Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The United States of America - Keeping the Taxpayer in the Dark!

The Washington Post's Walter Pincus was one of the two media entities to get the Iraq prewar intelligence right. A list of his recent articles provides a great deal of insight into how little analysis and forethought go into some projects, while our government finally releases the overall cost of the Intelligence Budget after six years of secrecy. This is ironic because the same article points out that the figure was leaked in testimony to Congress two years ago. This recent article suggests that American forces are still understrength in Iraq.

This is what News used to be like until about 20 years ago when news became entertainment. Go and look at any American broadcaster's web site, such as CNN. Now go and compare it with the BBC News. It's a pretty big difference in quality and amounts of information. The news media in the U.S. is no longer the Fourth Estate. Likely this is due to hypercapitalism or supercapitalism. There's little profit in news reporting. It used to be a public service, a partial payment to the U.S. citizens for the broadcast spectra they auctioned to the broadcaster.

Some aspects of society are useful, but will never earn a profit. They have to run as non-profits or at a loss. I would rank highway systems, national defense (with reservations), water works, public health, news organizations, colleges and universities in that category. This doesn't mean they should be treated as political earmarks, but they often are. National Defense is almost a waste of money. Why? Because you are throwing away lives and property for some political goal that you failed to achieve by other more peaceful means. On the other hand, one can't afford not to have some form of national defense. It's a necessary evil.

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