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How to truly make your life better

Some implications of current research regarding the building of wealth

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In the previous page How to have it all in America (except for a soul), I listed the facts of life regarding getting rich in America or much of the rest of the world.

Here though, we'll examine how we can still live richer, even if we can't actually get rich.

How to truly make your life better

In theory a society can turn all the previous crap I described on its head. As other nations have already done so in some cases, I don't see why America couldn't as well.

BUT...!

Would turning the status quo upside down VASTLY increase your personal chances of getting rich-- in legal and moral ways?

No. It'd increase it a little. But the odds would still be strongly against you.

No, upsetting the apple cart for the psychopaths would basically just make your life considerably easier than it is today.

You'd likely never get rich, even then. But you'd feel richer. More secure in your daily life. Happier. Have fewer worries about you and yours. Likely live longer, and be healthier, than you otherwise would. Enjoy more free time, and more options in life.

But there's always a trade off. No free lunch.

So what would the flip side of this particular change be?

The US military budget would be down-sized to something more like that of a normal country's. We'd no longer fund trillion dollar projects to find ways to kill people faster.

The US intelligence budget would be down-sized proportionally, too.

But why slash the military and intelligence budgets to a tiny fraction of what they are circa 2006?

Because that's where most of the government and corporate insider crime is taking place.

-- 42% of Your Taxes Pay for War found on or about 4-12-06

Huge gobs of the money now being spent there are either doing nothing at all to strengthen us militarily or intelligence-wise, or actually being used to weaken us in those ways instead. If the truth could be known. Which of course it can't, as the insiders demand much of this money must be spent by them in secret, with no oversight whatsoever. Just trust them, they tell us.

If we're not permitted to know what they spend it on, it makes it much easier for them to steal it. So let them keep their secrets. But cut their real budgets by at least 90% so they can't bleed us so badly with their untraceable thefts.

"According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions"

-- US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

"We know it's gone. But we don't know what they spent it on...they have to cover it up...that's where the corruption comes in. They have to cover up the fact that they can't do the job."

-- Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service

"[the defense budget] numbers are pie in the sky. The books are cooked routinely year after year"

-- Department of Defense Analyst Franklin C. Spinney

"With good financial oversight we could find $48 billion in loose change in [the Pentagon building]"

-- Retired Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan

-- The War On Waste (possibly by Vince Gonzales); CBSNews.com; Jan. 29, 2002

"the federal government is keeping its books much like Enron did, and all of us will end up paying for it"

-- Sheila Weinberg, the Institute for Truth in Accounting

-- Federal reports blasted BY KEN GOZE; West Proviso [IL] Herald, 1/1/2003; Digital Chicago Inc.; ["http://www.pioneerlocal.com/cgi-bin/ppo-story/localnews/current/wp/01-01-03-27530.html"] (this article was cached for a time at ["http://www.unknownnews.net/cache34.html"], where it was found on or about 1-1-03)

"The sprawling, voracious, military-industrial complex has constituted anything but free enterprise from its very inception during World War II. In this vast cesspool of mismanagement, waste, and transgressions not only bordering on but often entering deeply into criminal conduct, no consumer-determined bottom line has dictated which firms would survive and which would go bankrupt. Instead, recurrent government bailouts have been the order of the day. The great arms firms have managed to slough off much of the normal risk of doing business in a genuine market, passing on many of their excessive costs to the taxpayers while still realizing extraordinary rates of return on investment. Meanwhile, high taxes to support the military-industrial complex have punished all those striving to operate businesses in the actual free market." -- Robert Higgs

-- Ali's Voice ["http://alisvoice.blogspot.com/2006/03/sprawling-voracious-military.html"] by Ali Massoud, March 09, 2006; citing Robert Higgs: The Independent Institute ["http://www.independent.org/aboutus/person_detail.asp?id=489"]

"In real life, much of what's kept under wraps has little or nothing to do with national security or the war on terror.

