Military-Industrial Complex Equals Jobs

Started Sep 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
drh681 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,742
Re: Not for much longer....

57even wrote:

coastcontact wrote:

The 223rd and final C-17 cargo plane was delivered to the Air Force last week. The plane was manufactured at Boeing (the old Douglas Aircraft facility) in Long Beach, California. That’s the last airplane manufacturing facility in Southern California. The plant will be closed by 2015 and will result in the loss of 3,000 jobs.

Here is the problem. While Boeing cited sequestration, the Pentagon has made it clear for several years that it didn’t require more C-17s. However, lawmakers pushed through more orders to preserve jobs.

As reported in Businessweek, October 29, 2009, “Every year since 2006, the Pentagon has said that it has enough C-17s. And every year, Congress overrules the military and authorizes funds for additional planes. In October the Senate approved $2.5 billion in the 2010 budget for 10 more C-17s, which would bring the fleet to 215.”

The United States has created high paying jobs by ordering complex technology and other aerospace/biotech products from American companies. To a great extent the military-industrial complex has been the driver of jobs.

We give $1.3 billion of aid to Egypt in the form of military hardware. We even gave Russia $126 million in aid in 2010.

Is this the only way we can provide our citizens with good jobs?

My blog:

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In 2013 the US accounted for around 40% of the whole world's military expenditure.

The US already has by far the world's largest military force. Far more (for instance) than it needs for defence, or even to conduct major operations in many countries at the same time.

Indeed the vast majority of it's high expenditure items are offensive in nature (bombers, carriers, etc). This for a country that has never been attacked directly. Even with Afghanistan, the total deployment of US military personnel abroad is only around 270,000 (mostly in friendly states in Asia, Europe and the Middle east) whereas home deployments account for over 1.2M personnel. The number on active service in Afghanistan is about 68,000 and dropping.

Arguably you have around 50% more hardware and men than you actually need to conduct current operations and make your country effectively impregnable.

And all this is funded by US tax payers. Yes, it creates jobs, and the technology it generates has had many useful spin-offs, but the point is that it is essentially non-productive expenditure at that level and even the exports of arms barely makes a dent in the numbers at around $8bn and even then most export markets require technology transfers and incentives so the real value is lower.

The USMIC grew out of lease lend in WW2 and prospered throughout the cold war. It arguably won the cold war by crippling the economies of the USSR and many other countries. But is it what you need to fight the kinds of action you now find yourself in?

It is also 2/3 of total Federal debt and more than your interest payments on the deficit.

For years the Pentagon has stated it has no immediate demand for more weapons or personnel, so defence contractors are searching for other means to support their income. This won't happen (see arms sales) so it appears that like it or not you WILL see a major cut in output from the USMIC. It already dropped substantially last year.

Only 1 plant is still capable of making more M1A1 tanks. The C17 plant is to be closed. No more F22s are likely to be built and the JSF will probably be scrapped as it is way over budget.

And as other have said, you could spend the money far more productively at home on civil projects. Even half of the budget (300bn) would allow for the regeneration of many failing cities or substantial infrastructure projects that would massively reduce business costs. It would also make a huge potential difference to education.

It is surprising that "lazy feckless unemployed scroungers" get blamed for high taxes when in fact the total unemployment budget is around $82bn and one may surmise that most of THEM would like a job they could do if they could get one.

Draw Down.

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