The Grease That Turns
the Economy

Editor - Stanleigh Arnold (Letters, June 23) is correct in questioning how the U.S. can justify its massive military budget, which is nearly ten times that of Russia, the only conceivable military threat. Moreover, there is no end in sight as the Clinton administration's projected military budget over the next five years totals a staggering $1.3 trillion.

The answer is that military spending in this country is only partially related to national defense. It's actually the grease that makes the economic wheel turn; the government's welfare system for U.S. business, including R&D funding for industry and jobs and profits for the arms industry.

Dependency on military spending is just one example of how free-market capitalism is proving a monumental failure for the world community. Politically and socially this system has produced a world of brutal poverty and inequity. Even in the richest free-market country, the U.S., over 35 million people live below the poverty line, including one in every five American children. With no purchasing power, children come last in this new free-marketplace of life.

Environmentally, free-market capitalism is a hopeless system; the ultimate destroyer of nature through its dependence on mass consumption, waste and expanding markets. this system won't work for the 21st century; thus topping the list to build a better future is to create a democratic, equitable and environmentally sustainable economic system.

Douglas Mattern, Palo Alto

Reprint, The San Francisco Chronicle, Letters to the Editor, June 30, 1994

Copyright © 1996. The Light Party.

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