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The Three Musketeers: Sustainability, The Pentagon and the Federal Reserve

Submitted by: Joe Sibilia

Posted: Dec 05, 2011 – 05:29 PM EST

Tags: sustainability, government, military, oil, finance


By Joe Sibilia

Imagine having to contend with a force that can kill a target 3700 miles away in a little over half an hour. The United States Pentagon has test fired a new weapon which can travel at five times the speed of sound and reach a target with an accuracy of 10 meters in less than an hour.

During the same time as this weapon was being tested, the Federal Reserve secretly committed to $16 trillion to a long list of the world’s largest financial institutions, many based in other countries. When you have the guns to support your point of view and you can print money without accountability – you have a powerful combination. Welcome to the United States of America.

Don’t misconstrue my patriotism. I believe the precepts of representative democracy combined with shared capitalism makes the most sense for organizing a civil society. But what country is going to challenge our point of view? If we really decide to skip paying the Chinese, what happens?

In order to maintain this myth of hegemony, we need to keep making weapons to support our need to print more money. That’s great if you are a weapons contractor or a small machine shop that makes pins for the M-16. It’s also great if you are a recipient of some of the magic money being printed by Uncle Sam. But what about the rest of us – the 99%? The fact is, this is not a sustainable approach for the common good.

The United States is the largest global economy when measured by GDP at $14 trillion with China a close second at $10 trillion. In third position: Around $4 trillion for a whole host of other countries.

Further, the United States accounts for 43 percent of all global military expenditure and is the largest consumer of oil on the planet. Our military is one of the largest oil consumers within the U.S. at 340,000 barrels per day or 1.5 percent of all oil used, costing approximately $13.6 billion annually.

This combination of forces – increased military spending to support our dollar, competition over oil, secret money printing, supporting a huge consuming economy, interest on our debt, entitlements and the threat of a trade and military war with China – puts us on a precarious path.

On the other hand, we (myself, Telma Sullivan and Erik Thompson) are compiling the most comprehensive report on the business case for sustainability and will continue to offer alternatives to the military/industrial complex created casually to benefit a few rich men. 

Reason and sustainability must prevail and it will take a coordinated effort – by all of us.

About Joe Sibilia

Joe Sibilia is CEO of CSRwire, the social responsibility newswire service that distributes and archives corporate social responsibility/sustainability news to journalists, analysts, investors, activists, academics, public relations and investor relations professionals worldwide. 

Joe founded the Gasoline Alley Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation that has incubated 43 small businesses since 1985 and teaches inner city and/or underprivileged persons to be successful entrepreneurs using socially responsible/sustainable business practices while revitalizing inner city neighborhoods.

Joe has worked with a number of socially responsible companies and has been widely recognized for his work in attempting to take Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream private, while creating a private stock exchange for CSR companies. 

Readers: What does it say about America’s sustainability when most of the focus goes to spending money on oil and military expenditure? Share your comments on Talkback!

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by CSRwire contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of CSRwire.

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