Monday, November 9, 2009

Military as a jobs program

Once you have learned some of basic economic principals you start to see a lot of activities in purely economic terms. And it is hard to stop seeing things that way. What value is a newborn baby ?? Oh about $2.3 million in middle class suburban united states. But I digress.

Today, I was thinking about the fact that the cost of healthcare is almost exactly equal to the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hmmmmmm. I know it is just a coincidence but it does make you think. So what are we getting for that $1 Trillion dollars. Well we are getting a lot of jobs. Unfortunately the jobs are very expensive to produce and don't add very much to our Gross National Happiness other than in the security area. The Military contractors also produce jobs. But very little of the output contributes to better society. You cannot re-use or re-purpose an out of date tank. It must be scrapped. In fact with the many toxic metals in the electronics and other equipment, it is very expensive to dispose of newer military equipment. The Military is just going green. Off track again.

There are examples of military benefits in civilian life such as: The internet, or tang but they are few and far between. Overall the military is a huge waste of money. And a very inefficient job creation program.

Once, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been fought to necessary stalemate, it will be time to take a real hard look at our Military. I believe we can no longer afford such a large expense.

[Graph of Military related employment vs. Military spending]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your post, but two objections. I'm not sure it's even right to assume that the wars in Iraq or even Afghanistan are really making us safer. I'm not one of those oil conspirators, but I do wonder what we're doing there. If it's not making us any safer, it's really just a waste of resources, and sadly, human lives.

Also, this is a minor objection, but I believe NASA's work helped invent Tang.

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