“How about spending some of those trillions on people not prisons?How about funding welfare and health care?Shoot,it is a conspiracy.A conspiracy to build and maintain a middle class myth,built on the backs of those least able to defend themselves.It was then,it is now.
That’s a bit steep and even simplistic.
There is no middle-class myth: those within it always knew it to be something that took a lot of personal effort to retain that standing, and even more difficult (in the UK at least) was class mobility. Moving up a class is far more than a matter of having or not having money. You can be broke and still remain upper class, but if you lose your money, then your middle class status vanishes with the Mercedes and the repo man.
It’s about background, and yes, a certain amount of money; your various clubs and the invitations that you get. Perthshire, Scotland has a huge raft of top dogs and estates, of whom I have know several courtesy my mother who, living out there in the semi-sticks, got to know quite a few as friends. Most notable seemed to be the lack of swanky wheels, the almost total lack of, and indifference to quality clothing but a great affinity and natural love for the land and its customs. It can be quite surprising going into a huge house and discovering entire rooms draped in dust sheets and few heaters switched on.
As for building on the backs of those least able to defend themselves, that is almost certainly true of past eras and I don’t think I could name a society that didn’t follow the route of conquer and plunder: it’s how people were and lived. It created empires all over the world. But, claims that empire was inevitably and entirely evil is a general misapprehension. I lived in India during the period just prior to Independence and left some years after that, and I can assure you that a general hatred towards the white Brits (ooooh, that word!”). wasn’t what I or the family experienced. I will never forget the day we left our old home there to travel across the country to Bombay and the ship back to Britain: tears on the staff side and our own were flowing from a mutual sense of loss. I could write you a book about the Brit contribution and post-Independence legacy from my personal experiences there, but I can assure you that many have already been written by those who have never set foot in India other than on holiday, so why bother? Ignorance and politics make far more interesting authors.
Funding health care is a huge problem for those states that offer the service. It’s a bottomless pit that can never be satisfied, and the more liberal any state becomes then the more demands the state receives. We have people who go to see a doctor because they have a cold!
In fact, it doesn’t end with health care – all of the social services on offer become attractions to those who have contributed zero to their funding. If you think about the British experience, we appear to have queues of would-be immigrants living in camps in France, waiting to smuggle themselves across the twenty-or so miles of English Channel. Why do they do this? They have escaped their countries of origin, already find themselves in the European Union, but that’s not enough: if they make it across that narrow stretch of water they find a nirvana of freebies that the rest of Europe has no damned intention of supplying. In short, a country creates its own people-problems. Strange; if we Brits were such terrible taskmasters, so bigoted etc., why would all these hordes attempt to come join us?
As for spending trillions: for whatever reasons, we find ourselves in deep financial poo poo. In some countries, they hold demonstrations against ‘austerity’ and the paying off of debt. Some politicians even support the idea of borrowing more. Great idea: you owe a hundred bucks you can’t repay; what to do? Simple: borrow another hundred! Oy vey, even I could have thought of that!