Has Western capitalism become too efficient and ruthless?

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,716
So, as I said, the numbers just don't line up. IF spending on military prohibited spending on healthcare, or vice versa, the US would not simultaneously be able to do both. In budget terms, it's not THAT "special".
Not sure where you are going with this but almost every European nation has a smaller budget deficit than the U.S. and the U.S. is currently spending almost a trillion more than it takes in taxes. Sure if you ignore that then military vs education spending seems pointless.

2019 U.S. budget discretionary spending
Dept of Defense $750 billion
HHS $89.6Education $62.0
VA $93.1
Homeland Security $51.7
Energy Dept $31.7
HUD $37.6
State Dept $42.8
NASA $21.0
All Other Agencies $246.5 (230 billion for the War on Terror, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, etc)
TOTAL $1,426
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,828
Not sure where you are going with this but almost every European nation has a smaller budget deficit than the U.S. and the U.S. is currently spending almost a trillion more than it takes in taxes. Sure if you ignore that then military vs education spending seems pointless.
Yeah, but I'm in turn really unsure what it is you want said with that.
General government - General government deficit - OECD Data

Yes, the US spends like hell on military compared to the EU nations.

Yes, the US spends like hell on health care compared to the EU, the rest of the OECD, anyone really.

Yes, the US funds this partly through deficit budget spending above and beyond any EU country – bar Greece, which is in a financial hole. (I.e. Greece is not really comparable, for real, here.)

But no, the US military expense nowhere and in no way acts as direct replacement of any national military defense of any of its allies. The US won't be saving a dime if the Europeans up their spending either, since all that will do is fix relative deficits in European capabilities, which will do nothing for the US spending. Unless the US decides to itself unilaterally cut-back on operational capabilities. Otherwise the US will only economize if it accepts for the Europeans to provide capability FOR the US (and it won't).

And no, there is no real reason why the US spends so much on healthcare, as in no relative US advantages derived from it. It's just an inherently hellishly expensive system, where all the incentives tend to be wrong. While not providing exceptional healthcare outcomes.

And US university education is a known financial trap for a lot of young Americans (now going on not-so-young but straddled with debt). The comeback sometimes proposed that US universities are the best in the world also doesn't hold up. The US student population is something like 16 million/year. The US might make a killing on the Top 20 univ list, bit those US univs only soak up 1% of that number. Move down onto the perfectly respectable Top 100 list and already things start evening out rather radically between the US and the rest of the OECD, or EU.

The fundamental problem is how these days too many things are run like a business, where business too easily dips into "racket". And it is a problem generated primarily in the US and UK, beginning with Reaganomics/Thatcherism in the 1980's. Seemingly working for a long time, dominant and much emulated even, it has in the long-run proven to actually erode society in general. There's just so much commodification and marketization of, well, supposedly everything, that society used as a kind of free resource to exploit commercially, at increasingly faster paces, with increasing demands of quick profits, can tolerate without starting to fray.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,828
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.
No, that's misrepresenting the stakes.

This is how i works.
For the Russians to kill some random Estonian in uniform: No problem.
Kill some French or British dude in similar: Hm...
Kill some US feller: Rather not.

All it proves is that the US military is the most powerful, and the only one the Russians really fear. The Baltics can't compete with Russia. The major EU states can, but hardly beyond parity. Parity with the US Russia cannot hope for.

The Baltics want these trip-wire forces because they up the ante for Russia. But we all already knew that. All it says is that nothing ups the ante like US servicemen. You haven't actually showed anything beyond that.

But the general slur against Europeans is much appreciated. It's how we know the US can't be relied on.