Make Ads, Not War


As I’ve noted many times here I believe that our massive US defense spend is unwise, returning a fraction of the return we’d get by putting most of the annual approximately $500.000.000.000 spend into high ROI global and national development projects, pro USA marketing campaigns, and other infrastructure improvements.

Interesting to me was the number just cited for the 2008 global advertising spend –
486 billion, just shy of what we’ll probably spend on US military.   Global military is about 2x the US number, or approximately one … trillion … annually.   

For you  bogus-fiscal-conservatives-who-call-themselves-conservatives-but-believe-in-huge-military-spending you owe the world at least a 250 billion per year apology, because this military spend is so ineffective at obtaining the desired objectives that no business would ever tolerate it going into the future.  It’s tolerated out of ignorance and mathematical stupidity – the same foolishness that drives huge social spending.  I think the flawed logic generally spawns from the assumption that projects that *might* work to bring stability (e.g. war) actually will work.    Since many such projects often bring a negative or low return rather than the desired one, the ROI on our military spend is spectacularly low.   Vietnam, for example, was left in worse shape than if we had spent zero on that war, and it now appears that Iraq may wind up suffering the same fate.

So, I propose this:   Let’s try to corner the advertising market for a year with out half-trillion.   Instead of weapons, lets see how effectively a global advertising campaign  would sway global public opinion in our favor.    Think about it.   Every TV, every billboard, every radio, and all online ads are featuring themes favorable to the USA.   For every propaganda piece against us, our almost Orwellian media dominance would counter with wine and roses and happiness in the USA.   Maybe we could just corner half the global ad market but reserve a hundred billion to include lots of giveaways and promotions to butter folks up.   Free turkies, cheeseburgers, and flat screen TVs …

Oh, and then that last hundred billion would come close to solving all the major pressing infrastructure problems on earth.

A disclaimer –  I guess I’m only partly serious here.  We need to maintain an adequate defense, but current pork barrelling, inefficiency, and bad strategy have bloated the defense budget out of proportion with its return on the huge investment.   I’d guess we could cut it by at least 60% with no appreciable dilution of our US security, and we could *certainly* do this for a limited time with very little dilution in security but a huge benefit to infrastructure projects all over the world, which would create incalculable good will.   No, this would not solve all our problems.   My point is that it would solve more problems than our current use of the funds.  

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About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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One Response to Make Ads, Not War

  1. Pingback: The Duck Doctrine … ! « Joe Duck

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