LeMaster wrote:

iamnycellist wrote: Ah, but context is everything. The question becomes what is it that is truly to be conserved? Current privilege is usually the answer.

Are you comfortable with the Arabs pushing the Jews into the Red Sea?  And even after that fait accompli, do you not think we have critical geopolitical interests in the Middle East that requires a strong military force?What about that precious, non-renewable, carbon-based resource?  Do you have your Tesla on order?  How about the oil-fired heat that keeps you comfortable during those long NY winters? image
My point is, I wish military hardware wasn't expensive.  I also wish bread was still 10 cents/loaf, as in my childhood. If you want to "pull up the ladder" and make the effort to be truly self-sufficient, you are conceding our role in world affairs, and you have to be prepared to live with the consequences, so think carefully!

We do not need 1000 military bases around the world to protect ourselves or Israel (and all of that money does not protect our citizens from the most dangerous terrorists in our midsts, crazy-ass white guys with guns). We do not need to spend more money than all of the other countries cited to have an effective military. We do not need to ignore renewable resources (which are also the future of innovation and job growth) of energy production while subsidizing the dirtiest resources to the tune of trillions in tax expenditures yearly to the most profitable business entities in human hisory. We would not need to subsidize employer-provided for-profit health insurance if there was a single payer system available. (I have no car any more, as public transportation does the job for me most of the time, but my last car was a 1984 Volvo diesel that I converted to run on waste vegetable oil that I recycled from chinese restaurants in barrels recycled from a car wash). The heat in my apartment is actually turned off all winter, it is too warm most of the time. ;-)

More on tax expenditures, which were made massive after the Reagan-era tax "reform" of 1986. This is where the legislature hides money spent through accounting subterfuge, vastly favoring the wealthy and corporations (including agribusiness, oil, gas, and coal, pharmaceuticals and inherited wealth).

https://baselinescenario.com/2011/01/05/who-benefits-from-tax-expenditures/

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/665504

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/Documents/Tax-Expenditures-FY2016.pdf