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Passions in Poetry

Can We Afford It?

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Local Rebel
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25 posted 03-20-2006 07:19 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Here's some good reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window
http://freedomkeys.com/window.htm
Huan Yi
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26 posted 03-20-2006 07:46 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


There a now little known episode in 18th century American
history when Quakers in Philadelphia because of their
principled opposition to war persistently blocked measures
to fund a  defense to the depredations carried out by the French
and their Indian allies along the frontier.  It got to a point
where a party from that frontier brought a wagonload of the
the butchered corpses of their relatives to the front step
of the state house to show the consequences.

Had Roosevelt been a Quaker such as suggested here Europe would
be speaking German and countless more millions including my parents
would be dead.   Such pacifism doesn’t concern itself with
what horrors continue as a consequence beyond its
front door . . .and there is a moral ugliness in that.

iliana
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27 posted 03-20-2006 08:48 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

I would not criticize your belief system, Huan Yi.  And, I do not consider myself morally ugly.  That is getting pretty personal to insult me directly like that.  You do not know me nor what my concerns are, but I can tell you this -- they are on a global scale.  
iliana
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28 posted 03-20-2006 08:53 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Nixon was a Quaker, Huan Yi...but that did not stop him from participating in war.  That is an individual choice...and perhaps some wars are "holy."  For myself, however, I cannot justify any of it to myself for killing and violence only lead to more of the same.  The Middle East is a good example.  
Ron
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29 posted 03-20-2006 09:04 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Similarly -- building tanks doesn't add value to an economy -- unless you're selling those tanks to someone.

That might be true, Reb, if the tanks were being built in a vacuum. But the same factories that were built to manufacture tanks can be refitted to manufacture hummers, and the new technology developed to make better tanks can become spin-off industries tomorrow. By your logic, the entire space program has been a drain on our economy.

quote:
If we had invested the money spent in Iraq on scholarships, housing, healthcare, teachers, schools -- THEN we would have stimulated the economy for long-term economic health.

I'm surprised, Reb. I would not have taken you for a "Throw more money at education to make it work" sort of fellow. As to housing and healthcare, again, I believe that is largely the function of private enterprise, not a benevolent government. You want more housing? Get rid of rent control. It's rarely any more complicated than that.

My original point, however, remains the same.

If the only argument against this war is a high cost and no profit, the logical solution is to turn the war from one of liberation into one of conquest. Let's annex Iraq as the 51st state and take all the oil we can find as spoils of war. Those against the war would then have nothing about which to complain.

I don't see a whole lot of difference between this thread and this thread, except for which side is doing the justifying. My point in both threads is that the war is right or the war is wrong, and everything else is just a diversion. It's like getting in a fight with your significant other and bringing up everything that's happened in the last five years that irritated you instead of sticking to what actually started the fight. It's not productive.

quote:
Had Roosevelt been a Quaker such as suggested here Europe would be speaking German ...

That's the typical cliché from someone who feels a need to justify violence, John, but in truth, it's only one side of the glass-is-half-empty conundrum. The pacifist, I think, holds the much more promising hand.

If Hitler had been a pacifist, such as suggested here, the world need never have suffered the death and torture of some 56 million people. And you wouldn't have anything to bring up every two weeks.


Local Rebel
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30 posted 03-20-2006 09:43 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

That might be true, Reb, if the tanks were being built in a vacuum. But the same factories that were built to manufacture tanks can be refitted to manufacture hummers, and the new technology developed to make better tanks can become spin-off industries tomorrow. By your logic, the entire space program has been a drain on our economy.




Ah, a conversation -- I haven't seen one of those around here in a while.

Emphasis should be added to the words 'can be'.  They aren't.  We're going to keep on building A1 Abrhams tanks and the tooling and equipment, and largely the brick and mortar, are sunk cost.  But the issue of technology spin-off from weapons technology is always a muddy one in economics.

The difference is -- what is the opportunity cost?  What else might we have been doing?

Space exploration is a prime example -- space exploration isn't re-glazing a window -- or keeping punks from throwing stones at them.  It is the very thrust of value-adding.  But, by your logic we shouldn't have NASA.  The reality is though -- private enterprise would never invest in it. (initially)

Spending on defense is necessary -- I didn't say it wasn't.  I said it isn't value-added.  But, it is merely a transfer of wealth.  Certainly the people who are building tanks are taking their re-distributed funds into the marketplace -- but preferably -- our defense industry should be comprised of top talent.  Which means -- our top talent aren't doing other things.

