I tend to shy away from political discussions in the online world, but after reading Orson Scott Card’s “How our civilization can fall” where he examines the Roman and Greek empires in relation to ours, I thought I’d at least post a bit of his article, since it definitely made me stop and reconsider some of my mixed feelings towards the US of A…
As with Rome, the American military has been the wall behind which a system of safe trade has allowed an extraordinary degree of specialization and therefore mutually sustained prosperity.
America has not been imperial — we have not been stripping other countries. On the contrary, those nations that were able to sustain the internal peace necessary for production, and that have joined the economy presided over by America, have all been able to join in the prosperity as equals.
We don’t tax them — quite the opposite. We have taxed ourselves to pay for the military protection that maintained the safety and perception of safety that allowed the European community and Japan to flourish. Their welfare economies are only possible because they did not have to pay for their own defense at anything like the levels we have paid.
People talk about America’s enormous defense budget as if it were a menace to the world. But our enormous defense budget has allowed Japan and Europe — and Taiwan and South Korea — to thrive without having to invest much of their gross domestic product in defense.