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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/30/10

Who Benefits from Empire?

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If you asked the "average" American if the USA is an "empire" you might get many answers, but there is no question that our Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex utilizes a disproportionate amount of the national treasury and creates far fewer jobs than most industries per billion dollars spent. Also the United States government plays favorites by allocating trillions of dollars through spending and tax law. The Congress enacts favorable legislation for specific industries and institutions that often do not benefit the American people.

The examples are endless: passing favorable tax legislation allowing private companies to seek manufacturing abroad, permitting pharmaceutical companies to advertise prescription drugs on television to the general public whose medical training is limited, subsidies to favorite industries that do not benefit the public, such as during the 1980s the Congress allocated millions of dollars to cigarette manufacturers to advertise their products overseas.

How much legislation benefiting organizations and corporations actually is harmful to most Americans and the overall economy? Favoritism in legislation has in many instances become legalized corruption which is advantageous for a few at the expense of the majority. Favoritism in legislation often means using the canopy of public service for advancing private gain.

The infrastructure of the United States is in disrepair, such as bridges and roads. High speed rail across the country has been ignored and if high speed rail existed the country would have reduced its dependence on oil and the internal combustion engine long ago. Countries in Europe and Asia have had successful high speed rail transport for decades.

There are now many impending crises caused by Democrats and Republicans: lack of sufficient government regulation in the financial industry, lack of sufficient government regulation in the oil drilling industry, lack of sufficient government regulation in food and drug inspection and lack of national fiscal restraint incurring huge budget deficits and an immense national debt growing by the day and two open-ended optional wars. The lack of adequate enforcement and laws has fostered massive illegal immigration. How can one blame the immigrants when they can find jobs here as well as citizenship for their children who are born here?

The costs of two wars are now in the trillions of dollars. The purpose of all this war making and spending is to make the country safe and secure. It is clear that these wars are not making the country safer and more secure. Yet, the elites managing the country claim that all this immense war spending is necessary, but offer no proof, only speculation. On the other side there is ample proof that these wars are making us and the world less safe. Iraq and Afghanistan after a decade the violence continues unabated. Attempted attacks within the United States also continue.

The antagonisms against us overseas are multiplying and the solution for our leaders is to station our army all over the globe to make us secure as well as using mercenaries. Yet domestically the citizenry are more insecure economically. Are any of us safer from crime today than a generation ago? Is identity theft a crime made easier and more damaging by linking all credit cards and credit to each person's individual social security number? Is it more about government control than individual safety from crime?

Is invading two countries and engaging in war spending trillions of dollars maiming and killing up to one million people as well as sacrificing thousands of American lives to thwart a small terrorist organization the best strategy? The only purpose to use military force was to apprehend or kill the leaders of the terrorist organization that caused 9/11 because law enforcement was unable to accomplish this particular operation or mission.

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Henry Pelifian has written many columns and articles on government and current events. He has published a play THOREAU based on the life, works and words of Henry David Thoreau, a war novella and short stories based on his years overseas called (more...)

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