Years ago, I was extremely passionate about dispatching those responsible for the World Trade Center attacks, so I was surprised by my muted response to this week’s news that the U.S. had finally killed Osama Bin Laden. It’s had me asking: “What’s wrong with you, brother? They got him.”
Maybe the passage of time has allowed the lenses through which I view history to fall out of focus. Or maybe my view has, instead, sharpened. Maybe I’m dogged by the billions spent, the thousands more lives lost, and all the hype and detritus lining our shores since that fateful day. The words of President Eisenhower echo around my skull whenever I see some media head cooing over recent events: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought by the military complex.” Ask yourself, friend, how much bigger and more grandiose has our military become since 9/11?
What worries me is the U.S. acting like that gym rat that with the first ripple of new bicep muscle starts walking around all bowed up and ready for a fight. I won’t begin to assume what (WorkBoat blogger) Capt. Max Hardberger’s views are, but he writes a nicely worded blog about U.S. hegemony that I will use to help spackle the holes in the point I’m making here.
I’m tired of our country racing about the world cracking heads and spreading cash. It’s time to focus on domestic issues of job creation, poverty and education. This is peasant math, but a billion dollars would create 10,000 jobs paying $50,000 annually — hang on, I included a slippage factor of $50,000 extra per job in so-called “job costs” such as training, employer contributions, etc. And yet, while this country throws billions around overseas, individual states are implementing taxes on the marine industry, squeezing the working man at the gas pump, chipping away at Medicaid (you’re young now, but believe me you’ll want and need this program when you’re old) and generally ignoring its own citizenry.
Enough is enough, I say. Let’s start building schools, paving roads, replacing bridges, painting overpasses, funding scholarships, maintaining waterways, fixing houses, and feeding the kids in this country first.
But lest you worry, having stumbled around lower Manhattan 10 years ago in full view of that nightmare, I’ve got no beef with this week’s events.
Underway and making way.
Follow @WorkBoatEditor on Twitter