Shocked and Persuaded


Separating Fact From Fiction

Footing The Bill

Anyone want to? Wanna really pay the price for war(s)? Nope!

How much would you pay for the life of one of this country’s active duty men or women? Below I discuss what our government has decided their worth (Hint: Its less than the cost of two movie tickets!). Here is something I posted on our Stop the F-35 website:

Below we have the actual cost of sending young men and women to war since World War I. You can see large peaks either a function of huge casualties (i.e. WW I, WW II, and Vietnam) or increasing per troop costs (i.e. Iraq and Afghanistan). Unfortunately the total bill at the present time is only $6,648,260. We have lost 622,796 troops since WW I, which if put in the denominator relative to the aforementioned total cost as a “numerator” gives an average troop death cost of $11 dollars folks! That’s right we in the US and our federal government including the brave men and women in congress and the White House have determined over time that losing 1 man or woman in the name of hegemony is only worth $11 dollars. I wonder how the family and friends of these troops would feel if they knew our government deemed their loved ones ultimate sacrifice was worth so very little (Fig. 1).

Yet we have decided giving trillions to the MIC in the name of patriotism and democracy is worth every penny. Talk about asymmetrical distribution of sacrifice and wealth. The fact that our congressional delegation and gubernatorial candidates of both parties have given their imprimatur to this type of redistribution and insult is shameful. No wonder we so flippantly go into wars given our resistance to face the true costs of war keeping in mind the fact that these data do not speak to those that come home from war “functionally dead” due to PTSD, paralysis, or loss of limb. Unfortunately our government has seen to it that we are consistently at war BUT we are consistently decoupled from the actual costs of these global jaunts. Although FDR dramatically increased Per Troop expenditures by 374% in 1942 during the heart of WW II and it should be noted that his ulterior motive as we have come to learn during this crisis was his adherence to Keynesian principles and his cabinet’s recognition that massive war spending can pull most economies out of any crisis no matter the depth or breadth. However, since FDR all Democratic and Republican presidents and congresses have decided that any increase in Per Troop expenditures beyond 7% Year-On-Year would be socially unacceptable and prevent them from their hegemonic goals (Fig. 2).

As I have noted in previous posts federal spending allocated to the MIC is a booming business not likely to experience even a hint of austerity any time in the near future, but actually coming to grips with the human toll is something no one wants to look at.
As citizens against the bedding down of the F-35 we have consistently shown the negatives associated with war and the MIC and now it is time for our congressional delegation and gubernatorial candidates to head to DC and demand that we receive money not for killing machines but for our schools, infrastructure, healthcare, and dying dairy farmers.

Category: Economics, Geopolitics, Vermont

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One Response

  1. Lisbeth Webb says:

    Thank you for this information.
    Second graph is very interesting.
    Actually all of “Footing the Bill” is very helpful.

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