Wars, Vets, Injuries, Care, VA, Privatization
Whether or not the people’s action speak of it, there is a consensus, around the world, on fact that war is the most horrible thing in human lives. Wars are the most effective mass killing machineries. The origin of wars is in hate, the most despicable human sentiment and emotion. The hate is often based on several factors. Religion, Nationality, ethnicity, race, language and ideology are to name a few. It is unbelievable that instead of being aware of huge disasters caused by hate and wars, in human history, we have found so many ways to hate and kill each other. Hate and wars are usually sold on the notion, “we do not hate them, they hate us”. “We do not want war, they do”.
Ironically, even in the worst wars and hate crimes, in human history, the both sides always believed that it was the fault of other party. Hate and ware inflict deep wounds which in many cases last for generations after generations. Most Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others alike still feel the pain caused by wars fought even thousands of years back. Those wounds still perpetuate hate against other religions and cause even more violence and wars. There are so many religious, national, ethnic, linguistic, racial and other leaders whose bread and butter depends on the perpetuation of this hate.
Problem here is that the people who mostly suffer from hate and war are not the one who are benefitted from those. It is always the average Joe and his family who mainly suffers from consequences while status quo enjoys the benefits. Most great nations of the past faced the downfall due to perpetual warfare started at their peak. The physical, emotional, financial and social cost attached to wars ultimately becomes unbearable even for the greatest, richest and most resourceful. Still most did not realize this until they hit the ground.
Our founders realized the risks attached to these problems. They kept this great country and nation away from the complexities and disasters of hate and war. They were open for trade with everyone and wanted war with no one. This changed at the beginning of last century. Seriously influenced by enormous wealth generated by this nation of brave and free, our leaders started to strive for so called “world leadership”. Fact here is that with enormous wealth being generated, at home, we were already destined to be the world leaders, with or without pursuing it.
Only difference was that the hands-off policy created friends while new policy of bossing around the world created hate against us. In order to claim and establish our so called “world leadership”, we had to engage ourselves into one war after the other, starting from World War I. This continuous involvement in wars brought many adverse side effects with it. First of all, to build, support, finance and maintain the huge war machinery, deemed necessary to claim “world leadership”, we had to build huge military industrial complex. A tax code, ever increasing in size, volume and complexity was another essential requirement for that. After all government needed our money to fulfil its ambitions.
This was the first major step towards trickle up economy. Large amounts of tax payer’s money started to be diverted to the rich, influential and powerful defense contractors. While average Joes died, injured, and were mentally and physically disabled in battle field, rich corporations got richer and richer. Heavy taxation and continuous state of war caused serious recessions and Major Depression. World’s greatest economy and wealthiest nation, ever, started slipping off its unparalleled growth curve. Sovereign debt started piling up and budget deficits kept growing. The crisis became so severe that in order to finance the continuous wars, government had to give up gold standard and fed started printing big amounts worthless paper money.
Wars are like hot pots. Even if you turn off the burner just before the food is burned, the hot burner pot are very likely to burn the food, even after the burner is turned off. The exuberant amounts of money printed and borrowed, to finance the wars and war machinery, devalued the world’s most powerful currency, rapidly. Cost of living and cost of doing business increased, causing unemployment.
More people were looking for work than the jobs available. This helped the corporation to cut the wages and benefits, even more, and increase their profits to unimaginable levels. The gap between rich and poor kept widening, in the nation which once created the largest and richest middle class, ever. In spite of growing into an enormous size, taxing almost everything and everyone, printing and borrowing money without limits, wars still stretched government even further more than the vast resources. The extremely stretched out commitments of our big government are now becoming impossible to fulfil. Almost every major federal government program is now in shambles and risks insolvency. This is not very different from troubling European economies, only at a much larger and much more disastrous scale and level.
Federal debt, budget deficits, Social Security, Medicare, Post office and veteran Affairs are all running out of resources and money. I don’t know, if we do not wake up now, than when we are going to wake up, other than when it is way too late, very much like Greece and Ireland. Big media and politicians are, mostly, still looking the other way. They are still trying to convince us the one resignation is all that we need to solve these huge problems.
While VA has serious management issues like any other government department, the root cause, and hence, the solution is not in scapegoating. 2.6 million Soldiers are sent to post 9/11 wars, so far. 470,000 have serious mental and / or physical trauma. Primary care appointments in VA are 50% up while number of primary care doctors has increased only by 9%. Each primary care doctor in VA is responsible for more than 2000 vets. 57,849 veterans are homeless, at any given night. Another 1.4 million are at the risk of homelessness due to poverty, unemployment, lack of support networks and social stresses. The only solution is in stop claiming the roll as “world police” and ending useless and endless wars.