Category Archives: Money

Money For Blood

By CRAIG RICHOLDS, Staff Writer

The military’s job is to kill people and break things.

Sure, we might dress it up a little with phrases like “securing our nation’s interests”, or “ensuring global freedom.” But at the end of the day we ply our trade with bombs, bullets, and blood. I take great pride in saying that no other nation can send its enemies face-to-face with whatever God they believe in faster and more surely than the United States of America.

But just like any other master of their trade this skill in the art of death comes only with time and cost (and time is money, so it’s doubly expensive). To be honest, we had better be as good as we are considering how much we spend annually on our defense budget. When times are good and money is abundant, and there is a perceived threat, this doesn’t raise anyone’s hackles. However, when debts are looming, people are protesting, and pink slips are flying, it’s time to rethink the bottomless check that Congress cuts the dogs of war.

Being a simple tool of our nation’s wrath I tend to watch the political landscape with some degree of trepidation. Cuts in defense spending ripple out into my office and leave seats (possibly mine) empty. We already know what the incumbent has planned for the military. To be fair, it’s not a bad plan. The U.S. military system is rife with waste and abuse. A reduction in spending could force us to lean up and use our money wiser.

The real question is how would a Republican president alter this preordained path towards fiscal austerity? The way I see it, there are only three real candidates at this stage: Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum. I believe their differences can be summed up with the following clip:

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=147821

If you were to ask the candidates where they stood on the military, they will all tell you the same three things:

  1. We support our men and women in uniform.
  2. We got out of Iraq too early.
  3. We will stay in Afghanistan until the job is done.

Notice they didn’t mention defense spending? That’s because they will all do the same thing the current president is doing. They may not want to admit it, but each of them will continue to shrink (or “maintain”, which really means shrink when you take inflation into account) the military and more of my friends will be putting on civilian dress.

So, is my job going to be changing?

Yes. We are already talking about layoffs, reductions in force, and early retirements. In a stroke of unusual brilliance, our Generals are already planning for budget cuts not yet announced in order to meet and respond to them more quickly.

So, will my job change based on who gets elected?

Nope! In this case, both parties are in agreement that we gotta cut the military budget. They will never confess to agreeing, because that’s bad for votes, but agree they do. The end result is less money following into defense programs. Hopefully the tasks handed to our death dealers will decrease too since bombs, bullets, and blood all cost bucks.

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Happily married with a newborn daughter, Craig has two degrees in aerospace engineering, done research with national space administrations across the globe, designed lunar orbiters and landers, worked with NASA on the space shuttle, and now supports the American war fighter by maintaining Air Force fighter jets.

Also from Craig:

»A Civilian Decision Point Story, Part 1

»A Civilian Decision Point Story, Part 2

»American Rocket Surgery (a.k.a. Space Economics for Dummies!)

Related:

»The Underemployed Have A Pride Surplus

»Uncle Sam Turns The Page

»Maybe We’ll Occupy The MPAA Next


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The Money Shots

I don’t necessarily have a disdain for giant multi-national corporations that hold large sway over how business is usually run. Just the same, I don’t dislike small companies who try to nose their way into society in order to gain a profit stream of some sort. Ultimately, a company will become successful by the direction that it goes by the people that run it, and by the products that the company offers as goods or services. I’m totally fine with all of this.

It’s when a company gets too disjointed from the people that it serves and the people that it’s run by, that’s when there’s trouble. Wells Fargo is a company like this.

I’ve been a customer of Wells Fargo for over five years now. Upon getting financial stability in 2006 for the first time in my life, they were highly recommended by a few friends of mine, so I moved all of my accounts over there. Things were good up until the early part of 2009, when I should have recognized certain writings on the wall of the world that we now lived in.

Sometimes the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. In this case, the right hand is consistently slapping the face of the customer with ridiculous rules and fees that bear no logic or common sense, and the left hand is placating its own ego by vigorously stroking its own salami to the messy effect of repeated orgasms. Wells Fargo has both of these hands attached to its arms, and has lost my loyalty.

It’s kind of silly isn’t it? Loyalty to a bank. People talk about that a lot. Loyalty to the company who controls the vault to all of your money, or at least the amount that you don’t have tied up in investments and/or stuffed in your mattress/fire safe. Fuck loyalty to banks.

And that’s my giving a damn.

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