American Consequences - August 2017


facto “protector” of dozens of nations around the world. The United States has two options: spend more or stop serving as policeman and peacekeeper to the world. We could certainly debate the fiscal wisdom of maintaining our “World Police” status until we’re blue in the face (though, I suspect we may be on the same side). But as an investor, I’m in the business of figuring out what will happen rather than what I wish would happen. And I’ve been around long enough to know that no politician who suggests a sensible, scaled- down foreign policy paired with a smaller military will gain traction with American voters. Some have tried (“What’s Aleppo?”), but if they didn’t gain followers after the obvious mistakes of Iraq and Afghanistan, they never will. As a U.K. resident, you likely have better insights into the long-term effects of global overreach than our elected officials (think British Empire). In the meantime, we expect the spending spigot will open back up. If you’re interested in learning more, read my presentation here with four steps that you should take immediately .

the flag.” This in actual practice means telling foreign populations, “See those planes, missiles, and guns? This is what can happen to you if your politicians do not follow the wishes of our politicians.” Think about it... How would Americans feel if, say, Russian or Chinese warships regularly cruised up and down U.S. coasts within sight of our cities and towns? Well, U.S. warships, and only U.S. warships, do this all over the world. Did Rome have a larger military budget than Persia, Carthage, or Egypt? Of course, and there was a reason for it. Doc Eifrig comment: Richard is right... No doubt, the dollar amounts are massive. But spending more than the next 10 nations doesn’t amount to much when you’re the de

Darrin Bell Editorial Cartoon used with the permission of Darrin Bell, the Washington Post Writers Group and the Cartoonist Group. All rights reserved.

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