The Obama Administration deserves credit. What other government ever reached such staggering achievements?
On the home front, as we reported last week, over the last 4 years more people have been declared disabled than have found jobs.
And overseas, an American soldier shipped out to serve in Afghanistan is more likely to be killed by himself than by the enemy. That is, the suicide rate is higher than the rate of combat losses.
Which raises a question. What kind of military force would fight a war in which its soldier’s worst enemy was himself?
Answer: one that has gone rogue.
What happens when a military establishment goes rogue? Simple, it stops serving the country and begins serving itself. Instead of protecting the nation from war, it deliberately causes wars. Instead of defending the country’s most sacred principles, it over-turns them in the interests of national security. Instead of holding expenses to those that are actually necessary and appropriate, it sucks up so many resources it weakens…and ultimately destroys…the economy it is meant to serve.
Typically, as the nation becomes more financially desperate, it also becomes more disorganized and unhappy. Strikes, mob violence, terrorist attacks increase. Then, to the noise of cheering crowds, the military makes its move.
That is what happened, for example, in Argentina in 1975. Isabelita Peron was making a mess of the economy. Her chief economist was a fellow named Celestino Rodrigo, who believed he was the Archangel Gabriel reincarnated. No kidding.
Rodrigo knew no more about economics than, say, Ben Bernanke. On July 17, 1975, he devalued the peso…yes… by “more than 100%.” Which proves our point about money from “out of nowhere.” Take away 100% of something and what do you have left? Nothing. So, what do you take away the “more than 100%” from? The same place you got the money in the first place.
At first, the crowds were delighted with Rodrigo. Then, he raised prices and the fickle mobs of Buenos Aires turned on him. They coined the term “rodrigazo” to describe the fiasco. He was gone in a few weeks. So was Isabelita, who had to be rescued from the roof of the president palace by helicopter.
Then what happened? Another election? Nope. Robert Cox tells us:
“…the armed forces, encouraged by the establishment, the media and public opinion, not to speak of the guerrilla/terrorist organizations, preferred another military dictatorship…”
When economic policies fail, people soon get sick of the politicians. They want a more muscled form of leadership. Uri Avnery describes what happens:
In some countries, they arrest the president, occupy government offices and TV and annul the constitution. They then publish Communique No. 1, explaining the dire need to save the nation from perdition and promising democracy, elections etc.
In other countries, they do it more quietly. They just inform the elected leaders that, if they don’t desist from their disastrous policies, the officers will make their views public and precipitate their downfall.
Such officers are generally called a “junta”, the Spanish word for “committee” used by South American generals. Their method is usually called a “putsch”, a German-Swiss term for a sudden blow. (Yes, the Swiss actually had revolts some 170 years ago.)
What almost all such coups have in common is that their instigators thrive on the demagoguery of war. The politicians are invariably accused of cowardice in face of the enemy, failure to defend national honor, and such.
Don’t expect a military coup in America. It won’t be necessary. The security industry already gets 8% of GDP — about the same amount as America’s deficit. With that kind of money to spend, there is barely a single member of Congress or a single corporation that the Pentagon can’t buy.
More to come…
Bill Bonnerfor The Daily Reckoning
Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America's most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind The Daily Reckoning. Dice Have No Memory: Big Bets & Bad Economics from Paris to the Pampas, the newest book from Bill Bonner, is the definitive compendium of Bill's daily reckonings from more than a decade: 1999-2010.
“Don’t expect a military coup in America.” I disagree. Having tasted the Good Life, the military-industrial-surveillance complex will want more, much more.
First good welfare riot in or near DC, kiss it good-bye.
Once a honour is conferred the next imitator follows suit. Superpower.. next super wealthy, super talent, super benevolence.. then super debtor .. super rogue. The list is interminable.
Tanks, Jets or Scholarships?
Let’s stop sending planes and tanks to the Arab world and start sending scholarships instead, says Thomas L. Friedman: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/opinion/friedman-tanks-jets-or-scholarships.html?ref=thomaslfriedman
In certain countries, national unity governments are traditionally a feature of wartime.
Maybe winning the cold war wasn’t such a good thing after all. Wrecked the worlds balance of power.
Bill, one reality seems to escape DR. The USA and its govt in particular have been the target of the banksters since the English were sent packing in 1776. They captured the economy circa 1913. They must have held sway in Europe for much longer.
Your cynicism towards govt is understandable as you have had to live with a corrupted one your whole life…..(I’m guessing you’re not 99 yet).
I was going to tell you about the lucky country but on 2nd thoughts…..
It’s just that you’re unlucky b..tards over there.
The banksters always chase the greatest riches from slavery (for over 300 years) to what we see today.
I don’t think govts are innately bad they are innately vulnerable to the oligarchy. Just read the words of the great presidents of the past.
They’re positioning themselves in Australia right now. I can see it, hear it, feel it.
P.S. Or are you getting to that?
After 9+ years of War the Suicide Rate is ONLY as high as the general populations (from the Military)
I think we need to keep that factor in perspective
WHINING WILL NEVER SOLVE A PROBLEM
THE REAL ISSUE IS WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT
They are talking human rights high tune. Simply how “right” are they? One may not be aware of himself has fallen prey to deepening crime / sin crisis.
BTW: When the military has no where near 8% of the gdp. You have to role in private security and police to get that number and thats very misleading. The threat isn’t from security forces. Its from the great white father “you will never have to pay for health care, but I will have to control the food you eat”
Yes, the US is turning into a banana republic where the only competent estate is the military. Given the structure of the state however, the problem lies not with the military but with the civilian estates, namely business, which serves only itself and its socioeconomic peers, and the public, which is willingly incompetent in order to reap the rewards of being their acquiescent tools. Let’s look in the mirror and place the blame where it lies.
I would really appreciate a citation of that 8 percent figure. Not because I want to challenge it, so much as know how solidly reliable it might be.
If it is very reliable, it’s utterly astounding, to say the least.
Palin went Rogue, then the GOP went Rogue, now the Pentagon??? Well I’m going Rogue too, once I figure out what that means. Cause in the case of Palin,the GOP, and the Pentagon, nothing is different.
You really need to adjust your tinfoil hat.
Our military IS our public. Our officers aren’t automatically “political elites”, like in most other countries.
They are SWORN to defend our constitution and the citizenry it protects; not sworn to defend any special interest or particular individual.
And it will be defended at ANY cost, as it should be.
Read up on the American Civil War.
“After 9+ years of War the Suicide Rate is ONLY as high as the general populations (from the Military)”
You are comparing “apples and oranges”…the average in the military is X. Contrast that to the age bracket in the US civilian population that is taking their own lives, probably much higher.
Example, suppose the average age in the military is 30 years, compare that to the suicide rate amongst 30 year old people in the US. I suspect that the rate in the miliray is much, much higher.
If the Pentagon wanted to rebel, it could. It would be a bad day for the 1% though. There are reasons to believe that the Pentagon would side with the people to keep the peace and over run the wealthy because they are the minority.
It is possible that a dictatorship could save the US and make it as strong as it is supposed to be!
When you've got a room full of 200 oil insiders scratching their heads at current high prices, something's gotta give.
For most investors, it’s weird to think of stocks as their go-to investing option.
The petropoly has bills to pay and setting the price of oil was a simple way to balance their budgets.
Investors don’t seem to care that what's propping up their investments is what will ultimately destroy them: government monetary policy.
For the next decade the energy revolution will be likely confined to the US, displaying the robustness of American entrepreneurship.
Why the Sage of Baltimore’s commentary persists through America’s changing times.
After attending Platt’s oil conference in London I want to relay two important themes you need to know.