Black People : Funding Colonization, but no bail out for jobless?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2009
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    Published on Friday, December 4, 2009 by The San Francisco Chronicle
    Liberal Democrats Take Aim at Funding for War
    by Joe Garofoli

    Liberal Democrats, led by heavy-hitting members of Congress from California, are taking on President Obama for the first time, aiming to block funding for his plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
    At the same time, voters who supported Obama's candidacy last year are expressing their disappointment online and in street protests against his plan to increase American forces in the war-ravaged nation to nearly 100,000.

    Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland has sponsored a bill to cut off war funding. (Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images)
    "This is not the hope you voted for," read a sign at an anti-war protest in San Francisco this week.

    Congressional leaders predict that Obama will have to ask Congress for supplemental war funding in the next six months to pay for his plan, which his administration estimated would cost $30 billion. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the Pentagon budget, predicts it could top $40 billion.

    Bay Area positions

    That offers an opportunity for opponents, including Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who has sponsored a bill that would cut off funding for the war, to leverage Congress' power to challenge the war.

    A week after saying there wasn't Democratic support for an escalation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - typically the president's biggest backer on Capitol Hill - continued Thursday to offer neutral statements on Obama's plan except for saying she opposes a proposed war surtax to fund it.

    Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus' Afghanistan Task Force, worries about the annual cost of $1 million per soldier on the ground in Afghanistan.

    Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, added: "I expect more casualties, and I don't see any end to what has been going on unsuccessfully."

    At a Senate Foreign Relations hearing Thursday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said "the situation got worse" after she voted to fund Obama's request to send 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan earlier this year.

    "How can we now leap to the conclusion that more troops will mean less violence when the opposite seems to have occurred?" Boxer said.

    Coalition abandoned

    Obama is abandoning the coalition of liberals who helped elect him, analyst Phyllis Bennis of the liberal Institute for Policy Studies said, by relying on support from "the Pentagon, the Republicans and the right wing of the Democratic Party, who together will claim their due as an empowered pro-war coalition."

    That realignment, she said, could imperil Obama's domestic agenda - including proposals to reform health care, establish climate change policy and fix the economy - by alienating liberals in his party and adding to the burgeoning federal debt.

    "It ruins the potential for his domestic agenda," Bennis said. "How is he supposed to do health care if he spends another $30 billion on Afghanistan? And if he doesn't do health care or climate change or his jobs program, then he's got a big problem politically."

    Grassroots dismay

    Obama's grassroots supporters are dismayed by his plan for a troop surge, even though he consistently called Afghanistan the "central front" in the battle against terrorism during his presidential campaign and has called for sending at least two more brigades, roughly 10,000 soldiers, there since 2007.

    "I held out hope that he wouldn't really do it," Desiree Aubry, a San Francisco City College student, said at a San Francisco anti-war demonstration Wednesday night that drew 200 protesters.

    The liberal organizing hub wants supporters to lobby Congress to set a firm troop pullout date. And on the Web site of Organizing for America, an extension of Obama's campaign effort, a poster identified as Jono Shaffer wrote: "This decision on Afghanistan is a slap in the face to those of us who supported you as a peace candidate."

    Still, Congress will give Obama the money needed to fund the expanded Afghanistan operation, said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress who advised Obama on Afghanistan strategy during his presidential campaign. "And I don't think it is going to have an impact on his domestic agenda."
    They'll come around

