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Sat Dec 15, 2012, 09:31 AM

Say: Cut Military "Corporations" Instead


Say: Cut Military "Corporations" Instead
By Susan Strong (
OpEdNews Op Eds 12/14/2012 at 12:30:11

By Susan C. Strong

Right now all eyes are on the "fiscal cliff" debate. So far, the focus seems limited to domestic spending cuts and taxes. Many Americans feel that military spending ought to be cut instead. Unfortunately, the way we shape our demand for that shift often fails to be heard. Why? There are many reasons for our failure to speak American about military spending cuts. The most important ones are: 1. the "perceived enemy" glitch, 2. the "perceived solution" glitch, and 3. the insider language glitch. Let's take the "perceived enemy" glitch first. As of September 11, 2001, the public's perception is that we have very dangerous terrorist enemies. Yet all too often our pitch about cutting military spending is that we should be spending that money at home instead.


Now let's take up the "perceived solution" glitch for a minute. If you can show that a lot of the "military money" we are spending isn't really dealing with "enemies" at all, but is going into waste, fraud, and abuse, then you can make an airtight case that savings from those military cuts should be spent at home. The reason? Yes, there still has to be a reason that matches the locus of the "security" argument, as we rhetoricians say. And the reason is that growing inequality and social breakdown at home are very serious national security problems too. (Make clear that no amount of domestic militarization will ever succeed long term, if our people are deeply miserable and furious.) The 2012 election is just the first sign of that home truth.

But to make the "waste, fraud, and abuse" approach really stick, we must face up to our other big framing problem with military spending: insider jargon/choir speak. Phrases like "military contractor" or the "military industrial complex" roll off our tongues all too easily. Does the public get what those phrases mean? Do they believe anything can be done about such mysterious monoliths? Probably not. What if we spoke of "military corporations" instead?

There we have a frame already strong in the public mind right now: excessive, selfish lobbying for stuff that doesn't serve the public interest, outrageous CEO salaries, abusive worker practices, all at public expense. All we have to add is that, dollar for dollar, "military corporations" generate fewer jobs than any other kind of business, including green energy businesses, which could actually help to reduce the threat of future climate conflict.(1) It's the standard waste, fraud, and abuse story--a classic element of the American Nightmare story.

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Reply Say: Cut Military "Corporations" Instead (Original post)
unhappycamper Dec 2012 OP
unblock Dec 2012 #1

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 09:34 AM

1. how about: cut military PROFIT.

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