An economy that depends on endless war.

Author:Sullivan, Mary Beth
Position:Climate Economics: Sense & Nonsense - United States - Viewpoint essay

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 All Souls Church, New York City. It is good, and right, and I would add, holy, that you have gathered here tonight to remember that 63 years ago our government dropped nuclear weapons onto the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I am honored and grateful to be here with you

To frame my comments, you need to know that I am a social worker. Various jobs have introduced me to disabled children, women receiving welfare, and homeless people. I have made eye contact with people who have had to make a choice between eating and taking their medications. Can you imagine that choice? In the richest nation of the world? What's the right answer when your question is, "Should I use my limited resources for food, or for the medication that helps me manage my diabetes, or my mental illness?" What I have to say tonight is very personal for me. ...

For years now, the Global Network has been making copies available of the US Space Command's Vision for 2020. Let me read from the introduction: "US Space Command--dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into warfighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict."

"Future Trends: ... The globalization of the world economy will continue, with a widening between 'haves' and 'have nots' ... Space superiority is emerging as an essential element of battlefield success and future warfare." Modern weapons. To control and dominate. ...

Yesterday's NY Times had a front page story about the many who, years after Katrina, are still stuck--unable to create a new, independent life for themselves. The social workers in this room, if you've worked with a low-income population, you know these folks. It's the people who tell us: "If I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all!" The reporter introduced us to a few individuals with significant issues that prevent them from "making it." In describing one gentleman, the reporter noted that he made a series of "bad choices," including buying a car (with money he was taking in from the government) so that he would have access to better paying jobs. Unfortunately, the car he bought didn't run.


I scratched my head when I saw the "bad choices" judgment from the reporter, as I tried to weigh this unlucky fellow's decisions to some others that have been made, also with Americans' tax dollars. For example:

How about the $150 billion in the research and development of Star Wars systems? Or the creation of these systems that require tests that cost $100 million a pop? Or the deployment of systems that have never been tested? Is there a Star Wars system that was ever developed on time and within budget...

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