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...
Like it or not, we are the world's last best hope. If we do not have the preeminent military, someone else will. Who would you like that to be? China? Russia? One of the facets of American exceptionalism is that our military projects our sense of freedom and independence around the world, not subjugation and dictatorship. Our military fights to free a people, not conquer them. Is there another country in the world who can make that claim?
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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