Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ending the war system: A strong first step

The overwhelming dominance of the war system poses apparently insurmountable obstacles to many who long for peace, who imagine that since so much of the economy and federal budget is devoted to war and preparation for war that it would disturb the economy too much to seriously convert to peace.

That is backward. It will do more than disturb the economy to continue our investment in waging war and war preparations. It will finish wrecking it.

The most powerful first step: Outlaw war profiteering. Require all Department of Defense contractors to be nonprofit. Require a basic 10:1 lid on salaries (that a CEO of the nonprofit could not make more than 10 times the salary of the lowest paid full time employee). These two measures would be quite patriotic--isn't it time that the Tea Party demanded that no one enrich themselves from the defense of liberties (how they characterize our invasions and bombings of other nations)? Isn't it time that, in the name of job creation and deficit reduction, we limit the wage disparity in all aspects of federal spending?

This is a proposal for the 99 percent, including those who love war and hate war, those who conscientiously object and those who volunteer to fight, and for all those who want to lower unemployment and rescue the middle class from its slide.

A tough sell? Why? A socialist proposal? No. A socialist proposal would mandate a return to the days when the US Army made all its guns and ammunition. This proposal allows contractors to create income for themselves, but in the context of a 501(c)3 corporation, limiting lobbying and ending profiteering. It would create many jobs just by the 10:1 ratio requirement. The US ratio in 2007 was 344:1, an utter outrage that steals jobs at that very rate. Create jobs, reduce the deficit. End war profiteering.

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