Since 2002 the US government has presided over one of the most dramatic financial bubbles of all time: the bubble of the military-industrial complex. (A few will remember that Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans about this in 1961.)
This bubble, like all others, will pop, and it looks to be deflating right now. The amounts of money that have been spent in the past decade can only be characterized as obscene. But the point that really matters is this:
Military spending is just part of the bubble.
In addition to the military complex, we have a massive intelligence complex.
Not only that, but we also have a massive law enforcement complex. The Department of Homeland Security has given them at least $34 Billion in the past several years, on top of their take from local taxes, state taxes, fines, seizures, and other Fed money.
Take a look at these graphs. First, defense spending:
Then, intelligence spending, or as close as I’ve been able to get to real numbers:
Lastly, War on Drugs spending, which we’ll use as a proxy for overall law enforcement spending (numbers that are more difficult to acquire):
Needless to say, this multi-headed beast is huge, requiring oceans of money… and it’s about to have its rations cut. Actually, that may be why they’re so hot for a war in Syria – they need to goose spending again, and quickly.
Power Corrupts, but Arrogance “Stupidizes”
Yeah, I know that word’s not in the dictionary, but it should be.
These agencies are drunk on power and stupid on arrogance.
There’s no other way to describe a situation where the intelligence and law enforcement branches of this beast have been waging a war against the American people for the last few years.
Think of the endless search for “domestic terrorists,” the sickening NSA spying on everyone, and the 135 SWAT team raids per day in America. Apparently it has never entered their minds that people might eventually resent being abused.
It’s also useful to understand that “intelligence agency” is the same thing as “secret service,” and very little different from “secret police.” They’ve had secret courts for some time, after all.
I won’t even talk about the rampant corruption that runs through all of these departments; you can either trust me on that one or not.
And this situation reaches all the way to local cops. I had a conversation recently with a young man who recently completed a stint with the US Marines and didn’t know what he wanted to do next. At one point, he said that he thought about being a police officer (an easy fit for a Marine), but he rejected the idea.
“Why?” I asked.
“Cops are bullies,” he responded.
And indeed they are. They lie all the time, they intimidate people all the time, and they treat everyone as a violent perp. (Except if you’re rich or politically connected, of course.) Like the rest of the military-industrial complex, they are out of control.
There used to be cops who were exceptions to this young man’s “bully” statement, but they have been vanishing rapidly. Cops are routinely taught to intimidate and lie.