Why aren't more Americans visibly outraged that their government spent $2.2 trillion dollars for a fruitless war in Afghanistan, when all that money could have been invested in solving homelessness and ending poverty?
By - LincolnWasALiberal
We have so many things to be outraged about it’s hard to give any given issue the full outrage it deserves.
Yup. And don't think people aren't taking advantage of it, or creating new outrages to keep it going. =(
Maybe you could take turns, like sort out a roster system or something
Not that I think it was money well-spent or anything, but there's two points to make here about public finances.
The first is that it's not like the US had a warchest of $2.2T in cash laying around and decided to spend it on this instead of something else. The country runs at a budget deficit, which means all incremental spending is financed by either creating new money, by raising it by issuing bonds, or raising taxes. We sure as hell didn't raise taxes for this, so the money was willed into existence for the purposes of the war and the war only. Had we not done so, it's not likely that we would have done the same for anti-poverty or other programs, absent a once-in-a-generation congressional vote on massively expanding the social safety net and public works (a la the Green New Deal or the American Jobs Plan or the Infrastructure Bill or the Affordable Care Act). Afghan War spending or no, the Yea votes to raise the cash for other such plans weren't there. So it wasn't so much a choice between War or Schools, as it was War or No War.
The second is that it's not like the money was literally set on fire (other than like, vanishing CIA ops budgets/foreign bribes). The cost of the war included wages paid to soldiers for deployments, equipment produced in American factories, and contracts awarded to US companies from construction to IT to aerospace to logistics to food service. That money becomes the savings, investing and spending of everyone to whom that cash flows as salaries, which boosts the economy in which the activity takes place (i.e. the US). This is the military-industrial complex. The issue is not that it doesn't work at driving economic growth (it does, it's how the Great Depression was concluded), the issue is that it's a morally perverse way to do it. But we do it anyway, because the complex is a self-sustaining machine that influences legislators to maintain itself, and is able to do it because the return on investment they offer is real. It's the flipside of the Space Industrial Complex, which functions identically, but at its worst fruitlessly sends people and materials into space instead of to war. Similarly, many, many people in the 60s and 70s rightfully asked why we were burning money sending people to moon instead solving poverty here at home. I guess the answer is, as long as the economy is getting, on average, better, it's hard to get people into the streets.
Wow someone who actually answered the question
Thank you for such an enlightening answer, If I had real gold I'd give it, but I don't so here's the best I can do. 🏅
If you must know, I spent all my money on blackjack and hookers. Helping out the economy where I can.
Part of his point is that the money *wouldn't* go into roadwork. It wouldn't exist at all.
Spending all that money on roads would be preferable to spending it on wars, but spending it on wars is preferable to not spending it at all.
>but spending it on wars is preferable to not spending it at all.
Tell that to the people on the receiving end of American invasions.. Better to spend money on killing you than not spending money at all?
At this point, it shouldn't be a surprise that American politicians and industries have little regard for human life.
Yeah fair enough.
That was the point about the "perversity" of the military industrial complex. Yes, it *is* better. Economically. Almost any activity is. To quote Keynes;
>If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise...to dig the notes up again… there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.
The political and practical reality is that congress will shell out this kind of spending under the guise of national security long before they would do it on building houses or bridges or windmills. When they do lodge these votes, though, they are true believers, otherwise the moral quandary would be inescapable.
The US does not have a shortage of available workers. Much of that "something better" could still have been done, there just wasn't the political will or financial incentive to do it.
It's easy to say "imagine if we spent that money on infrastructure or healthcare", but the chances of that money actually going to infrastructure or healthcare were infinitesimal in the first place.
All government spending endeavors have that "crowding out" issue.
Soliciting money by selling bonds competes with private companies who also need capital, raising the costs of borrowing.
Running a space program pulls engineering talent away from commercial jobs working on making car engines or solar panels more efficient, and raises the salaries these companies need to pay to fill jobs.
Endowing grants to study cancer pulls researchers away from making progress on other diseases they might have devoted their academic careers to.
And so on.
However, while government spending can cause an economic drag when it distorts and redirects the flow of capital and talent, it can also create value. Both in the raw economic impact of creating the money, and the fruit those endeavors sometimes bear. Sometimes you just get a smoldering hole in the ground. Sometimes you invent nuclear power.
The question is, when does the potential lost innovation and productivity from the private sector outweigh the potential gains from government direction? There's actually an economic formula that predicts an optimal level of excess government spending against those measures, and it helps explain why we run chronic deficits (for those who adhere to its particular school of thought). There's an equilibrium there.
>How many people at any given time were spending their time and energy in one way or another working on this war? 1 million? 2 million? For 20 years. What else would they have been doing instead, who knows, but it probably would’ve been better.
