How does Wealth of War Corporations and the Super-rich relate to Madness, Homelessness, to Veterans Issues?
The super-wealthy live alongside homelessness. The War Corporations need humans to become ‘Mad Warriors’ and to supply them with equipment. The War Corporations feed on madness and produce madness.
“There is no madness but that which is in every man, since it is men who constitute madness in the attachment he bears for himself and by the illusions he entertains” (Michel Foucault, 1980, Madness and Civilization, p. 26).
There is madness across the USA. “In Silicon Valley, abundant wealth commonly lives alongside absolute squalor. The same county that houses Yahoo!, Google, and scores of other digital money mines is mired in a costly ongoing failure to address rampant homelessness” (ThinkProgress).
In California, “Santa Clara County spent nearly $200 million per year on justice system costs involving homeless people. The vast majority was spent jailing people with nowhere to live” (IBID.). They had 33 separate laws on the books criminalizing homelessness, including a law against sleeping in cars.
How Madness of War Corporations is related to Madness of USA
The forces of madness are not confined to the Asylum, the Hospital, or the Ship of Fools. Rather, madness is now everywhere, and there are great profits to be made from madness. No where are those profits higher from madness, than in the War Corporations.
First, there is the profits of corporations that feed on wars. For example, the Corporations Profiting form the Afghanistan and the Iraq Wars:
Source – These Corporations are Profiteers from the Unending Wars
Wars spread madness. Wars need warriors, to do the work of corporations. Let’s deconstruct (take apart) the trope of madness, in-order-to, better understand its meaning for ‘real life’ of war. War is rife with conflict, death, and destruction, yet many corporations are profiting. The corporations lose money without war. The nation pays for its warriors for four to six decades, meanwhile Congress allocates more money for weapons of war, but cuts the budget for the warriors wounded in war, needing care for many decades.
Corporations profit from the the madness of poverty. Corporate America profits from poor people. Wealth accumulates to the .001% of the population, while almost 50% of the world lives on less than $2 a day. Income inequality between the super-wealthy and the super-poor, is want makes for extreme differences in health, nutrition, infant mortality, sanitation, and other aspects of human well being. The richest 1% own more wealth than the remaining 99% of the population.
“The super rich can view the lower classes as subhuman. It is very hard to justify your huge wealth unless you see people beneath you as less deserving. Once the wealth gaps become very large, it is easier to get through the day if you see them as less able, less special” (Guardian).
In the last 15 years, inequality has spiralled, as the gap of super wealthy and rest of us continues to widen
Concentration of wealth at the top is unsustainable, because it leads to More Madness
The gap between super rich and the rest of us needs legitimating beliefs:
- MYTH: Poor people deserve to be poor since they are lazy, and really do not want to work. REALITY: A growing share of the world’s poor, work full time, over 60 hours a week, and half the world’s population lives on $2 a day, not even minimum wage
- MYTH: Wealthy corporations believe they deserve the wealth, since they work harder than the poor. REALITY: “In reality, a large and growing portion of the super-rich have never broken a sweat. Their wealth has been handed to them” (Salon).
- MYTH: Work, hard and you can be part of the American Dream. REALITY: USA is becoming two groups, the working poor, and the non-working super-rich, who assume they are paid their worth in gold (Salon).
Who are the SUPER-WEALTHY?
You guessed it, the CEOs of the corporations profiting from the Iraq and Afghanistan ware are the top .01%, and make the rules of the game.
“There’s the top 1% of wealthy Americans (bankers, oil tycoons, hedge fund managers) and there’s the top 0.01% of wealthy Americans: the military contractor CEOs” (Huffington Post).
e.g. Military Contractor CEO Pay in 2010
- Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush: $22.84 million.
- Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens: $21.89 million.
- Boeing CEO James McNerney: $19.4 million.
“More than a third of the world’s super-rich live in the U.S., with roughly 27% in Japan, 6% in the U.K., and 5% in France. The world’s richest 10% accounted for roughly 85% of the planet’s total assets, while the bottom half of the population – more than 3 billion people – owned less than 1% of the world’s wealth” (Alternet).
Here is an idea: Let the Super-Rich War Corporations pay for Solutions to the Problems of Veterans Health Care, and the Homeless across the USA.
One Solution: The pathway from HOMELESS to HOMED –>Above homeless in London are SPIKED to keep sleeping rough, in camps across America there are tents but ‘Oh so cold in winter’ and in tent 130 degrees in summer sun, so why not build some Tiny Homes, and transition all the way to economic sustainability, off-the-grid electric, on wheels to move to great locations.
There is a source of poverty, the profiteers of war, and they could pay for the cabins.
The cost of providing cabins, is actually lower overall than spikes for homeless.
For example, In Silicon Valley: “The richest valley in the nation, if not in many parts of the world, with the fifth-highest rate of homelessness and the number-one rate of unsheltered homeless in the country.”
“A new report commissioned by Loving’s group and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors details how the valley has failed in its fight against homelessness, and at what cost. All told, county communities spent more than half a billion dollars per year hospitalizing, jailing, and providing social services to about 104,000 individuals who were homeless for some portion of the six-year period of the study. Health care spending ($312 million per year) was the bulk of the cost, with justice system spending second.
“The extensive analysis by Economic Roundtable researchers who cross-referenced 25 million separate records offers a clearer understanding of why the county’s costs were so high – and how policymakers could create a financial windfall by giving homeless people houses and direct support services. About 60 percent of all county spending went to just 10 percent of the homeless population, fewer than 3,000 of whom were identified as chronically homeless and in need of more intensive and targeted aid.
“Providing permanent housing with supportive services attached for those most-expensive persistently homeless individuals would have saved about $42,700 a head compared to the cost of leaving them to their own devices. That means that even if Santa Clara communities ignored the types of homelessness that afflicted the other 101,000 people in the study and concentrated solely on the persistently homeless, it could have saved $120 million a year. But Destination: Home’s recommendations based on the report go beyond such narrowly-targeted permanent housing work” (ThinkProgress.org).
We have gone from War on Nations to War on Drugs to War on Poverty and the War against Homelessness.
The War on Drugs has turned into War on Poverty: With 5% of the world’s population, USA has 20% of the prison population. Some two million people live behind bars in the USA. 37% of black high-school dropouts are incarcerated. These are the people that cannot afford bail, not able to leave jail and conduct defense investigations.
“While only 8 percent of federal prisoners were sentenced for violent crimes in 2011, almost half of federal inmates – 48 percent – were in prison for drug crimes, according to Department of Justice statistics.Jan 2, 2013″ (ThinkProgress).
Are America’s jails used to punish poor people? (CBS News)
“We are punishing people for their poverty,” Nick Turner, executive director of the Vera Institute, told CBS MoneyWatch. “When we looked at the data, we found 75 percent of the population of people in jail are awaiting trail and are there for nonviolent offenses. That is mind-boggling when you think the country spends $22 billion on jail populations.” (IBID). “jails admit 11.7 million people annually, almost 19 times the 631,000 who go to state and federal prisons every year” (IBID.).
The U.S. Is Locking People Up For Being Poor
Many people look at the homeless as the madness, but what if the wars produce the madness? The wars cost money. It takes less money to get at the root causes of the madness, than it does to put poor people in prison, in day shelter, and blame them for all the madness, most of which is done to increase the wealth of the .001% who are not paying their fair share for the long-term costs of war.
What about Veterans and Prison?
VA AND DEFENSE CHIEFS CONFRONT REALITY OF 700,000 INCARCERATED VETERANS (source).
It takes a Heart-of-Madness to create profit from poverty. It takes a Heart-of-Care to come up with solutions to the madness.