About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Skin In The Game

I watched a movie last night that every American ought to watch periodically: We Were Soldiers. The picture graphically presents the horrors of war and the life and death sacrifices made by our military, our soldiers and their families. The movie is heart-wrenching.

My point? War ought not to be a means of foreign policy, but a means of self-defense. War ought to be seriously and deliberately considered by our Congressional representatives before it is waged.

Many conservatives whine about the fact that less than 50% of Americans pay income taxes. "Outrageous," they scream. "If we're ever going to make the tough decisions that need to be made, then every American ought to have skin in the game!"

I just heard a statistic. Today, less than 1/2 of one percent of Americans have a direct connection to Americans serving in our military. Talk about having skin in the game. This statistic is truly outrageous.

How easy is it for Republican candidates to hawkishly rattle their sabre at the amorphous "terrorists" in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and, yes, even our own country. The President gets to surround himself with "experts" and send troops, warships and Cruise missiles into any hotspot hamlet in the world with a wave of his almighty hand. And as these troops go into harm's way, their lives at risk, the rest of us barely notice. Some of us around the watercooler discuss the latest military adventure as if it were a foreign policy video game. Wrong move! Right move! Necessary move! And then we go back to work and to our families feeling good about ourselves and our foreign policy expertise.

Ron Paul is so very, very right. We throw the word "war" around too casually because only 1/2 of one percent of us feel its sting and misery. Rick Santorum insists America is "at war." I beg to differ, Rick. America is not at war. 1/2 of one percent of America is at war. The rest of us are playing video games.

War needs to be redefined in the American psyche. War needs to be defined as the holy hell we ALL raise and sacrifice for when our children's lives are in imminent danger of being taken by enemies domestic or foreign. That doesn't mean we live in fear of every possible threat, or that we terrorize these same children at airports or establish a police state at home because evil exists somewhere in the world. It is impossible to build a protective bubble around our homes and families. We are all soldiers. We all have skin in the game. Therefore, we hold our heads high, keep our eyes and ears open and project the clear and certain message to those who would harm us: "Mess with us and you will soon breathe your last breath."

War needs to be deliberately considered as a 100% effort on the part of all of us. Our enemies need to know that if America "declares war" that "war" is not going to be a few hundred marines landing in Somalia, or a missile launched from an aircraft carrier parked off the coast of Syria, or a bunch of CIA spies riding horses in the mountains of Pakistan. War should mean death and destruction of the enemies who mortally threaten us. If it doesn't, war becomes a cruel joke.

Arm-chair generals mock Ron Paul as they arrogantly pontificate about the necessity of America projecting strength here and there around the globe. Ron Paul knows the truth: that making war has gotten too f*****g easy in this country.

Maybe these blowhards mock Ron Paul because they know that, if the nation ever goes to war with Paul as President, their skin will definitely be in the game.


LD Jackson said...

Another great post, Sherman. I wish the rest of America would wake up and see the wisdom in your words, and in the words of Ron Paul.

It really has gotten to easy to launch a missile at our enemies or conduct a covert strike that very few Americans even know about. As a whole, the American people are a very detached lot. It's not as it was in WWI and WWII. In those wars, we won because America fought together. That isn't the case now.

Sherman Broder said...

Thanks again for your comment. Mr. Paul simply makes sense for our times...in fact, for all times.

I mean to comment on your excellent post: "Should Our Laws Reflect On Our Morality." We're off to a Thanksgiving get together as well, so I'll have time later today.

Have a good time with family.