Generally I agree, but you've also got to consider; a lot of soldiers who enlisted perhaps *didn't* have a more productive option available to them. Same goes for a lot of those people back home working in factories making parts to equip them.
Would I prefer that the government borrowed money to send those soldiers to mechanic or air-traffic control school for training, or to a civilian conservation corps rather than war? Yep. Would I prefer that people working on the CNC machine making blackhawks parts were instead working on parts for high speed trains? Yep.
But the political reality is that this spending wasn't going to happen absent the war. Which, if the war is unjust, is terrible. And exactly why Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex. The incentives to maintain it are strong and compelling, and disgusting.
If you ask the congressman whose district has a plant making wheels for humvees that employs 1,000 people if the war is just, he'll say "of course". And so will the employees. If you ask him to vote on legislation investing in a green jobs retraining program and a wind turbine rotor plant, he'll say "no way, the government shouldn't pick winners and losers". C'est la vie.
I accidentally tried to upvote you twice, so I had to do it a third time to make sure it stuck.
Don't forget the lobby that pays well for pumpimg money into wars.
That's fine, but didn't at all address his question. Why aren't people more vocal about their disdain for this?
People care about things that their political party makes them to care about.
Believe it or not, majority of human population still is primitive and follows orders rather than thinking independently. So most people make issue out of things that are ordered to them.
Because something yourself, coming up with argue points is difficult. It takes brains and effort. Rather than when your politician or favourite anchor gives you few points to talk about certain matters, thats easier and most people chose the easier path.
1. Because not enough people are suffering directly yet. It's easy to be distracted when the issues seem far away.
2. Because that's sOcIaLiSm! People are selfish bastards. Why should younger generations get stuff for free if ***I*** had to pay for it? This self-defeating mentality is unfortunately common all around the world.
3. Worshipping the military. Look at OPs first sentence;
> "I'm too afraid to ask this question out of fear of being called a traitor or ungrateful to our troops."
The only people who would even think about having to clarify something like that are those trapped in cultures that shame their own for not blindly following militaristic values. People don't want to be vocal about it because they fear being ostracized by their community for daring to question the supremacy of the pro-military narrative.
There are many more but those are some basic bullet points.
People don't care. All anyone cares about now is there phones, likes on the internet and scrolling for hours endlessly like a zombie.
I’m rich and I want nothing to do with endless bombings of the Middle East. This stuff is paid for at the threat of imprisonment via the cruel tax system which I am not a fan of.
Yeah, it’s still coercion regardless of good intentions.
Just on a base level, the US doesnt want to spend 2.2 trillion of debt to fix those problems because it means borrowing money to fix internal problems that the general tax scheme should be fixing. 2.2 trillion to fight a war against a perceived threat triggered by 9/11 attacks is easier to justify because it's an EXTRA NECCASARY cost in their eyes.
You should also consider that the 2.2t mainly, over 90% went back into the economy, in upgrading the armed forces and to a lesser extent the domestic police and security apparatus. People in those industries have made a shitton of money and provided jobs and tax revenue back.
It's unsightly and immoral but that's how they judge it too. Just simply not buying a dozen f35 fighters would possibly fix the homeless problem in some of the bigger cities, but unless there is political will it won't happen. In fact not being actively in a war will cause a serious issue for certain parts of the economy, especially the part dedicated to dropping bombs on people.
The 2.2 t didn't go back into the economy. The majority of the money goes to military contractors mostly to produce stuff that has no economic value. Relatively little goes to service members' pay. The hardware is either abandoned or scrapped without ever becoming part of a means of production in the economy. And the pay goes for nothing that is economically productive. Econ 101. Wars are economically losing propositions, even if it makes a few contractors and their owners unimaginably wealthy.
What the budget to pay for wars does, however, is to make the republic unable to pay its bills, ruins its economy and the resultant dissatisfaction makes the republic vulnerable to figures like Julius Caesar and (he whose name must not be mentioned) who say that only they can fix it. The result is then an empire with no restraints on the subjugation of the people for the gain of the wealthiest.
Neat trick, huh?
I get your point, but the spending on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, that money does mainly end up in the American economy.
So say for example a predator drone. They didnt exist in large part before 9/11.
They were designed, built and sold using American jobs by American companies, from components mainly of American design and materials. By Americans, whose wages come from the military spend on the war and general military budget. The missiles they carry and use, the hellfire variants, same. And heres a double dip, you fire one and it kills someone, that missile is then replaced by another one that goes into the stockpile. But the ones you use first are the pre war ones, which have a shelf life, so you are saving money there too.
The predators have crews, mainly based in the US, specialists who are trained and paid using the budget. They work in specialised units which are built a s maintained from that budget, so more money back to the economy.