It's economics 101.  Comparative and competitive advantage.  

quote:

I'm surprised, Reb. I would not have taken you for a "Throw more money at education to make it work" sort of fellow. As to housing and healthcare, again, I believe that is largely the function of private enterprise, not a benevolent government. You want more housing? Get rid of rent control. It's rarely any more complicated than that.



Getting rid of rent control won't do anything for the person whose job has been outsourced to the Pacific Rim.  The invisible hand will allow that person to simply die.  Same for a person who doesn't have any competitive advantage (aka skill set).  Unlike our top-talent in the defense industry the low-skilled workers (or unemployed or unemployable) don't have opportunities with or without war.  Investing in scholarships -- or financial aid increases the knowledge base of the entire economy -- shifting the entire curve up a notch -- more people in school means more teaching (not necessarily a degree program), and more schools.  It's an investment vs. an expense.  Keynesian economics works.   But preferably you teach the man to fish -- you don't leave him out in the cold while he's learning though.  It is also a re-distribution of wealth -- but it is going to a place where there is no opportunity instead of being transferred to a market (top talent) that would be otherwise gainfully building Hummers.

It doesn't really matter to this part of the conversation whether the war is necessary or not... and I haven't mentioned it.  The war itself though doesn't create any economic advantage UNLESS it is a war of conquest.  Last time I looked -- we don't do that.  Or, at least we haven't since the Indian wars and the Louisiana Purchase.  If there is a valid military threat then defense makes economic sense -- but only from the standpoint of replacing windows.

iliana
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31 posted 03-20-2006 10:03 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Reb and Ron, I really appreciate this exchange.  Maybe I learned something!  I like the idea of investing in our future.  
JesusChristPose
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since 06-21-2005
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32 posted 03-20-2006 10:38 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

"Grinch, I am a Quaker. I believe in nonviolent resolution to conflict.  If I had to protect my child in a case of life and death, I do not know how I would react..."

~ In the OT, all God fearing people would use that same tactic - nonviolent resolutions - and then God would come down from heaven and smote the foe of those God fearing folk.

~ Could you imagine that happening today? Where are the Christians of true faith? If one has faith in the one true God, then that person wouldn't have to use violent measures, but allow God to take care of the enemy for him or her.

"If this grand panaorama before me is what you call God... then God is not dead."

iliana
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33 posted 03-20-2006 10:44 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

I said I do not know how I would act, JCP, however, I do know, I would take the bullet for him if that were the choice. By nature, by God-given nature, mankind wants to survive.  If survival instincts took over in their raw form, I do not know if that is something I can control and I hope I never have to find out...that is why I made the statement I made.
Huan Yi
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34 posted 03-21-2006 08:04 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Ron,

The problem is that Hitler was not a Quaker
and there are others in power over others like him, (if I bring him
up every two weeks it may be that I am part of the “never forget”
group, with parents like mine and their experiences that is understandable).
Pacifism that disarms the power to thwart such monsters carries the
taint of complicity.  Hitler was no real threat to the United States
at the time.  Roosevelt acted against popular opposition
for reasons beyond national security or economic prosperity.

John
Ringo
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35 posted 03-21-2006 10:39 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

'Deer- I wasn't going to pull the "D" card, however I am not objecdting to you using it.      

quote:
... the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 1 in 6 soldiers returning from war in Iraq were showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder... yet only 23 to 40 percent of respondents in the study...had sought mental health care.

