In a recent GADFLY column, Goldman Sachs, the infamous investment bank was reported to have announced that it would decline to invest in drilling for oil In the National Wildlife Refuge. Was it Too Good To Be True? The column went into the Goldman Sachs Shenanigans of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and its sub-prime mortgage customs & habits. As well, there were credit default swaps and derivative trading that started under Lloyd Blankfein’s tutelage. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and high speed computer trading, it is all still going on.
The column concluded with the accounting practices that go on today and the funds that would be available if a minuscule Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) were added to all purchases and sales of derivatives. Yes, Medicare For All and College for all could be financed.
In today’s GADFLY column, we look at another waste of money that is just waiting to be saved: the cost of US military bases in foreign countries. The Pentagon admits to 800 such bases around the world. There are only 193 nations in the UN, a few of which have refused the Pentagon’s largesse, to make the math easy. You can bet that the real number of foreign military bases is well over a thousand.
These military bases have to be given something to do, so they often hold War Games. The environmental impact of tanks and planes moving at maximum velocity is (negatively) impressive and you may be sure that no one drives or flies at fuel-saving speed.
No one complains about the waste of money in the enterprise — we have to support the troops. We hear only from the citizens of the host countries. The citizens of the US who do the financing also ought to do a little complaining when the schools have no budgets for art and music and the libraries are short on staff.
Some free nutritious, organic food for school lunches, and creative physical education classes would add to the health and social well being of the students and their families. Let the defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and BlackWater Security et al fend for themselves and not be given any government (taxpayer) handouts.