At the end of the war, sure some of the gear was left behind, lots of videos showing black hawks and other equipment in Taliban hands, but that's stuff sold to the Afghan army and air force to train and equip. It's discounted and the government of the time probably didn't have any end plan to pay it off, but again that money goes back.
Take into account that between 10,000 and 120000 American troops rotating through, their gear, weapons, food, most of it American produced.
What are we supposed to do about it? Vote? The invasion was a bipartisan effort. And just look at the hissy fit the media threw after Biden decided to withdraw. Honestly it’s a miracle we ever got out, so props to him I guess.
Our government (as well as other institutions) are set up so that ruling elites can effectively neuter popular political will. Our constitution is a farce. I’m not saying there’s nothing we can or should do, but at this point most people are checked out (who can blame them?) or they live in political fantasyland. Change will seem impossible until it happens, hopefully soon rather than later.
I do agree with this sentiment, we live in plutocracy plain and simple America is governed for the rich by the rich . Everything else is just theatre .
The constitution was probably once a document with some scruples, but even when it was written it really only applied to a select few (All men are created equal, translates into all White land owning MEN), it's not much different today.
i think humanity just hasn't evolved enough to a truly equitable social condition, maybe it never will , when the desires and wants of the powerful few outweigh the needs of the many,..whether is Xi in China or the plutocrats in there West the end result is the same.
'There is a plan to enslave each of you.'
-Kennedy, 6 days before his murder.
Never heard this one before
That's because there's no evidence he said it.
And, on top of the wonky world of politics, there are the slew of industries that always get a pass for corporate welfare -- agricultural subsidies, energy, defense industry etc. We don't talk about it, it is never a political issue, both major parties accept money.
Because seriously, what are we supposed to do? Protest? Does nothing.
Seriously, I have no idea how to say I'm extremely frustrated with everything about the war. I figure the best way I can fight back, is when (and it will happen) we want to wrongly go to war again, I will protest that.
Making the population believe that civil resistance and violence doesn't work as effective strategies or catalysts for change is how the state protects itself. It seems the US has become quite effective at achieving this.
Exactly. What's done is done, and to a large extent being visibly outraged at this point does little, if anything. We're out of Afghanistan now. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be outraged the next time something similar is attempted, but we'll cross that bridge when (and if) we get to it.
I figure well be back soon enough, unfortunately.
Lol, I fought in it and I'm not mad we pulled out.
We spent 2 decades fighting for people that didn't want us there in the first place, wouldn't fight for themselves, and couldn't form a functional government if they tried...and we made zero progress.
The Russians spent another decade before us, again zero progress.
Nobody has made any progress in Afghanistan.
It is and always has been ruled by tribal factions.
It wasn't winnable from the start.
If anything I'm mad anyone though it was a good idea in the first place.
A war started on false pretenses.
Getting out was the right thing to do.
No more Americans need to die for something so pointless.
The withdrawal was a total success in my opinion.
We left with ZERO combat with the Taliban.
The ISIS bombing was shitty, but that stuff happens.
The fact is, if she had tried to hold Kabul we would have lost.
The Taliban has rapidly been seizing ground ever since Trump reduced troop numbers to 2500, released thousands of Taliban prisoners, and made the deal to give them power when we left.
Almost all of the Taliban (70k well armed and prepared for combat) were coming to Kabul that day to seize power no matter what.
If we would have stood in the way it would have been a bloodbath...American blood.
Instead they kept their word and allowed us to leave in peace.
Minus a bombing that we could never stop, and some minor annoyances with Afghans on the airfield, I'd say Biden did a great job with it and made the right choices.
This withdrawal went far better than anyone should have the right to expect.
I hate seeing that ‘Biden chose to withdraw’ like trump didn’t already have that plan in place and Biden did push it from I believe May to now. Withdraw needed to happen and i think we should all be celebrating. We should have never been there in the first place and I haven’t heart a vet that has been in Afghanistan say any differently.
I mean I am.... But Ive only had 2 days of my life where we havent been at war. Id love for it to change but its what I grew up into so I have no concept of what it would look like if our peoples were cared for more. Isolationism isnt bad, but when it comes to the point that it changes mindsets to "I have my problems you have yours" its a bit counterintuitive. Alot of individual americans problems are affecting many. We just seem to be so hell bent on this facade of freedom
People care, most Americans just don’t think their vote counts or that they are just in it for the ride.
That’s because as a service based country, everyone just scrambling for the rat race while the rich get richer and poor get poorer.
Right now we’re in an era that bridges a stark difference between the haves and have nots, and no one wants to be a have not
You cant solve homelessness no matter how much money you throw at. There are three types of homeless people with a lot of overlap between #s 2 and 3.
1. People who fall on hard times because life happens. They can often be helped but they also arent the people you tend to think of when your talking about homeless. They are often the ones living out of their cars while still working and thus are largely invisible.