What is the percentage of the non fighting Americans who have mental disorders and do not seek mental assitance? And what do these facts have to do with the economy, the price of the war, or anything like this?

quote:
Many of our schools are either losing money or have gone bankrupt, health care costs have virtually doubled since the war began, more Americans are in poverty since the war began

This was a challenge for much longer than the last 3 years. American Schools have been failing the students for 50 years. Health Care has been increasiing in cost for so long, it isn't funny to think about, and more Americans are in poverty because of such things as loss of jobs from natural disasters, and the government changing the indicators for what "povery" is.

  
quote:
...are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless...for those it calls 'enemy,' for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers

Take out that one line, and it seems like what we are doing in Iraq, does it not?

quote:
$66 million a piece on defective military models; your health care, job training and education the very thing customizing them in a Lockheed Martin boondoggle. It's bad enough this is happening, the least we could ask for is planes that can actually perform a wide range of tasks


Is this any different than the Osprey that the Marine Corps was given during the Clinton Adminstration to replace the aging CH-46 that was so useless it was taken off the market? This has more to do with pork-barrel politics than it does with a war-time economy, Noah.

quote:
Let's annex Iraq as the 51st state and take all the oil we can find as spoils of war

Gee, Ron... I thought that was what this was being fought to do. Isn't that what the war protesters wanted us to believe in the first place? Or is it possible that they have changed their minds?

quote:
The war itself though doesn't create any economic advantage UNLESS it is a war of conquest

Reb, by freeing Iraq, and making them a valued membner of the world's stage, would you not agree that we now have another market in which to sell our products to? And isn't that what you said is required in making the building of weapons an economic windfall? Before 2002, the Iraqi government was purchasing their weapons from Russia and the former Soviet Union. SOMEONE was making a buck. Now, we are in there and have freed the place from it's oppressive and tyrranical government, and have created a new market for those weapons that we are creating. At $33 million for an F-16 (or whatever the cost), equipping an entire squadrom comes out to somewhere between 400 and 500 million dollars. Do that for 10 squadrons, and you have $4-$5 BILLION. Then, you need to add the support aircraft, and replace the tanks, and don't forget the various weapons being used on the ground, and in the heat of battle. We also need top think of the other products the US makes that we now have anothe buyer for. Is that economy building enough for you? Most people- myself included, many times- do not think long term, and only of what it is costing right now... yet they are quick to say that you need to spend money to make money. I submit that it is exactly what we are doing now.




To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.  www.impressionsintime.net
iliana
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36 posted 03-21-2006 12:38 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

No one who seems to be in favor of this war and its continuance has yet to answer the question -- what are you willing to sacrifice?  Not to mention the obvious, loss of human life, there are bound to be economic ramnifications somewhere down the line because you just can't keep taking money from some sources to pay the other -- it may not happen right away (we'll see), but it will ultimately catch up with us.  Are there measures that can be taken now, that could conserve somehow?  

John -- I find your comments about Quakers to be very biased and prejudiced, and personally offensive.  Quakers did not cause your parents' suffering.  If seems very strange you would single out that particular group to vent against.  If you don't mind, would you please reframe from any further insults on this thread against my belief system.  If you want to trash my faith, please do it elsewhere.  Try to stay on point here.    
Ringo
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37 posted 03-21-2006 05:11 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

What are we willing to sacrifice? OK, here you go, in no particular order:

1) Ridicule, and taunting by those who are militant about ending the war.
2) watching the mainstream media talking all the trash about how there have been over 2,000 combat deaths when the actual number is more like 1,600.
3) watching the mainstream media disrespect friends and family who are over there and who are doing this VOLUNTARILY.
4) listening to my son talk about wanting to be a Marine so he can make a difference, and realizing that if he signs there is a very good chance he will go over there... and not talking him out of doing what he feels is right... as I raised him to do.
5) watching friends, and former foster children come home damaged physically, and damaged emotionally after finding out that their "friends" told them that the good things they were doing and all of the people they saved were done in vain, and that nobody seemed to care.
6)Re-joining the military as a part of the Naval reserves (my apologies to the Marines on the board who might feel I am betraying them lol) knowing full well that there is a very good chance that I am going to be sent over there as part of the re-building, as I am going to be a heavy equipment operator.

Plain and simple, my family has been involved in every single military conflict since the American Civil War, and they all did their part willingly. And in those various military actions, there has been a loss of life starting with Alfonso Stott at the Battle of Fredricksburg, and ending with a former foster child, a friend, a girlfriend's family member, and a former foster child (who volunteered for a SECOND term) in the current one.
While I respect your faith and your views, and your respectfully voicing those views, I would ask that you take a few moments during your devotional to remember the men (and now women) who have given you the right to think and speak as you do, and who are attemptng to do the same for others who have no one to do so for them.
What am I willing to sacrifice for this?
How about me?


