Black People : The Military Industrial Complex; the new jobs program

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2009
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    owner of various real estate concerns
    +3,005 / -0
    America’s biggest — and only major — jobs program is the U.S. military

    By Robert Reich

    Global Research, August 16, 2010

    Over 1,400,000 Americans are now on active duty; another 833,000 are in the reserves, many full time. Another 1,600,000 Americans work in companies that supply the military with everything from weapons to utensils. (I’m not even including all the foreign contractors employing non-US citizens.)

    If we didn’t have this giant military jobs program, the U.S. unemployment rate would be over 11.5 percent today instead of 9.5 percent.

    And without our military jobs program personal incomes would be dropping faster. The Commerce Department reported Monday the only major metro areas where both net earnings and personal incomes rose last year were San Antonio, Texas, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. — because all three have high concentrations of military and federal jobs.

    This isn’t an argument for more military spending. Just the opposite. Having a giant undercover military jobs program is an insane way to keep Americans employed. It creates jobs we don’t need but we keep anyway because there’s no honest alternative. We don’t have an overt jobs program based on what’s really needed.

    For example, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Monday his plan to cut spending on military contractors by more than a quarter over three years, congressional leaders balked. Military contractors are major sources of jobs back in members’ states and districts. California’s Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, demanded that the move “not weaken the nation’s defense.” That’s congress-speak for “over my dead body.”

    Gates simultaneously announced closing the Joint Force Command in Norfolk, Virginia, that employs 6,324 people and relies on 3,300 private contractors. This prompted Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to warn that the closure “would be a step backward.” Translated: “No chance in hell.”

    Gates can’t even end useless weapons programs. That’s because they’re covert jobs programs that employ thousands.

    He wants to stop production of the C-17 cargo jet he says is no longer needed. But it keeps 4,000 people working at Boeing’s Long Beach assembly plant and 30,000 others at Boeing suppliers strategically located in 40 states. So despite Gates’s protests the Senate has approved ten new orders.

    That’s still not enough to keep all those C-17 workers employed, so the Pentagon and Boeing have been hunting for foreign purchasers. The Indian Air Force is now negotiating to buy ten, and talks are underway with several other nations, including Oman and Saudi Arabia.

    Ever wonder why military equipment is one of America’s biggest exports? It’s our giant military jobs program in action.

    (this is in no way, saying that Gates other actions should not be scrutinized, carefully and criticaly,
    he is a Bush and co, throwback)