bobreuschlein

Military Empire and Climate Cycle Views

Archive for the month “August, 2018”

Power Corrupts Absolutely

When a nation takes potent research and capital resources and diverts them to power projection, it is sacrificing achievement for power.  Put another way, the nation is trading civilian manufacturing for political services.  That is why services grow at the expense of manufacturing in an empire society.  That is not an accidental association, it is a forced zero-sum choice.  Pure achievement respects and rewards the middle class as an important part of the innovative process.  Power and control thrives on stagnation and limitation of the middle class.  When merit and what you know becomes less important than who you know, classism and more rigid hierarchy sets in and social mobility suffers.  This is the beginning of the corruption of power and empire and it is a direct result of the basic power versus achievement choice made in the first place.  So political social and economic rigidity are all logical results of the choice in favor of empire backed up by the military.

Political Corruption

When the military becomes the major force in society, allocating the resources of the military becomes the major object in politics.  Then those in charge of the allocation process become the most powerful in that society. For the United States that means those chairing or sitting on the four key, House and Senate, Armed Services and Defense Appropriation Subcommittees.  In addition the leaders of the Senate and House, who often place themselves on the four key committees, share the loot with the President. Those that represent large military factories, bases, or service providers have political advantages over others in this process.  Because military manufacturers overpay their employees about one third more than non-military similar occupations and are directly dependent on the federal budget, the incentives for political involvement are very high.  Talent, money, and motive increase the power of these communities in the political process.  Major presidential candidates usually come from these powerhouse communities.  Power is a two way street in this process, such that people coming from high military states have twice the chance of those from low military states in leadership areas like congressional leadership, presidential cabinet members, supreme court appointees, and presidents.  The corruption involved in this process drives up the local crime rates and corruption levels in local business.

Other Corruptions

Because the military budget allocation process is based more on political power than proposal merit this is another great source of corruption.  There is no way to test products against the consumer marketplace like in other industries, so there is a lot of guess work rather than science in the choices made.  The test of battle comes too infrequently to be of much use, so there is a tendency to overbuild and overspend to ensure an advantage, leading to a lot of waste.

There is too much single person and hierarchical decision making and an emphasis on short term thinking.  The flexibility of a normal marketplace is not there in the military industrial complex.  This creates a kind of complacency among many who feel they can not change the system.  This in turn leads to less healthy choices and living styles.  This drives up the cost of health care and leads to a search for alternatives like drugs and lotteries to break the tedium of being cut out of the decision-making process.  Apathy extends into the stagnancy of the political process.

War Corruptions

Those involved in the war fighting of empire come away with an exaggerated level of self importance. Soldiers have the power of life and death and tend to use it too capriciously. This is another corruption the average soldier learns to live with.  Then the war fighters bring the stress home with them as the contrast between war and peace leads to culture shock.  Humans are normally loving and friendly, not readily prepared for shock and horror.  The confusion between friends and enemies also is a form of corruption.  Too much thinking about enemies leads to alienation and corrupts the soul.  Empathy is a casualty of this process and inappropriate actions can add to the domestic crime rate at home.  Families are put under a lot of stress and sometimes break apart.  Bad habits formed overseas can be taken home with the soldiers.

Arrogance of Empire

The humility and humanity of the thirties Great Depression lasted about a generation after the World War in the United States.   Then the arrogance of empire started to concentrate more in one of the political parties than the other.  Politics in America gradually became more hostile, bitter, and divisive from the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan onward.  Reagan removed the equal time doctrine allowing right wing radio and television to emerge and creating two Americas with very different political ideas.  This evolved over time with demonization of liberals and Democrats.  Clinton was faced with Newt Gingrich as the first Republican Speaker of the House in 40 years, and Obama was faced with a Tea Party congress as America began the rightward movement that produced Trump today.  Trump challenges almost every American tradition and norm of government.  Trump has been documented in 5000 lies so far creating an alternative reality among his followers thanks to right wing alternative media and press.  He attacks anyone who dares to disagree with him thanks to his 40 million social media followers, his own personal direct media.  He has raised arrogance to unprecedented new levels with his cult of personality.

 

For further power and corruption research read the following:

https://www.academia.edu/11421799/MILITARISM_CONTROL_Empire_Social_Decay_6p

 

Please cite this work as follows:

Reuschlein, Robert. (2018, August 26), “Power Corrupts Absolutely”, Madison, WI:  Real Economy Institute.  Retrieved from: https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Power-Corrupts-Absolutely,2018161184.aspx

 

Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute

Nominated Vetted for 2016, Given Odds for 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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Militarism Distorts America

The United States of America has changed a lot since World War II.  Some changes were immediate, some changes took a generation or more to sink in.  Military spending, my preferred empirical measure of empire, is the prime factor for almost all of these major changes in US society.  All of my various models show that military spending has negligible or no benefit for the economy.  It acts like lost capital investment, lost manufacturing, as the resources going into the military deplete civilian manufacturing elsewhere in America, especially depleting the Great Lakes industrial economy of the heartland.  This last part is clearly shown by regional models.  These economic changes then distort America in many ways, political, social, moral, sapping the energy and enthusiasm of all Americans as a whole.  This is what I call the “social decay of empire.”  It includes rising crime, rising income inequality, less social mobility, growing apathy, and rising anxiety and depression.  Stagnation sets in economically first, then stagnation contributes to political gridlock over time.  Fortunately empire decay is not inevitable, lowering military spending can reverse course.  But many of the social time lags can persist generationally, even while economic growth changes annually.

