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...
Our small arms were among the best in the world; Garand, Ma Deuce, M1911, BAR, water cooled .30 caliber machine gun. Our bombers were the best; B-17, B-25, A-20, SBD. Our carriers were the best. All on December7,1941. We did have a bad tank and a bad torpedo and torpedo bomber.
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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