STRATEGY_Chapter_Peace_Economics_7_p.

Please cite this work as follows:

Reuschlein, Robert. (2018, April 2), “Reduce Military War System”, Madison, WI:  Real Economy Institute.  Retrieved from: https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Reduce-Military-War-System,2018155833.aspx

Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute

Nominated Vetted 2016, Given Odds 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

Possible Favorite in 2018 Nobel Peace Prize October 5th.
Contact: bobreuschlein@gmail.com, Info: www.realeconomy.com

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