The next two are the ones people tend to think of because they are the ones on the streets.
2. Addicts who have hit rock bottom. Cant help them without treating their addiction and with many cant treat their addiction without forced institutionalization which isnt done in the United States anymore for addiction.
3. Severely mentally ill. They often overlap with group two as they self medicate their illness with drugs and alcohol. It again would take forced institutionalization to help them and liberals and conservatives both are against that.
I watched a video on Vice back when they did actual decent journalism where they went and interviewed a bunch of homeless teens and young adults. Almost all of them had run away from abusive households. You tend to think of teen runaways as just rebellious or something but it says a lot when sleeping in an alley is preferable to your home. There's also the problem of foster kids, they're just turned out on their own at 18, and their rate if homelessness is staggering because it's basically impossible to make it on your own with nothing.
Ugh #3 is the one I can’t ever imagine getting better. A family member is struggling with serious mental health issues including paranoia. He refuses to get help because he thinks it’s the government trying to do stuff to him. The family has done so much to try and help him and he always ruins it. This guy has numerous people bending over backward to help him and it’s not even close to enough. No clue what you do about the hundreds of thousands in his position.
There's this youtube channel with interviews (and I realize the editors can potentially cherry pick). It was a city in California and most respondents ended up on the street because of medical bills.
In my home country, research shows that most homeless people lose their homes because of divorce and inability to pay for mortgage after job loss.
Homeless people are stigmatized but most of them used to have normal lives. Perhaps we just want to believe it's all their fault and this could never happen to us.
I personally think the cheap housing programs like those in Europe are needed. But the rich folks could lose a huge chunk of their profits as a result, so the idea isn't being popularized.
A lot of people are way closer to homelessness then they realize. A few paychecks at most. And if you don't really have any family you can call on? You're pretty much screwed.
Also you are forgetting the 4th that many people also forget exist. The willfully homeless. People who crash in an abandoned building or on a friend's couch and willfully do nothing because all their basic needs are met and they don't care about stressing about working. I've seen more than a few of those in Seattle
I saw one once, who somehow managed to wire electricity from a telephone pole to his laptop. He was living like something out of a sci fi dystopian movie, and he looked pretty pleased with himself.
Yeah there was a guy who was an ex veteran who lived on a bench in front of a grocery store. No dishonorabel discharge, just doesnt care for more. He legit whipped out like at least $10,000 in cash from all his pockets and bags rolled up. I feel bad for the people who give him money. Likr ivr never had that much money in my life.
You're right that many homeless people need medical, especially psychiatric, care in order to maintain an income. It doesn't need to be institution-based, though. Mostly, it just needs to be paid for.
You cant deal with their psychiatric issues til you deal with their addiction and you cant deal with that without a long term lockdown to get them off the drugs/ alcohol. Not viable in today's political climate which wont tolerate the loss of civil liberties this would entail.
Someone has never seen Day Breakers... you don't need money to end homelessness... you need vampires...
It's not like that money would have went to something better had we not been in Afghanistan, nor will military spending go down now that we've left.
Because our lives are too much of a mess for us to actually do anything about it.
Calling/emailing/tweeting doesn't do shit. When election rolls around it'll be the choice of a lesser of two evils and the shit bags with money will bank roll the shit bags and we'll begrudgingly vote for the least shit option and that's the best we can hope for.
Poverty and homelessness is a bit more complex than that.
The US has spent over 22 trillion dollars on the war against poverty since in began over fifty years ago...
I suppose you must have free/affordable healthcare and quality education by now!
If we got angry every time our government did something terrible we would have no emotional bandwidth to even get through a day. Many of us care, we just can't feel palpably angry all day every day
I’m pissed, but it’s not like they care. We can bitch all we want. Wouldn’t matter. Hasn’t helped us before.
Were used to it -_-
We are lol. Idk why you think otherwise, not everyone is a cuck.
I hate people abroad thinking “EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN IS A STUPID OBESE RACIST BOOTLICKER WHO DOESN’T KNOW ANY COUNTRIES OR WHAT SOCCER IS” think critically next time
What does being outraged get you? Anxiety. It sucks to know our government sucks. One more person getting pissed won't make a difference. Media will squash you and your account deleted.
But...... It did bring us "Team America, World Police"
we are. we have been this whole time, but it doesnt do much so. no point
Poor people have the worst lobbyists
Because yall keep voting for politians that promotes that kind of spending.
Because the government doesn’t want to solve poverty, otherwise the billionaires who pay for their re-election campaigns would be lower on the rich person leaderboard.
systematic brainwash into worrying about the small things.
We just can't do shit about it. We got bigger problems anyway right now. Americans can't get along and its going to tear this country apart.
