- Published on Thursday, 30 August 2012 13:34
- Written by Bill Bonner, Founder and President, Agora Inc.
- Hits: 731
The stakes are high in this year's election. It's no wonder the nation's powerful elite are spending a fortune to get their man in the White House.
Go Isaac, go! Blow ye winds... Crack ye thunder...
Oh ye gods... send a hail of rain... send a wall of wind... send a tide of water that washes the Republicans out of the Florida swamps...
And drives the Democrats out of the hill country in the Carolinas...
There was little action in the markets again yesterday. Stocks barely moved. Gold lost $6 per ounce.
Everyone is waiting. They want to know what will happen when the Fed gets together tomorrow in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Will there be an open-ended commitment to QE -- as much as you want, when you want it -- or will there be nothing at all?
While we are waiting, we will turn our attention from economics to politics... which is to say, from fraud to outright theft. There's an election campaign under way.
It was Ambrose Bierce, in his Devil's Dictionary, who called an election "an advance auction of stolen goods." Well, in the presidential 2012 campaign... prices are rising. This from Bloomberg:
Wealthy donors and corporations are more heavily invested in this presidential election than at any time since the 1972 Watergate scandal led to stricter campaign-finance laws.
A series of court decisions and regulatory changes in 2010 unraveled federal limits on donations, paving the way for a return of the big players. They are pooling their money in nonprofits, which keep contributor names secret, and super- political action committees, which amassed $350 million through the end of July.
Bloomberg suggests that Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers and other wealthy Americans are "investing" in presidential hopefuls with the expectations of fat returns on their investments if their man wins.
Well... frankly... we're shocked... SHOCKED!
Does Bloomberg really mean to say that people would actually stoop to using the political process to get what they want for themselves? That they would actually try to figure out which candidate would be better for their own interests... and then invest their time and money trying to get that fellow into office?
Hey, Bloomberg, get over it. The rich do it. The poor do it. Even folks in Lahore do it.
People always seem to do what comes naturally. Can't stop 'em. Why try?
And the more there is at stake in an auction, naturally, the higher prices will go. Ideally, the only things up for grabs in an election will be a few privileged parking places and the color of the flag. Then people can bribe each other, cajole and lie as much as they want. Who cares?
You gotta expect that people are going to pull out all the stops to have the winning bid.
And nowhere is the bidding faster and more furious than in "security" spending. Why? That's where the juice is.
"Ike was Right!" writes our friend Tom Paine:
It's an old story: The few take advantage of the many. In the name of making the world better or safer, elites capture the government and end up killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
The United States is no exception.
President Eisenhower, who had spent his entire life in the military, issued a warning. Upon leaving the presidency, he said farewell. And watch out for the "military industrial complex," he added.
Eisenhower knew that the combination of profit motive and power motive is hard to stop.
At the opening of World War II, the U.S. had nothing to fear from its own security industry. Where the Nazis devoted 23% of GDP to their war industries in 1939, the U.S. spent only 2%. Its army was smaller than Romania's.
But World War II was good for the U.S. military. In a matter of weeks, the orders came to U.S. manufacturers... and the weapons began rolling off assembly lines. Even before it entered the war, American industry was producing more tanks, planes, guns and ammunition than anyone. President Roosevelt, coming to the aid of the British, pledged to manufacture 50,000 airplanes in a single year -- which seemed almost delusional at the time.
U.S. supplies -- made in U.S. factories by U.S. workers -- were indispensable.
After the war, the soldiers came home, and the factories switched to making washing machines and automobiles. War debt declined as the economy grew. But the military industrial complex never gave up its grip on power and money. Korea, the Cold War and Vietnam provided cover for continued high levels of "security" spending.
And then, with the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, the industry was able to greatly improve its position. Fully loaded, the cost of "security" is now about $1.2 trillion. That includes wars, Homeland Security, fortified embassies, military aid... and all of the other things that help keep the U.S. Empire in business.
Much of the domestic manufacturing base that helped win World War II has been exported to China and other countries. But the U.S. still produces its own weapons. Today, 40% of U.S. manufacturing is destined for the security industry.
Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed -- many of America's leading manufacturers now depend almost exclusively on orders from the Pentagon. They supplement their incomes by selling guns and combat gear to foreigners. The U.S. may have lost the lead in autos, electronics and energy. But it is No. 1 in selling weapons.
"Security" spending -- which has little to do with real security -- now accounts for about one out of every three dollars spent by the U.S. government and about 8% of the entire U.S. GDP. It is the single biggest auction of stolen goods in the world.
No wonder it attracts so many bidders.
Editor's Note: A disturbing secret Obama isn't telling you... Congress is hiding a dark secret that could soon devastate millions of retirement-seeking Americans. One leading financial magazine refers to this event as "a time bomb." In short, if your money is connected in ANY way to the stock market, I urge you to read this eye-opening report.
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