Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"The Gates defense budget"

One of the frustrating things about Obama's far left wing policies is that their is such an enormous disconnect between his actions and his rhetoric. Obama is not a Socialist if by that you mean an advocate for traditional proletarian society. He has done or proposed nothing that would benefit industrial labor. He has worked to advance the interests of other groups who see themselves as antagonistic to traditional capitalism and attendant power structures. The groups that he aligns with, environmentalists, radical lawyers, foreigners, racial and sexual outsiders, may have been historically aligned with the Socialists in opposition to the Conservatives so they can be called a New New Left but that does not mean that their interests are those of American Labor.

If someone who really wanted to focus on strengthening the economy and rapidly benefitting labor had taken office in January 2009 they would have followed policies similar to those that helped lift America out of Depression in 1938-39. The simple answer to deindustrialization is, now wait for the big surprise, industrialization. The one thing the government can rapidly do to employ people and stimulate industrial production is expand the military. If instead of the $2 Trillion porkulus bill that pours money into quicksand like Acorn and Swiss bank accounts we had bought what strengthens the US the economy would already be rebounding.

We should be cutting steel to build ships, tanks, artillery and airplanes. We should be raising at least 10 more army divisions and reversing the BRAC policies that closed bases. We should be building steel mills and shipyards and power plants. We can do it.

It really would be so easy to fix. A politician who actually said to the people that a 1980 standard of living was good enough and surplus wealth would not be sent to China for a plasma TV but instead would go to China Lakes to train attack pilots might rally support. Properly done military procurement is even less environmentally destructive than consumer spending. Don't send Chavez money for oil, send him two Carrier Battle Groups. Don't send Somalia tribute and visas, send them a dozen Littoral Combat Ships.

Gates, “In the 21st century, how much amphibious capability do we need?”
We may not need to land a Marine Division across an opposed beach again but we may need to insert a battalion sized force on short notice in a distant location. Grenada was a good example of the continuing viability of the classic amphibious model. What deployed marine expeditionary forces give is presence and a rapid reaction time. The first cannot be done by ground based airpower alone. The ability to have combat ready marines within a day's sailing time of any likely crisis provides a capability that airborne troops do not replace. The vast majority of humanity live within range of sea based assault.

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