    full article;
  2. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2009
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    Policy Report
    The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: An Updated Analysis
    By Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier | October 9, 2009
    This study focuses on the employment effects of military spending versus alternative domestic
    spending priorities, in particular investments in clean energy, health care and education.
    We first present some simple alternative spending scenarios, namely devoting $1 billion to the military versus the same amount of money spent on clean energy, health care, and education, as well as for tax cuts which produce increased levels of personal consumption.
    Our conclusion in assessing such relative employment impacts is straightforward: $1 billion spent on each of the domestic spending priorities will create substantially more jobs within the U.S. economy than would the same $1 billion spent on the military. We then examine the pay level of jobs created through these alternative spending priorities and assess the overall welfare impacts of the alternative employment outcomes. We show that investments in clean energy, health care, and education create a much larger number of jobs across all pay ranges, including mid-range jobs (paying between $32,000 and $64,000) and high-paying jobs (paying over $64,000). Channeling funds into clean energy, health care and education in an effective way will therefore create significantly greater opportunities for decent employment throughout the U.S. economy than spending the same amount of funds with the military.
    a project of the Institute for Policy Studies
    The U.S. government spent an estimated $624 billion on the military in 2008. This amounts to about $2,000 for every resident of the country. The level of military spending has risen dramatically since 2001, with the increases beginning even before September 11, 2001. In constant dollar terms (after controlling for inflation), military spending rose at an average rate of 8.1 percent per year from during both terms of the Bush presidency. By contrast, the overall U.S. economy grew at an average
    annual rate of 2.4 percent. As a share of GDP, the military budget rose from 3.0 to 4.3 percent during the Bush presidency. At the current size of the economy, a difference between a military budget at 4.3 rather than 3.0 percent of GDP amounts to $175 billion.
    The largest increases in the military budget during the Bush presidency were associated with the Afghanistan and especially the Iraq wars. These two wars cost $188 billion in fiscal year 2008, according to the Congressional
    Research Service. Thus, the $188 billion the U.S. government spent on these wars in 2008 was basically equal to the total increase in military spending resulting
    from moving the military budget from 3.0 to 4.3 percent of GDP.
    p. 2
    a think tank without walls
    Amid the debates on the political and strategic merits of the Iraq war, one aspect of military spending that has been largely neglected is its effects on the U.S. economy. Six hundred twenty-four billion dollars is a vast sum of money—greater than the combined GDP of Sweden and Thailand, and eight times the amount of U.S. federal
    spending on education. It is therefore reasonable to ask what the benefits might be to U.S. taxpayers if some significant share of the $624 billion were instead devoted to alternative domestic purposes, such as health care, education, or the environment.
    A view is often expressed that the military budget is a cornerstone of the U.S. economy (e.g. Ruttan 2006). The Pentagon is often said to be a major underwriter of, and stimulus to, important technical innovations. It is also often cited as a major employer, providing good jobs—jobs that are stable and at least decently paid—to millions of Americans.
    At one level, these claims cannot help but be true. If the U.S. government is spending in excess of $600 billion on maintaining and strengthening the military, how could the necessary expenditures on building technologically sophisticated weapons, along with transportation and communications systems, fail to encourage technical
    innovations that are somehow connected to these instruments of warfare? It is true that investments in military technology have produced important spinoffs for civilian purposes, for example the Internet. At the same time, channeling $600 billon into areas such as renewable energy, mass transportation, and health
    care would also create a hothouse environment for new technologies.
    Parallel considerations arise in assessing the impact of the military budget on employment in the United States. The $600 billion-plus military budget creates approximately five million jobs, both within the military
    itself and in civilian industries connected to the military. And precisely because of the high demand for technologically advanced equipment in the military, a good proportion of the jobs created by the military budget will be well-paying and professionally challenging.
    But again, this will also be true when funds are spent in other areas that entail using and developing
    new technologies, such as for health care, energy
    conservation, or renewable energy.
    This paper is focused on the employment effects of military
    spending versus channeling equivalent amounts of funding into alternative purposes—namely education, health care, clean energy, and personal consumption. Specifically, we consider the impact of devoting $1 billion
    to the military, versus the same amount of money for these four non-military alternatives. The presentation
    here is a brief sequel to a more detailed study we initially published two years ago (Pollin and Garrett-Peltier 2007). The new materials we present in this paper include the following:
    Updated figures.• We have updated all the employment estimates, using the most recent
    figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources. All sources are described in the appendix.
    Job Creation from Clean Energy Invest•
    ments. We include estimates of the employment
    effects of investments in clean
    p. 3
    a think tank without walls
    energy sectors of the economy. In our previous
    study, we had not yet fully developed a method for making such estimates in ways that were comparable to our estimates for military spending, personal consumption, education, and health care.
    Induced Job Creation.• We include estimates
    for induced job creation through investments in all sectors of the economy—that is, the expansion of employment that results when people who are newly employed
    spend the money they have earned on other products in the economy. In our previous paper, we discussed the category of induced job creation, but had not yet fully developed an accurate method for estimating
    this effect. In the previous study, we presented data only for direct and indirect job creation. Direct jobs are those created by producing, for example, wind turbines, warplanes or schools. Indirect jobs are those associated with industries that supply intermediate
    goods for producing wind turbines, warplanes, or schools. We consider all three categories of job creation in more depth below.
    Unlike the earlier paper, we do not discuss here the basic input-output modeling technique for considering issues such as these in a systematic way. We also do not review results of earlier efforts to estimate employment effects of military spending versus alternative spending priorities. Discussions on these points can be found in our earlier study.
    The basic findings of this paper have not changed relative
    to our previous paper, though detailed results vary. Our first conclusion is straightforward: that spending
    $1 billion on personal consumption, clean energy, health care, and education will all create significantly more jobs within the U.S. economy than would $1 billion
    spent on the military.
    As with our previous study, we again find that jobs created
    by military spending do provide relatively high average
    wages and benefits relative to these other spending areas. Indeed, this result emerges more sharply with the updated figures relative to our previous paper. This is especially because, on average, jobs associated with the military provide far more generous benefits than can be obtained in other sectors of the U.S. economy. Nevertheless,
    because spending on clean energy, health care, and education produce substantially more jobs overall per $1 billion in spending, they also create more good jobs as well. This includes jobs paying within a mid-range, which we define as between $32,000-$64,000 per year, as well as high-paying jobs, i.e. those paying over $64,000.
    We conclude this updated study with a series of brief summary observations.
    Why Employment Creation Varies by Sector
    The basic tool we use for estimating the net overall employment effects of alternative government spending priorities in the United States is the input-output model of the U.S. economy, produced every five years and updated
    annually by the Department of Commerce

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