Monday, September 17, 2007

Doesn’t Add Up

Aside from the ethical and legal problems private security firm Blackwater has amassed in Iraq, I’m troubled by a few economic issues.

Private contractors like Blackwater have become essential to U.S. military operations, even protecting State Dept. officials. These companies hire not only retired special ops personnel, but also current special ops troops away from the military, as the pay is substantially better.

So the military hires private contractors “to save money,” yet highly trained military personnel can earn more working for these contractors. Anyone else raising eyebrows about this fuzzy math? No wonder we spend several times what other countries spend on the military—yet we can’t muster sufficient veterans’ health benefits.

Add this to the list of my macroeconomic concerns. A short version:

The U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation, yet we’re the only industrial nation without universal health care, insuring only 75% of the population. The rest wait until their health concerns are costly crises and go to the emergency room, where taxpayers ultimately pick up the tab. How is this saving money? Forget the labeling slogans and socialize the process.

The U.S. is the richest nation in the world—yet we have a negative savings rate. What’s wrong with this picture?

We again have ballooning deficits, a negative trade balance, a credit crunch and a falling dollar. Our policies are based on fantasy, not economics, and government and citizens share the blame.

These practices cannot be sustained.


1 comment:

Bilbo said...

You may wish to read my similar comments on contractors/mercenaries and health care on my blog.