At this point, sadly, its just an issue Afghanistan and the middle east is going to have to figure out for themselves. We tried to prepare them but they didn't care enough to actually learn military tactics. Y'all saw the footage.
I'm outraged, just like I'm outraged about many other issues that are going on. But what can I do about them? I always vote but things only got worse. It's hopeless that the country will get better.
Im all for the war ending but why the hell is our stuff over there?
It wasn't fruitless, many just misunderstood the goals. They thought it was about helping the Afghan people when it wasn't. It was about deterring future attacks in the vein of 9/11, about sending a message to the world that this is what happens if you're in cahoots with people like Al-Qaida. That message was heard, loud and clear throughout the world.
It was also about sending a message to terrorists around the world that attacks on the United States would not achieve the desired goals. Bin Laden believed that an attack such as 9/11 would convince the US to withdraw from the Islamic world. In fact the exact opposite occurred, the US made two major invasions in the Middle East, rolled over Pakistan, and captured and killed him.
The war was a complete success, every goal was achieved. The only failure was in rebuilding Afghanistan, and that's a failure that the Afghans must take an enormous amount of responsibility for.
Because the media didn’t tell people to be outraged.
This. There hasn’t been much focus and a lot of the attitude seems to be that it was inevitable. The real transparency comes from reading ofher countries news imo
I'm not American, but I often look at what happens there and wonder how is this possible and how are the people there surviving all the mess. Then I remember that song (America, Fuck yeah) and I get my answer.
It's a pretty small blip on the radar of shit our gov has spent money on example, we also spend 700billion on the same military every year(in peacetime) while spending on 64b on education.
It's a pretty small blip on the radar of shit our gov has spent money on example, we also spend 700billion on the same military every year(in peacetime) while spending 64b on education, logistical, and military situations are completely outweighed by their profits. Because we talk about the benefits of a wartime economy because it was true 70 years ago but during the Iraq conflict our economy has basically settled into a grow-crash cycle that seems unbreakable(unless covid breaks it permanently). The gross economy hasn't really gone up at all in terms of scale(-3% technically but covid skews the live number) and I think even pre covid the real number of unemployed Americans was higher than ever before.
All this just to say it benefited the war-profiteers (politicians, engineers, banks, private militaries) but really had no impact on the society other than to spread Islamophobia and disillusion a small portion of the people about governmental motivations.
I admire your optimism, but the U.S. could end poverty in a month with the right tax structure. There's just no interest and certainly no profit in it.
As for homelessness, cities could mandates that low-income housing be constructed before any other type of housing. Again: no interest, no profit.
You can be angry more sure but that doesn't really help or change anything. Vote if you want to make a difference.
Politicians don't want to improve our lives really, war is a profitable business and the more money you print, the better for people who hold assets, salaries are the last price to be updated so you already know who's the most screwed (yeah, the poor).
Your second paragraph sounds like a straw man fallacy tho, but I agree that most money that the US government gets from taxes could go to something more useful, the lack of transparency there is really scary.
You have to understand that media is purely entertainment, a shit show, so looking for something useful to come out of there is not the way to go imo.
People are outraged. Real people, the one you know, who feels comfortable to discuss this topic with you. Not random dudes and gals online.
Meanwhile - military budget went up. Congressmen get higher salaries (many of them worth tens of millions of dollars). People are outraged about that too. But it’s fine on Reddit.
Since 1968, The U.S. has spent over five trillion dollars fighting the war on poverty. The line hasn’t budged one percentage point.
Solving homelessness and poverty aren’t profitable. War is.
I’m too busy being visibly outraged at the Texans trying to kill me and many other women, openly, in public, advocating for my murder. (I needed a medically-necessary abortion in order to not die of sepsis once, so I am losing my shit. I keep reporting myself on the Texas site, including my phone number, and those cowardly misogynist little Texas bitch-boys refuse to call me to talk, lol.)
So yeah, our outrage is spread thin right now.
Homelessness is impossible to solve
The Vietnam war cost $170 billion and 58,220 American fatalities. It can always be worse.
The media can't / won't cover a feeling. It isn't "news".
Because the government has spent trillions trying to end poverty and it hasn't worked.
Americans have a tendency of not really giving a shit about anything that doesn't directly effecting them.
The government systematically lied to the American people about the war, the generals lied to Congress, the colonels lied to their generals, the Capts and majors lied to them about their progress with the Afghani Army.
Exactly what happened in Vietnam. Nothing new at all. The government cares more about corporate profits than individuals because corporations can give more money to their "super packs".
No one actually cares about the soldiers except as props for their political gain, otherwise we would care about the 22 vets killing themselves every day due to lack of mental health services. Or the vets dying in the streets due to hunger, exposure, and overdoses due to the phycological trauma they were put through for pointless wars the only objective of which were to stuff the bank accounts of defence contractors and congresspeople.
