I have a tendency to ramble from time to time. I understand that the world is complex and nuanced and thus to understand a subject requires a fair amount of detail. I understand that things are not black and white. I understand that progress is more valuable than not getting anything accomplished, that we shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, that we need to be pragmatically idealistic and idealistically pragmatic.

But the thing is, sometimes a reality-based assessment suggests that what we’re doing isn’t just not perfect, it’s not even good. It’s undermining our economy and making us less secure. It’s literally killing us.

So today, I’m not going to ramble much. I’m really just going to make a list of things that are more damaging to our economy, more dangerous to American lives, than the major budgetary (and off-balance sheet) outlays of the past couple years, namely, foreign wars and corporate welfare. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive. This just scratches the surface. Think of this as a cheat sheet for where we could put our national attention instead of killing Muslims and giving money to rich people.

Trying to organize something like this is a bit arbitrary. Do you look at high probability events first? Those with catastrophic consequences? Alphabetize them (for our OCD friends?) Do you cheat, as I am going to do, and just be lazy and do it randomly?

So here goes. Things we should actually spend our resources addressing, that would improve our standard of living and save lives more than asset guarantees to Wall Street and mercenaries deployed in the galactic sector known as Central Command.

Roads and Bridges.

Rail Transportation.



Sewer & Water systems.

Air Pollution.

Global Climate Change.

Toxic Waste.

The Drug War & Prison System. (In particular, ending the drug war and treating prisoners humanely)

National Health Insurance.

Universal Unemployment Insurance.

Rural health clinics.

TANF & SNAP (welfare & food stamps, or perhaps, rolling them into a universal unemployment system).

Affordable Housing.

Parks and Bike Paths.

Universal Daycare.

Universal public education through grade 16.

Renewable energy, particularly wind and solar.

Electric Grid.

Here’s my challenge. If you support the Wall Street bailouts and War on Terror, do a cost benefit analysis. What does $10 billion allocated to one of those two areas do to protect our economy and security better than the areas I’ve listed above?

We’re a rich country. We can do a lot of things. We just can’t do everything. We’ve poured trillions of dollars and billions of man hours into corporate welfare and corporate warfare. We can’t change how we’ve prioritized the past.

But we can certainly re-prioritize the future.

Crossposted at Daily Kos.