To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.
www.impressionsintime.net

iliana
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38 posted 03-21-2006 05:30 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Ringo, of course, I will.  And, as you can read through this thread, I have a son who is planning on enlisting, too.  I have not tried to discourage him despite my beliefs because I believe that is his choice and I will support him in his choice even though it would not be mine.  I do support our troops.  If you read the previous posts, you'll find one of my best friends is a war hero from the Viet Nam war.  My first marriage was to a Marine during that war.  My choices are my own; yours are your own.  I am really surprised about what people think Quakers are like, really surprised.  

Thanks for your post, and best of luck to your son and to you.
iliana
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39 posted 03-21-2006 05:34 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

I might add:  I believe the mind is a more powerful tool than a gun.  

My son recently gave me a gift of the "Trigun" anima series.  I still feel the same way, though, after viewing the 26 episodes.
Local Rebel
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40 posted 03-21-2006 05:34 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Ideally Ringo we hope that Iraq becomes stable and will be able to join the world economy as a participant.  But, lets assume for a minute that President Russ Fiengold in 6 years surrenders to Al Quada.. tells everybody in the military to go home and just do whatever the Grand Ayatollah says.  Are you going to do it?  Will your neighbors?  What about the guys hoisting a Coors Light down at the corner pub?  They would have a real time trying to govern wouldn't they?

Similarly -- we face a long hard slog in Iraq.  Clearing a couple of elections and passing a few milestones on a Gannt  Chart don't make a stable government or economy in Iraq.  Unemployment is still a problem.  Electricity is still being produced at rates of only about 10 hours a day (in good areas).  The Iraqi forces are not coming online very fast (for which we can thank the amateurish management of Paul Bremmer for having completely dissolved the Iraqi forces.)  The President today let it slip in his press conference that withdrawal from Iraq of American forces will be a decision for a future President to make.  It takes, on average, 12 years to put down an insurgency.  One day, I think we will be able to see Iraq as a trading partner and a stabilizing force in the region.  But that's not going to be soon.

Now, if we look atarms sales to Iraq from 1973-1990 (when an arms embargo was imposed) we see that as Saddam built one of the largest armed forces on the planet over that 17-year period he spent about 44 billion dollars (1990 dollars level).  We can't expect that a new, stable, democratic Iraq is going to arm at as fast a pace as this (especially considering Saddam fought a long hard war with Iran).

Even if we could capture half of that market -- we're talking a very minuscule revenue stream over the next 30 years compared to the opportunity cost of investing in education, health, and infrastructure now.  What we hope to be doing with Iraq in the future is buying oil.  That's their comparative advantage.  But if we look at our own trade deficit with the rest of the world -- whatever 'American' products we sell them are going to be very few and far between.

We want to build up the economy of Iraq, and other areas of the world that lag behind -- but it is a cost avoidance -- just like war is.

We measure the cost of the war in Iraq vs. the cost of a nuclear strike on New York City.   That is if we're making an amoral economic decision.

War devastates economies -- even for the winners. (Again -- unless you're going to conquer)

Wars are either justified or not as Ron says.  If you have to fight a war the costs in life and economic impact are not the issue.
iliana
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41 posted 03-21-2006 05:48 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

If it isn't life or economics, then what is the issue, Reb?  Democracy?  Freedom?  Do you believe this is why the neocrats went to war?  This has probably been addressed in one of the other threads, but give me your thoughts please.  

Then as a nation, why can't we as a people hear the truth of why we go to war?  Aren't there other ways to prevent 911 attacks...eliminating every terrorist seems an impossible task.  It appears we are just creating more.  Just like the conflict between Israel and Palestine....

It sounds to me like in going to war in Iraq (and potentially Iran, now), we may very well be sacrificing our own ultimate freedom.  
Local Rebel
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Southern Abstentia


42 posted 03-21-2006 05:55 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I don't mind discussing that but I think it's not this thread!
iliana
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43 posted 03-21-2006 05:56 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

k, thanks.  Why don't you start one.  
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


44 posted 03-21-2006 06:04 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I'll defer to you or someone else... for the initial post you may want to include the Declaration of Independence.  
iliana
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since 12-05-2003
Posts 13488
USA


45 posted 03-21-2006 06:13 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

LOL.......
 
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