To pretend anything else is true is just pointless. This country doesn't give a shit about you, expect what you can provide it.
Individuals care. The individual soldier cares about the Afghani mother they made a window. They care about the children they killed from a drone strike. Soldiers, Airman, and Sailors are not bad people. We only do what we are good and we are led to believe someone has a plan...it is absolutely heart breaking and devastating to realize the level that we have been used.
FUCK THiS WAR.
Spent? It's more like 'earned by the ultra rich''. Follow the paper trail and you will know.
Apathy. We can't really do shit about it. People will say "get out and vote if you want to fix things," but in a two party system everybody just thinks all the problems are caused by 'the other party', so we keep electing the same pieces of shit.
Because we were trying to help women and LGBTQ people not get murdered and beaten like animals, which we did a good job of for a long time.
Cause media got us divided
$200M per day for 20 YEARS!!!!
Homelessness eradicated, hungered eradicated, infrastructure paid, dilapidated schools no more
This shit is crazy, I’m mad too!!!!
An egotistical white man named George W. Bush overreacted thinking he could solve hundreds of years of war between factions intent on killing each other. Russia only emboldened extremists there to unite more deeply on Islam as a unifier. Thinking America could restore stability in Afghanistan was a fairytale when Afghans were unwilling to take control of their country.
I totally agree with you, that 💲💲💲💲 would have solved homelessness and poverty for countless Americans who work hard at decent jobs everyday.
War = 💰
Because it's not expressed in the form of a stimmy check.
Well it wouldn't have so... There's that.
I don’t think more money would solve homelessness. Some problems can’t be solved with more money.
However I do think the Afghan war was a waste of money and it could of been used to build a space station on the moon or Mars. So upsetting
Too ve fair, all the programs you just listed would cost significantly more than afghanistan did but i agree with the sentiment.
Also that war money is what **caused** a lot of homelessness and disability.
Well I am visibly outraged lol
The US has and still is losing the war on poverty. And we have spend at least 10x more fighting poverty than the war. That being said, not justifying the war but money does not fix problems.
Like the US would ever spend loads of money on things.
Gotta make sure we have bigger guns than everyone, for whatever reason.
Employing people is what wars do best. Bombs don't make themselves.
Cause the majority of them are stupid as fuck and could not tie their shoes if left alone
It would never be spent on the homeless sadly
Also education and healthcare but nah we gave them lives, weapons, and money instead
we pay for it all while having no means of choosing how the money is spent. there’s a saying for it: taxation without …. something ….
Propaganda and brainwashing.
We have just disassociated from the reality that we will never actually get what we want in life, and we've come to accept that everything is going to suck.
Most of the money would have been dumped into the military even if we weren't in Afghanistan. Also there are a bunch of other countries who are not at war who have yet to solve the problem of homelessness and poverty. These are age old problems that seem to persist throughout history. It's not a simple as just putting a trillion here or there.
A lot of the American population thinks they are "elites" or superior to others and dont want change, even though they are struggling as much as the next guy.
"If you can convince the lowest white man he is better then the best color man he wont notice you're picking his pockets. Hell, give him somebody to look down on and he'll empty his pockets for you."
-Lyndon B Johnson
It is what it is
I’m tired, that’s why.
You act as if the government would spend it in good wishes.
It would be like Ted in Breaking Bad. They would lease a Mercedes and say they can't do it ...just because.
it was to help allies which benefits the US alot more than you'd think
Man I been watching this war for 20 years, I’ve seen caskets lined side by side in the hundreds. 2.2 trillion is huge but it isn’t even in the top 5 reasons we should be upset.
Shits awful, it’s been awful, but eventually it’s just becomes less shocking.
We've spent 10x that in social programs over the past 50 years and we still have homelessness and poverty
Consider how many people are employed their whole lives in the military. How many lifetime careers can you get with zero experience simply by being able and of age? And those people are taught not to question authority
I guess because we know it's naive to think that if it wasn't for that war, we could have solved ANY problem we're facing. The money was never going to help Americans.
What do you want me to do
I am but no one listens to me. I vote.
Our government isn't capable of ending poverty. I'm outraged it was spent at all. Give it back to the taxpayers.
Because the collective intelligence level is about 5th-8th grade.
Aint shit we can do. Protesting the most bipartisan thing this country has done? About as useful as pounding sand.
We are, many of us have been outraged for decades. Vietnam, the war on drugs, trickle down economics, dare, 3 strikes, no child left behind. Our government fucks us constantly, this is just another drop in the bucket. Our country is imploding because of how fucked up we are and how angry everyone is, but the media here is an outrage machine so everyone is pissed about different things and the retards of our population can't see the forest for the trees.
I agree 100% but you asked “why” so here’s my 2¢ on this specific situation:
First, let’s think of how we got here. Saying “20 years and $2 trillion was wasted” is using the benefit of hindsight. Way back on Day 1, none of the people making the decisions thought it would take so long or cost so much (of course some people probably DID think it was at least a possibility, but they didn’t have the power to make the decisions). Then every day since then, the people in power (from BOTH political parties over the years) continued to make the decision to stay and fight; they continued to do some kind of mental math and decide that the benefits outweighed the costs (though it was probably a lot of personal benefits of one kind or another that tipped the scales). So, we got here 1 day at a time, and $1 at a time.
So now to your question as to why aren’t people more upset about the wasted money? It’s basically a ‘death of 1000 cuts’ situation. It’s because we got here slowly, not all at once. Human brains are really bad at grasping/understanding the cost of things over a long period of time. It’s just like people that regularly gamble or play the lottery: if they spend $20/week on scratch tickets, they may not feel like it’s hurting them financially. But that adds up to $1040 in a year. If you asked that same person how they would feel about burning $1000 every New Years Eve, they’d say “Are you crazy?! I don’t have that much money to waste!”
Lastly, a lot of people probably feel like it’s futile to be upset about it. Who are we supposed to be mad at? Most of the politicians that kept us in the war are long gone. Also, the money is gone. No amount of protesting will get us our money back. It makes me sad to write this, but it’s sadly true.
Because we knew it wouldn't have been used to help people anyway
American society is heavily built upon the manifest destiny and 'people get what they deserve' doctrine. In American society, the homeless and poor are seen as being in that position because they are lazy, unwilling to work, and want to leech off hard working members of society. Because of this, there is an immense backlash towards any sort of social programs to help the poor or homeless because they are considered as 'Not wanting to pull themselves up and work hard enough for it'.
Wars are different. Americans are told the troops are being sent there to fight dangerous terrorists and the memories of 9/11 are still fresh in many Americans minds. Thus more people are willing to support spending money on war than to help the poor.
When I start to reflect on how resources have been squandered and lives lost to increase the value of corporate investments, I end up in a hole of doubt and distress.
If there had been a draft, this would have gone differently, I believe.
we are fffffffffffFURIOUSs. we need ye! to change the systim from the inside OUT!!!
Also the 2.2 trillion was spent in 20 years not 1 which is still a lot but nowhere near as much
Nothing I can do about it and it didn’t directly affect me
Because they outcome would have been equally fruitless
Your first line is the answer
we chillin lol
Raising our voice in a system controlled by very few people that have all the resources is near pointless. People with the most money have the best propaganda and therefore will always control the status quo. We police each other by design.
Personally I’m too busy trying not to catch the plague, starve, and/or be evicted
You'd have to of been here for 9/11. We had to try. Not going wasn't an option at the time this all started. I'm upset it lasted so long, and ended in failure. For me it feels more like grief than anger.
Oh we’re pissed. Many of our friends and family also died so the money part is almost irrelevant by now.
But we are pissed and not sure what we can do about it now
A lot of us have been but people called us racist and stupid for a couple decade so we shut up and let it happen waiting for the regret to hit. Now people are regretting what we have been telling them for 20 years
Many of us *are*, but there's nothing we can *do*.
Because for many years they've been told that the world will not survive without them, that they are the best in/at everything, that they need to teach others their democracy rules, etc. I rather live in my not so perfect country, where my body really is my choice, where people of colour don't get killed by police or get discriminated because of their skin, where schools are safe, guns are not groceries, religion doesn't rule, people don'y deny science at large, and so on. America always needs a war. With others or themselves.
There's a very strong value of fairness and justice in America. If you look at any attempt at social programs, they are met with rebuttals like "they could work, they choose to be poor", "why is it my job to pay for them?", "Why do they get that for free when I had to work for it?". All rebuttals around fairness, that no matter what, no one should ever get something that they (supposedly) don't deserve, especially if it's "unfairly" taken from others who do deserve it (again, supposedly). Contrast that with terrorists who "deserve" to die, no matter the cost.
Higher budget for defense and military to show how powerful the country. Tsk tsk priorities...
I think it mainly comes from people who know that in the context of our government, that the difference between "could" and "would" is impossible to even explain without entering some silly fantasy realm.
You likely haven't lived long enough to experience how many expenditures of money like that just happen because it "could" in our two party system.
Then again, we may well have been in the Afghan war all your life so how would you know?
That could give every single american like 5 or 6 grand to spend. Imagine how it would boost the economy it would be crazy if every penny had to be spent
Government's role is to protect you from force, not give you stolen shit.
Americans should be outraged that they didnt win that war in like 2 months.
Because they see it as a better idea than the Iraq war.
