Cost of the War in Iraq- setting policy priorities
Some useful facts and figures to consider which help to illustrate just how and who sets the global policy priorities, and the motivations which underly these choices.
For the cost of the Iraq War the following could have been funded (which is worth keeping in mind when politicians drag out that bit about there not being any money to pay for anything...)
World Hunger could be eliminated for five years.
Number of Starved Babies saved - all of them.
Over 17 million children could have attended pre-shool daycare.
Over 50 million children could have received health insurance.
Over 2,300,000 school teachers could have been hired.
Over 3,000,000 low income students could have attended four years of university.
Over 1,700,000 low income housing units could have been built.
Fifty per cent of the debt of the most heavily indebted poor countries could have been paid off.
None of these items were funded because they are not a national priority, and besides, 'we just can't afford it'. It is worth noting that all these programs stimulate the global economy, and thus the argument that further tax cuts must be given to really rich people to 'stimulate the economy' and 'create jobs' is a red herring.
Estimated amount of wealth that was transferred to the top percentile by the Reagan-Thatcher era tax cuts - 11 trillion dollars.
At the same time, the poorest nations were plunged into debt, and this debt was used to force them to implement the destruction of all social programs in favor of Reagan policies. The Reagan era de-regulation of corporate special interest groups had the effect of allowing small groups of people to undermine democracy (leading to wide spread voter cynicism around the world as every party, including the so-called 'labor parties' or 'social democrats' are forced to adopt right wing social and economic policies or face punishing capital flight, and the wrecking of the economy, which pundits will then blame on the disobedient government. After both the French and certain Far Eastern economies were deliberately plunged into recession using this method of de-regulation promoted by Reagan, the lesson was learned by all countries, and the extremely right wing Reagan agenda was forced on countries world wide, and the resulting debt was further used as a new kind of neo-colonial tool to exploit the world's poorest nations (nations which must obey, or face punishing reprisals they cannot afford). Futhermore, Reagan's budget chief indicated that the tax cut agenda was planned to deliberately plunge the government into debt, making all social programs impossible in the future, entrenching the extreme right wing agenda forever. Altogether the extreme right wing won a tremendous victory, destroying all other political parties around the world, and continue their destruction of the much hated social programs, returning the planet step by step closer to the kind of dog eat dog viciousness which was characteristic of capitalism during the time of Charles Dickens, the cruelty of which was the inspiration for social programs in the first place, and which the extreme right wing has never learned to live with since that time. You have to give credit where credit is due, since the right wing Reagan-Thatcher agenda was brilliantly conceived, and to the present time, has proven to be a great success, although voter turn out continues to plummet, and voter cynicism continues to increase in countries around the world, since no one has anyone to vote for anymore, since every party is now a right wing Republican party (if they know what is good for them...and almost all of them do, having taken their punishment in decades past. The end result is that voting is a sham, since only the votes of corporate special interests group matter anymore, and the job of politicians is to deceive people in various ways, and most people know this already, hence the cynicism, and falling voter turnouts. (One popular stunt in the past in Canada, was for politicians to preach on the left while campaigning, so as to get votes, and then take a sharp turn to the right once in office, blaming it all on bad book keeping by the previous party, which made everything unaffordable and thus impossible, something that was not known until the election was over and they got a look at the books...this trickery doesn't work anymore, and politicians are running out of creative options when it comes to serving their corporate special interest group masters, while still trying to trick people into voting for them.
The total debt of the world's most heavily indebted poor nations as a percentage of the Reagan-Thatcher tax cuts - less than 3 per cent. Once again the priorities were established and the results were what one would expect.
Now that a plague of locusts, and more climate change related flooding is coming to Africa, the threat of famine is also imminent. Amount of time that the interest would have been paid on Sub-Saharan African debt by the Live Aid concert for famine victims - 20 hours.
The current Bush administration tax cuts for the 'have mores' (as Bush referred to the elite, his 'political base' as he called them, in his very funny joke) are even larger than the Reagan-Thatcher tax cuts, meaning that in the future an even larger amount will accrue than the 11 trillion dollars already transferred to the Reagan-Thatcher-Bush 'political base'.
Cause of the Great Depression, according to Albert Einstein - accumulation of great wealth by a small minority of the population, leading to economic instablity.
Amount of the current 690 billion dollar tax cut to be cancelled should the Democrats get into office (according to John Kerry on his Larry King interview) - 90 billion.
Amount saved on Iraq War expenditures under a Kerry administration (once again, according to his statements on Larry King) - Zero. The Iraq War will continue. As well the costs will probably increase since Kerry has suggested that more troops should be sent to Iraq.
Amount of time spent covering the issues mentioned above on America's religious broadcasting systems (based on the observations of this writer over the years). Zero percent. Currently the saved and born again are busy keeping the Focus on the Genitals, through such organizations as 'Focus on the Family', and various other 'moral crusades' that always involve a set of genitals, which one must suppose is one good way to keep everyone busy and distracted, as well as preventing the nation and the planet from emerging from its ongoing moral decay.
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