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Job Creation at Home Requires Peace Abroad

4:09 pm in Uncategorized by maxstanley

As more Americans sour on our 10-year-old national nation-building experiment in Afghanistan, there’s a growing community of policy mandarins, activists and elites uniting to expose the myriad of ways war spending and military contracting have plunged our nation into a jobs crisis.

The existing counter insurgency operation in Afghanistan is hurting the American economy, and there is data to prove it.

Job Creation Per $1 Billion Spent:
-Military: 11,200
-Tax Cuts for Personal Consumption: 15,100
-Clean Energy: 16,800
-Health Care: 17,200
-Education: 26,700

If we really want a society where people who want to work can enjoy a moderate standard of living, says Robert Pollin, co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, “the best thing to do is to start cutting the military.”

Congressional allies for big war contractors at Lockheed Martin and Boing justify the bloated, corruption-filled war budget on the backs of job creation and security. But, unlike the war industry, people whose livelihoods are not dependent on weapons of mass destruction agree that military spending is the worst performing job creation program. Like Upton Sinclair says, “It is difficult to get a man understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Read the rest of this entry →

The Myth of Military Contracting

10:29 am in Uncategorized by maxstanley

The war industry stood back with glee when it released a shoddy study that produced the sought-after deceptive headlines about defense spending, the magic sauce of job creation. There was no balance to these reports, and the War Industry should know, because they funded it!

A cursory or peer review of its content would’ve demonstrated the leaps in logic and faith taken by the Second To None lobbying front.

Your and your neighbors’ jobs, or lack thereof, are of no concern to Second To None, an association funded by the Aerospace Industries Association. Their bogus “analysis” links job creation to military spending, but it is, like so much of the Pentagon’s hawkishness, detached and devoid of context and reality (.pdf).

On its face, the study totally ignores how many more jobs would be created through just about any other kind of spending compared to military priorities. But to further demonstrate the study’s twistedness, it omits the actual solution to the job crisis: long term economic growth. And surprise, surprise- the road to long term recovery is not through constructing tanks and warships.

Military spending generates an industrial brain drain that consumes engineers and scientists into a black hole of manufactured explosions and destruction. Manufacturing jobs, so sorely needed for economic prosperity, are withering on the vine as war contractors throw money down failed projects, or in Pentagon-speak, research and development initiatives. In the meantime, entire constructive industries are left stagnant or unimagined.

On almost the same day as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office revealed the smoke and mirrors employed in the most recent budget agreement left the Pentagon $440 billion richer, military contractors are renewing their chokehold on Congress. Read the rest of this entry →

Koch Industries Confirms Greenpeace Report

3:54 pm in Uncategorized by maxstanley

No sooner had Greenpeace busted the Koch brothers and their 57 subsidiary corporations for their fight against safety standards to mitigate fallout from terrorist attacks and natural disasters, the brothers responded by… acknowledging what Greenpeace reported.

The crux of the matter is the Koch brothers’ fierce lobbying effort to preserve the status quo, which benefits their ideology and corporate profits. The brothers favor an existing law that was intended to give Congress time to consider a more comprehensive framework. New legislation would give teeth and legs to the lax system we rely on to protect, in the Koch brothers’ case, 4.4 million people who live near their chemical-reliant businesses. Some of these 4.4 million innocent people are part of our Koch Brothers Exposed investigation.

My father used to say, “Sometimes by saying nothing, you say everything.” The Kochs say nothing about the many indictments against their businesses and their silence is deafening. Obviously, the Kochs did not endorse the Greenpeace report, but they didn’t even try to address it. Truthfully, they’re regurgitating the same tactics they’ve deployed against Koch Brothers Exposed and Brave New Foundation.

Our video linked their wealth to Jim Crow and school resegregation, which they didn’t like. Rather than debating us point for point, they tried retreating and changing the subject. Whether it’s school resegregation or chemical safety, the Kochs fight any fact that gets in the way of their money-making machine. We and our engaged community of activists have been informing others and spreading the word about the brothers influence on democracy, and I invite you to check out our investigation at the Koch Brothers Exposed page on Facebook.

The Koch brothers, while tacitly confirming the Greenpeace report, tried to downplay its consequences. Much of the brothers’ response hinges on a predisposition for safety. Safety, like oxygen, is good, they say. But Greenpeace rightfully observes that actions speak louder than words:

If Koch truly placed safety before profit, why haven’t they converted their dangerous facilities to safer alternatives? Companies like Clorox are already taking this step to convert all of their high-risk facilities to safer technologies.

The answer is because doing so costs money and would take a bite, however insignificant, out of the brothers’ billions.