The big-money rent-seekers in the military industrial complex have been lobbying hard against cuts to the defense budgets. The so-called “super-committee” – the group of representatives tasked with deciding where to cut – have been the target for that lobbying. Unfortunately, those representatives come from states where the some of the biggest military contractors build missiles, aircraft, jet fighters and tanks while employing tens of thousands of workers. That has long been a strategy of defense firms: to spread manufacturing bases of employment around the country to make cuts politically unpalatable to key politicians.
But those jobs are not the kind that really get the economy moving and boost productivity. They’re the kind that get their salaries from taxpayers who otherwise would have spent or saved it in productive ways and then build bombs, which only destroy instead of produce.
And that brings us to the new post from Robert Greenwald and Derek Crowe at War Costs pushing against this idea that military spending is good for job creation. It isn’t.
Panetta and his
bossescounterparts in the war industry can play Chicken Little all they want about war budget spending cuts, but they can’t change the simple fact that military spending is terrible at creating jobs, according to a 2009 study by the Political Economy Research Institute. In fact, of the areas of government spending studied by PERI, military spending was the worst at creating jobs. That means that no matter what nightmare scenario Panetta throws out there on possible job losses related to war budget cuts, the alternatives will always be worse.
…It’s not just the profiteers’ claims of job creation that don’t stand up to serious review; their “poor, pitiful us” routine also fails the smell test. At the war industry press conference held on Wednesday, industry spokeswoman Marion C. Blakey said defense had already been cut “into the bone,” and that the industry was collectively “very fragile.” But a look at a few of the 2010 salaries of the CEOs of corporations who make up Blakey’s group’s executive board sure doesn’t reveal any pain or fragility:
The military industrial congressional complex is doing just fine, so pay no mind to this “cut to the bone” nonsense. There is a bipartisan consensus that America’s defense budget ought to equal that of the rest of the world combined. The corporatism has a chance to end if we shrink and starve the beasts of government and war profiteers.