More on Bastiat; An Argument for Bringing our Troops Stationed Abroad in Foreign Lands Home and Discharging them from the Military
With the official and formal ending of the War in Iraq happening today, 12/15/11, and having just read the chapter on Demobilization in Frederic Bastiat's "That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen," I decided to write the following argument for bringing our military home from being stationed in foreign lands where there is no war being fought by the United States.
Thoughts on why bringing our troops home from Iraq and other nations they are stationed in and discharging them from the armed forces will benefit the US in more ways than leaving them stationed abroad:
Many may oppose bringing our troops home from the foreign nations they are stationed in for unemployment and economic reasons. They may say, "Oh, if you bring these soldiers home, they won't have any jobs; the army provides them jobs on the foreign bases they are stationed at, thus leave them there." But to these individuals, this I say, in the words of Frederic Bastiat, "this is what is seen." But here is "what is not seen."
1.) These soldiers are trained in the army not to remain in the army perpetually, but to return home and become private citizens once again, using the skills they learned in the army in their own private lives and professions. Military schools and the military in general are not there to keep building up the army perpetually, until we have a huge swollen military occupying not only our home turf, but foreign nations as well. On the contrary, military academies and the military in general are there as cheap alternatives for those who don't have enough money to attend college, so as to learn life skills and discipline, and learn skills in some sort of a trade that will help them in private life as a private citizen.
2.) These soldiers are currently taking tax payer money away from the tax payers so as to provide them food, clothing, facilities, equipment, and their profession. But, if we were to bring these soldiers home and discharge them, these money used to keep them in the military and overseas in foreign nations would then return to the tax payer, which could then be used in the economy to provide businesses with more income so as to be able to create more jobs for those expanding and profiting businesses. Thus, the returning home and discharging of surplus soldiers in the armed forces, particularly those station abroad in foreign lands, would help create employment for them at home via the returning of tax revenue to the tax payer that once went to keep these soldiers, now turned private citizens in the army. All that is done is taking money away from the public sector and redirecting it to the private sector, which is the actual generators of profit and jobs.
3.) What do these American soldiers in foreign lands where there is no war being fought benefit America? Some say security, some say our interests, etc.
But I say that they benefit us hardly anything at all, if anything at all. Rather, like Bastiat says, we have either two choices. Keep these soldiers abroad and in the military, benefiting America nothing, especially economically, but maintaining a burden on tax payers, or bring them home and not only have the added benefit of tax revenue returning to the tax payers and creating more jobs for the returning soldiers, but also add on the services these jobs and soldiers now employed as public citizens will bring to the American economy and people in the form of economic exchange and creation of more products available for consumers to purchase.
Now, if you don't believe me, or find my train of though difficult to follow, take a look at the following chapter from Frederic Bastiat's writing called "That Which is Seen and that Which is Not Seen." Bastiat explains it much better than I. I merely connect it to our modern day situation in America.