The Cost of an Empire, by Bill Bonner

The costs of America’s imperial wars are never borne by the criminals who promote them. From Bill Bonner at rogueeconomics.com:

Let’s drink to the hard-working people

Let’s drink to the lowly of birth

Raise your glass to the good and the evil

Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Salt of the Earth, The Rolling Stones

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – Yes… we are hooting for the salt of the Earth. Saluting the faceless crowd, the lowly of birth… the masses… the hoi polloi… the proles.

In a few words: They are getting treated like Afghans.

Misled by the U.S. empire, corrupted by its fake money, and then left behind as the elite slip away.

Cost of Empire

Empires are always costly. And the costs are borne, mostly, by the working classes.

The Roman Republic was built by the blood and energy of its small farmers. Then, imperial conquests brought booty and slaves back to Rome. These were divvied up among the elite, who established large latifundia – farms run by slave labor.

The small farmers were driven out of business, forced to sell their farms to the big producers, and later, often forced to sell themselves and their children into slavery.

America never figured out how to make its empire pay.

From the very beginning, it was its own “little guys” who paid. They paid the taxes. They put on the uniforms. They may not have understood what “we” were fighting for, but they were ready to follow the sound of the cannon from San Juan Hill to Mỹ Lai.

The Vietnam War was one of the U.S. empire’s most spectacular fiascos. Your editor spent part of that war onboard a U.S. Navy cruiser… comfortably off the coast of California or at our base in San Diego.

Offered the glory of commanding a river boat on the Mekong Delta, he demurred. Even then, it was clear that the war was an expensive and dangerous boondoggle.

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