Huge pensions for retired government workers can be found from small municipalities to national governments on both sides of the Atlantic. There is a reason. For elected officials, pensions are virtually the ideal thing to spend money on, politically speaking. Many kinds of spending of the taxpayers' money win votes from the recipients. But...
That is scary -- and true. I've lived it. We didn't take "new" air warfare gear into Vietnam until 1969. We used Korean War equipment. Nice though. All it cost was LIVES. These were our husbands, brothers, fathers, sisters, mothers, and wvies. And our children. Think on that for a little bit before you send them out to defend against an enemy using better equipment and better trained. During the Vietnam conflict and following it, pilots were limited to the amount of training they could have -- one or two sorties (flights) a week. These were the same guys we were asking to sit on nuclear weapons and to fly into the mouth of the enemy should the call be made. They didn'tt expect to get home, but some hoped to survive.
A nation's choice between spending on military defense and spending on civilian goods has often been posed as "guns versus butter." But understanding the choices of many nations' political leaders might be helped by examining the contrast between their runaway spending on pensions while skimping on military defense.
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