The Economics Of Federal Defense Policy Essay — страница 3

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potentially painful process that would hopefully accomplish many achievements. It is time for the country to realize that the Cold War is over and that it is time for a new way of life. President Clinton has attempted to reallocate some of the defense budget funds to programs like the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program. However, such a task is only the proverbial drop in the bucket. Funds for education, the environment , and housing are expected to decline over the next five years. There have been no commitments to research on electric cars and telecommunications. There has not been any solid plans concerning the implementation of mass transit. Undoubtedly, these programs are vital to a new and powerful technological future. Essentially, military research continues to

dominate the bulk of the federal budget. This leaves only limited resources for discovering alternative energy sources, efficient manufacture, and “green” technologies which are surely to dominate the markets of the future. (D) This graph adequately shows how little the government is doing to help the people of this country. While the United States ranks at the top of teen pregnancies and divorce, only a tiny portion of the government spending is dedicated towards family support. Again, the defense budget’s staggering statistics demonstrate its absurdity. Employment training, housing needs, and nutrition assistance are much more mandatory than fighting the nonexistent Cold War enemy. The United States must confront several issues in order to convert to a civilian-based

economy. First, painless ways to move to a civilian-based economy must be identified. Second, the ethos of the “intelligence community” need to be changed by disbanding parts of it and opening its research to international usage. Third, a comprehensive nuclear and conventional weapons disarmament should be implemented where all nations take part. Fourth, formulate policies that take account of the United Nations to ensure that groups and individuals can be represented on issues of trade, the environment, transnational peacemaking, international citizenship for the stateless, and human rights. However, it is rather unlikely that a post-war social reconstruction would generate the enthusiasm and national purpose that the Cold War did. It is easy to see that the patriotic way a

country comes together to fight an enemy is far easier than finding a way to agree on issues such as peace and human rights. As it is shown in the following graph, twenty percent of the federal budget is spent on military expenses while thirty percent is allocated to social expenses such as education, housing, social security, and welfare. In other comparable countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Sweden, the ratios show a dramatic difference in priorities. Sweden could prove to be an example in the way we should restructure our country. Less than ten percent of their federal budget is spent on defense, while an overwhelming 65 percent is spent on various social concerns. (E) Fortunately, President Clinton is finally moving in the right direction. He is

attempting to cut back on defense as well as seeking economic activities to replace the military-industrial complex. He plans to reduce military spending by one hundred eighteen million dollars. Over 460,000 jobs have disappeared since 1990 in the military arena. Military bases have been closed and sometimes sold to the private sector. $3.9 billion dollars have been spent on dual-use programs, or programs that incorporate military technology and equipment for non-military uses. However, for every step forward there seems to be more than a few steps backward. 24,000 contaminated facilities are needing to be cleaned at the cost of $100 to $400 billion due to toxic spills and nuclear clean-up. Clinton promised “dollar for dollar” reinvestment for conversion opportunities which

was never implemented. This would be a fantastic reward for those interested in future technologies. It is definitely not an easy task that any president has. He is faced with the dilemma of reelection possibilities. If they attempt to change the country for the better, they face the problem of being despised for their ambitions. Even if they do not do anything and just maintain the status quo they probably will not be reelected either. At this point, President Clinton should try to do several constructive things in attempt to convert the economy. He should determine the spending priorities of the people of this nation and figure which of those are indicative and vital to a decent society. Education and training are two great causes. Literacy rates are on the decline and truancy