Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw) – Guest Blogger
In light of the news yesterday that the economy created zero net new jobs in the month of August, I began to think of ways that jobs could be created. I know a little thinking on my part is dangerous, but I came across an article that, in my opinion, really hit the nail on the head. The article discusses a study by professors at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that suggests that more good paying jobs are created by the government when the money is put towards health care, education and clean energy and even tax cuts as opposed to runaway military spending.“Let’s say we want to create 29 million jobs in 10 years. That’s 2.9 million each year. Here’s one way to do it. Take $100 billion from the Department of Defense and move it into education. That creates 1.75 million jobs per year. Take another $50 billion and move it into healthcare spending. That’s an additional 400,000 jobs. Take another $100 billion and move it into clean energy. That’s another 550,000 jobs. And take another $62 billion and turn it into tax cuts, generating an additional 200,000 jobs. Now the military spending in the Department of Energy, the State Department, Homeland Security, and so forth have not been touched. And the Department of Defense has been cut back to about $388 billion, which is to say: more than it was getting 10 years ago when our country went collectively insane.” Firedoglake
When you take a look at those numbers it is hard not to sit up and take notice. I realize that removing those billions from the military would cause shrieks in Congress, but the 2.9 million good paying jobs on an annual basis is something that citizens and Congress should both be interested in. It would require a culture change in the military and at home. But good things take hard work to achieve.
I do have a problem with the tax break portion of the equation cited by Mr. Swanson in the Firedoglake article. I have not seen 200,000 jobs per year created by the Bush Tax cuts that Obama extended so I would have to be convinced by how targeted the tax cuts were and how the corporations would be required to provide evidence of the created jobs in order to take advantage of the tax breaks. It seems obvious that the waste in military spending is out of control and if the country can rein in the contractors, the military can get more bang for their buck and the savings can be used to create jobs, not deeper pockets for corporate entities.
In order to get a better idea of where the figures used in the linked article come from and how realistic they are, here is a link to the full University of Massachusetts (Amherst) study. UMass I realize that it will be difficult to cut the waste out of the military spending, but I do not think we have a choice. The government sector has already given up large numbers of jobs during the last few years due to the recession and the political push for austerity in important government programs. It is time for America to get control of its military spending and contracting processes. The economy needs these jobs and spending the money in non-military areas will create more jobs and save lives at the same time.
Do we really have another choice?
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger