Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Those improvident, irresponsible wastrels

That would be the half of Americans who aren't saving anything for retirement. Oh wait -- maybe it's because they can't. You need enough left over after paying for the rent and groceries and keeping your 1998 Honda Civic running to make the required minimum investment in an IRA.

So of course it makes perfect sense that the Republicans in congress want to cut food stamps, meals on wheels, child care and other programs to help poor people -- that would be working poor people, by the way -- in order to avoid cutting military spending.

Now why is military spending so important? Is it because the United States is under threat from powerful aggressors? Ha ha. It's because of that black goo deep in the earth. As Michael Klare makes clear, military tensions around the world are ramping up because it's harder and harder to get and everybody wants more and more of it. Why are there two U.S. aircraft carrier task forces in the Persian Gulf right now, along with a whole lot of guided missile cruisers and oh yeah, I bet you didn't know this, a U.S. Coast Guard station in Bahrain.

But if we keep on sucking that stuff out of the ground and burning it, as we are determined to do, nothing bad will happen except that we'll destroy civilization. It's a small price to pay.

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