Power of Story Send a Tweet        

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 4 (6 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   5 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

THE MILITARY AS A JOBS PROGRAM: THERE ARE MORE EFFICIENT WAYS TO STIMULATE AN ECONOMY

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Ellen Brown       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...)  Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 5   Valuable 3   Well Said 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 6/23/11

Author 7471
Become a Fan
  (204 fans)


troops
(Image by speakingofdemocracy.com)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -
/p>

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. . . . We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people."

 

Dwight David Eisenhower , "The Chance for Peace," speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Apr. 16, 1953

 

- Advertisement -

In a Wall Street Journal editorial on June 8 bemoaning the failure of the Obama stimulus package, Martin Feldstein wrote:

 

Experience shows that the most cost-effective form of temporary fiscal stimulus is direct government spending. The most obvious way to achieve that in 2009 was to repair and replace the military equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan that would otherwise have to be done in the future.   But the Obama stimulus had nothing for the Defense Department.

- Advertisement -

 

You can't make this stuff up.   The most obvious way to stimulate the economy is to replace military equipment?   And the Obama stimulus had nothing for the Defense Department?   When veterans' benefits and other past military costs are factored in, the military now devours half the U.S. budget.   If military spending is such a cost-effective stimulus, why have the trillions poured into it in the last decade left the economy reeling?  

 

The military is the nation's largest and most firmly entrenched entitlement program, one that takes half of every tax dollar.   Even if "national security" is considered our number one priority (a dubious choice when the real unemployment rate is over 16%), estimates are that the military budget could be cut in half or more and we would still have the most powerful military machine in the world.   Our enemies (if any) are now "terrorists," not countries; and what is needed to contain them (if anything) is local policing, not global warfare.   Much of our military hardware is just good for "shock and awe," not needed for any "real and present danger."

 

Military spending is the very essence of "built-in obsolescence": it turns out products that are designed to blow up.   The military is not subject to ordinary market principles but works on a "cost-plus" basis, with producers reimbursed for whatever they have spent plus a guaranteed profit.   Gone are the usual competitive restraints that keep capitalist corporations "lean and mean."   Private contractors hired by the government on no-bid contracts can be as wasteful and inefficient as they like and still make a tidy profit.   Yet legislators looking to slash wasteful "entitlements" persist in overlooking this obvious elephant in the room.  

- Advertisement -

 

The reason massive military spending is considered the most "obvious" way to produce a fiscal stimulus is simply that it is the only form of direct government spending that gets a pass from the deficit hawks.   The economy is desperate to get money flowing through it, and today only the government is in a position to turn on the spigots; but there is a tourniquet on government spending.   That is true for everything but the military, the only program on which the government is allowed to spend seemingly without limit, often even without oversight.  

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 5   Valuable 3   Well Said 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling WEB OF DEBT. In THE PUBLIC BANK SOLUTION, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

It's the Derivatives, Stupid! Why Fannie, Freddie and AIG Had to Be Bailed Out

Mysterious Prison Buses in the Desert

LANDMARK DECISION PROMISES MASSIVE RELIEF FOR HOMEOWNERS AND TROUBLE FOR BANKS

Libya: All About Oil, or All About Central Banking?

Borrowing from Peter to Pay Paul: The Wall Street Ponzi Scheme Called Fractional Reserve Banking

"Oops, We Meant $7 TRILLION!" What Hank and Ben Are Up to and How They Plan to Pay for It All