Similar Systems

The empire system is similar to two others:  the medieval system and the third world system.  All three systems are characterized by high military spending, high income inequality, and authoritarian power structures.  The church and ideology gain strength in such systems while science and innovation suffer.  Social mobility suffers as rigidity is favored in class based systems of power and opportunities.  Crime, poor health, drugs, gambling, red tape and escapist entertainment rise under such systems, reflecting widespread alienation and apathy.  Power and control are favored in such systems over achievement and individual merit.

Challenger Systems

Achievement is more evident than power as a prime motive of the emerging power of a challenger society.  Left alone to develop or separated by large bodies of water, societies can grow more powerful and economically strong until they are ready to sneak up on the reigning hegemonic or empire society.  Major wars of the 54 year cycle type are often between the number one economic power and the number two economic power.  Note that the economic strength is usually more important than the military strength.  Moving up the economic ladder of nations requires keeping the military low and minimal, a strategy that fits the “reduction of armies” clause in Alfred Nobel’s will as the second of three ways to earn a Nobel Peace Prize.  This also fits the biblical verse of the Sermon on the Mount of “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall inherit the earth.”  Aligning the motives of the powerful and the peacemakers is a great way to achieve world peace.

Engineering is important to an emerging society to meet its goals.  Lawyering is important to the more stable empire society, because a slow growth society will naturally have more conflicts as boundaries are defined and defended.  In the high growth society such boundary disputes look like a waste of time compared to pioneering the next great step forward.  This leads to achievement, engineering, merit, and innovation being valued over power, control, position, and legal boundaries.

Warfare Systems

War is the easiest and quickest way to take away a large number of lives.  The ultimate power is to take away another life.  Valuing your friends over your enemies leads to a certain tolerance of civilian collateral damage in the process.  This relative carelessness carries over into civilian life in an empire culture with a similar devaluing of “others” such as crime victims or other ethnic groups and genders.  Alienation and separation from others makes crime more likely, just as economic stagnation makes some people more desperate.  The fear based brain and the rational brain correspond to the power oriented and achievement oriented societies respectively.  Violence crime and corruption are fellow travelers of the fear based brain empire societies.  Doing whatever you can get away with under the law is a corruption of doing whatever is fair and best for everyone concerned.  Thus it is no accident that the highest military spending per capita US states were the leaders in the corruption of mortgages that resulted in the Great Recession of 2008.

Timing Factor

Economics is clearly the driving factor in empires, as changes in military spending change the economic growth rate in the same year.  Great Recession data even suggests the military economic change shows up quarterly.  The 1982 recession starts in July 1981 suggesting the anticipation of the fiscal year 1982 military buildup began then with congressional committee budget decisions essentially completed that month.  Then defense contractors started hiring in July 1981 draining key talent away from civilian businesses to begin the recession as those civilian businesses start to collapse.  On the other hand, crime rates dropping after the end of the Cold War in 1989-1991 suggest a five year delay between military spending changes and crime rate changes, suggesting that the formative years before age 18 are crucial to crime statistics.  Elementary teachers can spot the at risk students immediately and criminal activity can begin before age 18, so maybe a 9 or 11 year moving average of military spending maybe better correlate with the crime changes.  Likewise, crime does not move up immediately with the Iraq War bulge in US military spending.  Still peaceful Germany lowers its crime rate about 20% relative to the US rate over than time period (2003-2011 inclusive) of the nine year US war.  The end of Cold War military budget cuts were much deeper in Europe than in America dropping crime rates in Europe.  Income inequality quadrupled in three decades and social mobility was made much worse over time after the 1981 Reagan tax cut dropped the top tax rate 60% (mainly affecting the top 1%) while only cutting the middle class tax rates 15%.   The Yankee ingenuity confident America of its first two centuries seemed to dissipate after the Vietnam War while at the same time locking in the empire attitude with the two generation long Cold War.  Trump shook up the international structure politically while preserving the empire economically with a military budget increase.  Lowering the military budget after the Iraq War withdrawal in 2011 increased job growth for the last five Obama years.  Trump’s military buildup stalled that job growth in 2017.  Job growth in the last five Obama years was 25% higher than Trump’s first year, making that year 2017 the worst job growth of the last six years.

Findings and Special Claims over 33 years of military economy research:

https://www.academia.edu/37217512/Findings_and_Special_Claims_November_2017_2_pages

Please cite this work as follows:

Reuschlein, Robert. (2018, August 14), “Militarism Distorts America”, Madison, WI:  Real Economy Institute.  Retrieved from: https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Militarism-Distorts-America,2018160716.aspx

Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute

Nominated Vetted for 2016, Given Odds for 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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