Instead, it can involve muzzling critics, covering up corruption and incompetence, or simply mindless bureaucracy."

"To those in power, keeping facts hidden makes life easier; the probability of oversight drops."

"It's hard to see special interests at work when the doors are closed."

"Each year, the government hands out about $300 billion in contracts. Yet there's no requirement that it collect and publish information on criminal, civil and administrative actions involving contractors. Industry lobbyists for the largest contractors have no trouble foiling efforts by shoestring-budget public interest groups to force the government to reveal those details."

"The irony of secrecy for the sake of secrecy is that it can make the nation less safe."

"...secrecy should be the rare exception, not the rule."

-- Secrecy hides accountability; Mar 14, 2006; USA TODAY

"...we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disasterous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, US Republican President, 1961

-- page 815, Dwight David Eisenhower, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 15th edition, by John Barlett, Little, Brown, and Company, 1980

-- Report: Lawmakers Have Nearly $200M Invested In Companies Doing Defense-Related Work ANNE FLAHERTY | April 3, 2008

-- U.S. lawmakers earn millions out of Iraq war: Report April 4, 2008 Source by News Agencies

"Convicted congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a new study says, took advantage of secrecy and badgered congressional aides to help slip items into classified bills that would benefit him and his associates."

"Cunningham's case puts a stark spotlight on the oversight of classified or "black" budgets. Unlike legislation dealing with social and economic issues, intelligence bills and parts of defense bills are written in private, in the name of national security."

-- Classified bills a refuge for mischief By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press; 7-23-06

-- Probe finds ex-Rep. abused 'black' budgets By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press; Jul 24, 2006

All this would mean America could no longer be the world's worst bully.

We couldn't as easily invade and conquer other nations any more, as we did in the past. Or fund terrorism against other nations. As we did when we trained Osama bin Laden and others to harass the Soviet Union in Afghanistan (after which bin Laden turned his attention to us).

No, instead we'd have to make friends and strike up deals and agreements which benefit others as much as ourselves. Wouldn't that be awful? That we'd have to agree to decent minimum wages for workers everywhere (including here). That we'd have to cut back on pollution and breathe cleaner air, and be healthier. That we'd have to dismantle our weapons of mass destruction, and so would everyone else (for ALL the developed nations would pounce on any laggards in this regard, if the same rules applied to us all).

Yes, we'd have to become good and trustworthy neighbors to the other nations of the world.

With the threat of invasion and terrorism from us diminished, other countries would despise us less, and external threats to our own security would deflate.

Humanity would likely face improved chances for long term survival and prosperity too, with the sole world superpower no longer pursuing weapons of mass destruction R&D. R&D which in the past has been the primary source for the weapons war mongers and terrorists have used against everyone-- including us.

The anthrax bacteria which bedeviled the USA on the heels of the 9-11-01 attacks apparently came or was derived from the USA's own original biological weapons stocks from the 1960s (the anthrax development program ended in 1969). The particular type used in the attacks is known as the Ames strain.

The main US stocks were destroyed after 1969, but samples were kept and distributed for various reasons.

-- Anthrax bacteria likely to be US military strain by Debora MacKenzie; 24 October 01; New Scientist; newscientist.com

With less focus on war and killing, more could be spent on peace and living.

More on education of our children. More on medical research to lengthen and improve our lives. More on making our jobs easier and more enjoyable.

More on making us all better off, rather than worse.

More on giving us all reasons to live, rather than reasons to die.

To see supporting information and references for all the above please refer to the links below:

How to get rich in America

The super-rich, the 'plain' rich, the 'poorest' rich ...and everyone else

The enormous hidden costs to society of 'right-wing' political governance

The astonishing decline of America

The nature of luck

The immense risks and appalling costs to humanity of excessive military, intelligence, and security expenditures-- and how to reduce both

The rise and fall of star faring civilizations in our own galaxy


Copyright © 2005, 2006 by J.R. Mooneyham. All rights reserved.