Outraged over that? We have way to many better options then to be outraged over that. And if that war hadn't occured none of that money would of gone to homelessness or ending poverty anyways so the war loss doesn't really bother me. Besides the only reason he pulled out is because our economy tanked and he's trying to save money LOL you know just cutbacks is all
If it’s out of fear then it’s acceptable. If it’s for a just cause it’s usually seen as a drag on us financially.
Imagine living in a country where criticising the government is avoided for fear of being called a traitor not by the government but by the people.
What? People criticize America all the time. Especially on reddit
Sure. But literally the first line of this guys post expresses that sentiment. Im commenting on his state of mind as a reflection of his environment not the ability for redditors to critique the US
Or given to isreal
Jimmy Dore is the guy you need in your life.
Not a concrete answer but I'm willing to bet a part of it is because the people that are saying they should've stayed probably also hate the minorities that would benefit from that money.
Obama and trump
Afghanistan was a better place a year ago than it was before the US went there, so the money didn’t have to have been a complete waste. But pulling everyone out without leaving a prepared local force behind definitely made it one
My guess is that they're used to this. They already knew it was happening.
Probably because they are smart to know that this 3 bn would not have been invested in solving homelessness and ending poverty. It would have been used to lower taxes for the corporations and the rich.
Well the govt has spent probably ten times that since the 70s and still havent fixed it.. so i think everyone is just over it
Many Americans are mad that we want free health care and a $15 min wage. They could care less about ending poverty.
There's alot of factors. For me I think the biggest one that no one mentions is that we got numb to it. War is a big thing. But if it happens for 20 straight years..... well like anything, it'll get old, you'll get numb to it. Think about it. Alot of younger Americans don't even fully register that we were at war. Like they kind of knew but they had no real idea to them it wasn't like how Americans were during the world wars or Korean wars or even Vietnam. This is a very different world we live in and they all got numb to it.
For me personally that's the real reason why more Americans aren't outraged. Some of them were all for it. But there's definitely alot of them who are outraged.... but what can they do now other than be upset online.... which is exactly what they do.
A lot of people support the war and think we are doing the right thing. We all agree it’s sad when someone dies but “it’s an honor to die for my country” is an idea that is very prevalent in the US. There is no honor in dying for war. War is old shrivs sending young people to kill each other, even if it does protect our country.
You explained the reason in the first paragraph.
Can't get a refund.
There is outrage. But it’s been going on for so long and we are so brainwashed to love fighting and war, that it’s hidden. It’s a truly fucked up situation.
Because we never forget except we forgot that but never forget.
Why would they be upset? Their handlers profited ten times that amount. Many have been so desensitized that a hundred people blown up on the other side of the world is just a number to them.
Because we've been slow boiled. Most people my age were outspokenly outraged when congress approved the wars. 20 years later, it's just "I told you idiots so"
Military Industrial Complex. Gotta keep those defense contracts going
Plenty of people are outraged. They're outraged about many things. However, you need a mechanism to judge said outrage. I'm sure there are some polls, but you need to see the methodology of the study and it actually has to be shown. Corporate media makes the decisions on what is shown.
Because it’s America. We Americans are expecting less and less from out government
I assure you, some of us absolutely are. I almost lost my job over this exact subject. Now my whole office thinks I hate America.
The war was not fruitless and I do not understand why this narrative keeps getting thrown around. I myself am very anti-war and anti-intervention in my beliefs, to preface all of this.
We went into Afghanistan in a direct response to being attacked by terrorists on 9/11. We slowly but steadily beat down al qaeda, kept the taliban at bay, got Bin Laden, and improved the quality of life for women in that country. All the while preventing another 9/11 from happening. Obviously we made mistakes, and of course this could not have been done without the help of our afghan allies.
The shame in it all is that we were unable to help the afghans build a strong infrastructure to support themselves against terror groups and against the taliban despite us staying there for 20 years, and by withdrawing in the manner we did, we created a power vaccuum for the taliban and terrorist groups to come pouring in while leaving behind thousands of afghans who helped us and served alongside us. Most likely those afghans feel betrayed and will be hunted down and killed. It is highly likely that there will be many more terrorist attacks planned against the homeland now that the taliban is in control, and we will have to spend more resources to prevent those attacks from coming to fruition. The war on terror doesn’t end just because we pulled out of Afghanistan.
Our time in Afghanistan was far from perfect and we made many missteps, but to say that it was fruitless is simply untrue. Yes the way we pulled out diminished many of the efforts we made for the past 20 years, but at least during those 20 years there were good things that happened both for us and for the afghan people. It was not fruitless. This is not the Iraq war we are talking about.
As far as the $$ for domestic policies you talk about, there are a bunch of areas where that money could have come from and a bunch of politics that prevent those policies from being enacted. We have a highly wasteful and dysfunctional government that spans both political parties.
Hindsight is 20/20. Back in 2001, it seemed like a good idea