Published on Friday, October 14, 2011 by Foreign Policy in Focus
Community Resolutions Against the Machine
Communities all over the
One community recently decided to call attention to this disparity. In
On October 4, the Council president introduced this resolution with three cosponsors. One additional Council member announced that he would also support the resolution. With this majority, the resolution was guaranteed to pass when it came up for a vote on October 11.
But it didn’t pass. Cue the ominous movie soundtrack.
The Machine Fights Back
Lockheed Martin is one of the premier military contractors in the world. It also employs about 5,000 people in
With that degree of opposition, at least one and perhaps two of the original supporters decided to rescind their support for the resolution. In order to avoid a defeat, the Council president pulled the resolution, and the Council never voted on it.
Now the controversy has achieved national attention with conservative columnist George Will weighing in. In a column that dismisses the Occupy Wall Street movement, Will also refers to
Setting the Record Straight
The controversy over this rather uncontroversial resolution – even right-wing Republicans like Tom Coburn of
With the Cold War over and the United States spending more on the military than all its potential adversaries combined, military contractors have fallen back on the jobs argument. Since weapons systems are built in virtually every congressional district in the country, it has been very difficult even for Pentagon officials to cut funding for patently unnecessary fighter jets and the like. This argument has filtered down to the community level as well, particularly at a time of state and federal budget cutbacks. As shown in
In fact, however, dollars invested in military spending are not good job creators. Spend a billion dollars on the military, economists Robert Pollin and Hedi Garrett-Peltier estimate, and you get about 11,000 jobs (just a little more than what Lockheed Martin employs in all of Maryland). Spend that same billion dollars on clean energy projects and you generate about 17,000 jobs. The same money invested in education produces nearly 30,000 jobs.
In other words, if the federal government reorganized its priorities according to the proposed
Montgomery County is home to many different kinds of employers, There’s the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and other large Federal agencies. If military spending is not brought under control, the jobs of people working at these agencies will be under threat. Then there are the private businesses that depend on consistent spending on county infrastructure from roads to schools. With federal spending being dramatically cut to states and localities, including in
Jean Athey is a coordinator of
John Feffer is the co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. He is the author of North Korea, South Korea: U.S. Policy at a Time of Crisis (Seven Stories, 2003) among other books.
Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/10/14-3
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs