Has Western capitalism become too efficient and ruthless?

Aug 2014
286
New York, USA
The numbers don't add up.

The US overspends massively on healthcare and massively on defense. If the US can do that, then the Europeans, who spend less on both, certainly can as well. It's a false dichotomy.

The place more likely to end up first at a point where having to cut back on defense to be able to pay for healthcare is still the US – if the trend of increasing US healthcare spending holds.

There is nothing military that the US spends money on that could just be cut out of the budget, IF it suddenly withdrew from NATO. The US reasonable complaint is that a lot of European NATO states have too little defense as it is, but NONE of that is directly made up for and supplanted by US forces. There is literally no European build-up that could cause a direct US draw-down because what's there are just deficiencies, with NO US compensations for those.
But this is clearly not the case, as Europeans lack the capability and expect the US to assist them to carry out their missions.
Case in point: When France wanted to bomb Libya, they found out they don't have the proper logistics. Obama had to send US assets to refuel French fighter jets coming from bombing raids. We were literally paying for French foreign policy decisions. Not to mention 40,000 troops we keep in Germany, and every time we want to reduce that number and close some of the bases, the Germans lobby us not to do so, because those bases provide economic stimulus to their small towns. There is no reason for us to have over 20 military bases in Germany.
The situation is so bad that even Eastern European and Baltic states do not respect their own EU allies and beg to have US assets on their territory. If Russia decides to invade the Baltics, they know they can't rely on the French, Italians, Germans, or Swedes. Heck, Poland offered to pay us $2 billion to have a US military base on their territory. Seems they are not as confident as you are in European military capability.
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,615
Bombing Libya hardly qualifies as a defensive action. If that is the US problem it involves goalposts and movement.

There are NO US resources for the exclusive US of the defense of any other NATO member. Nothing.

There are no US military resources that would get the chop if it's NATO allies upped their spending. The US provides NO DIRECT compensatory military protection that could get axed "if only" its allies spent more.

It's related to how nothing the Europeans spend will impact actual US spending, because in order to do so the US would HAVE to leave some military capability to the Europeans to provide it FOR the US. And that will happen when Hell freezes over. Or possibly US health-care spending grows to levels so absurd the US no longer can afford to pay for its own defense.

In the mean time the US complaints are all hyperbole.
 
Aug 2014
286
New York, USA
Bombing Libya hardly qualifies as a defensive action. If that is the US problem it involves goalposts and movement.
It qualifies as a French foreign policy interest.
If it were up to me, we'd vacate all our forces from Europe, except a few bases in the south that can cover Middle East. Europe is not even a strategically important region for the US. I am confident that Europeans can take care of themselves, except that European politicians tell a different story every NATO summit.
I am also glad that you share the views of the majority of the US population on this. Please tell your politicians!
 
Aug 2014
286
New York, USA
And the US provides zero defense to anyone in this matter.

You can of course complain that the US' European allies might not kitted out to make offensive warfare, but the US provides absolutely no defense.
OK then tell that to EU politicians!
The bottom line is, European countries are the ones requesting to have US military bases on their soil. Whatever we provide to them, they deem it worth it.
Here is a breakdown of US cost-sharing agreements for countries:
Between US and Japan for a US base on Japanese soil: cost sharing is 50/50
Between US and Germany for a US base on German soil: cost sharing 82/18 with Germans only paying 18%
Whatever those bases Germans want them for, they should be paying their fare share. Angela Merkel wants the military bases, but she want us to pay for 82% of the cost.
 
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Oct 2010
5,190
DC
The US provides absolutely no defense.
Trying to link that to the symbiosis Deaf Tuner mentioned but I fail and I am convinced, that makes withdrawing everything very easy, at least now we would know that Europe has not been defenseless in the last 74 years and we were lied to by our politicians with all that wasted money since 1945.

Useful idiots for citizens that we are.:rolleyes:
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,023
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Hold on.

The US spends a higher proportion of GDP on healthcare AND on defence compared to European countries. It's a false comparison to suggest that Europeans benefit from being able to spend more due to less defence spending.

If the US subsidises, and therefore has better access to cutting edge medical technology and medication, you would expect health outcomes to be better on average, rather than worse.
 
Aug 2014
286
New York, USA
Hold on.

The US spends a higher proportion of GDP on healthcare AND on defence compared to European countries. It's a false comparison to suggest that Europeans benefit from being able to spend more due to less defence spending.

If the US subsidises, and therefore has better access to cutting edge medical technology and medication, you would expect health outcomes to be better on average, rather than worse.
The cutting edge medicine in the US is indeed the best in the world though. However, the cutting edge is not available to everyone. Some things may be available. For example, cancer survival rates are better in the US compared to Europe or Canada. US has a huge obesity problem though, so life expectancy is lower. There are no obese people who live to 90. And in general, the standard American diet is probably the worst in the world.
 
Likes: Rodger

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,023
T'Republic of Yorkshire
The cutting edge medicine in the US is indeed the best in the world though. However, the cutting edge is not available to everyone. Some things may be available. For example, cancer survival rates are better in the US compared to Europe or Canada. US has a huge obesity problem though, so life expectancy is lower. There are no obese people who live to 90. And in general, the standard American diet is probably the worst in the world.
Cancer survival rates are indeed high in the US but not necessarily higher than Europe and Canada. It depends on the type of cancer.
US cancer survival rates remain among highest in world

But those other countries with comparable survival rates spend less on healthcare.
 
Oct 2010
5,190
DC
Hold on.

The US spends a higher proportion of GDP on healthcare AND on defence compared to European countries. It's a false comparison to suggest that Europeans benefit from being able to spend more due to less defence spending.

If the US subsidises, and therefore has better access to cutting edge medical technology and medication, you would expect health outcomes to be better on average, rather than worse.
A very valid question/point, have we established that the population number does not matter when we talk $/Capita to outcome relationship ?