Read this. Just read this.

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

This is one of those essays where I’m just going to send you to someone else’s work.

Read it.  Just read it.

I don’t even know where to begin, as far as paraphrasing this, trying to pitch it, whatever.  You just have to read it.

The title tells you the subject matter:

The Military-Industrial Compex is Ruining the Economy

I’ve mentioned this blogger before.  I think he’s brilliant.  I think, in fact, that he’s the best single blogger out there.

(Sorry everybody else).

His stuff is so dense, yet so readable, that it’s even difficult to blockquote.   But I have to try a sample:

As I pointed out in August, public sector spending – and mainly defense spending – has accounted for virtually all of the new job creation in the past 10 years:

The U.S. has largely been financing job creation for ten years. Specifically, as the chief economist for BusinessWeek, Michael Mandel, points out, public spending has accounted for virtually all new job creation in the past 1o years:

Private sector job growth was almost non-existent over the past ten years. Take a look at this horrifying chart:

Between May 1999 and May 2009, employment in the private sector sector only rose by 1.1%, by far the lowest 10-year increase in the post-depression period.

It’s impossible to overstate how bad this is. Basically speaking, the private sector job machine has almost completely stalled over the past ten years. Take a look at this chart:

Over the past 10 years, the private sector has generated roughly 1.1 million additional jobs, or about 100K per year. The public sector created about 2.4 million jobs.

But even that gives the private sector too much credit. Remember that the private sector includes health care, social assistance, and education, all areas which receive a lot of government support.


Most of the industries which had positive job growth over the past ten years were in the HealthEdGov sector. In fact, financial job growth was nearly nonexistent once we take out the health insurers.

Let me finish with a final chart.


Raw Story argues that the U.S. is building a largely military economy:

The use of the military-industrial complex as a quick, if dubious, way of jump-starting the economy is nothing new, but what is amazing is the divergence between the military economy and the civilian economy, as shown by this New York Times chart.

In the past nine years, non-industrial production in the US has declined by some 19 percent. It took about four years for manufacturing to return to levels seen before the 2001 recession — and all those gains were wiped out in the current recession.

By contrast, military manufacturing is now 123 percent greater than it was in 2000 — it has more than doubled while the rest of the manufacturing sector has been shrinking…

It’s important to note the trajectory — the military economy is nearly three times as large, proportionally to the rest of the economy, as it was at the beginning of the Bush administration. And it is the only manufacturing sector showing any growth. Extrapolate that trend, and what do you get?

The change in leadership in Washington does not appear to be abating that trend…121

Just read it.

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out this:

Question: What has become of the American nation? Conceived with the vision of liberty and justice for all, we have descended in the clutches of corporate and other special interests to a second world state defined by K Street instead of Independence Square. Our government doesn’t work anymore, or perhaps more accurately, when it does, it works for special interests and not the American people. Washington consistently stoops to legislate 10,000-page perversions of healthcare, regulatory reform, defense, and budgetary mandates overflowing with earmarks that serve a monied minority as opposed to an all-too-silent majority. You don’t have to be Don Quixote to believe that legislators – and Presidents – often do not work for the benefit of their constituents: A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported that over 65% of Americans trust their government to do the right thing “only some of the time” and a stunning 19% said “never.” What most politicians apparently are working for is to perpetuate their power – first via district gerrymandering, and then second by around-the-clock campaigning financed by special interest groups. If, by chance, they’re ever voted out of office, they have a home just down the street – at K Street – with six-figure incomes as a starting wage.

What amazes me most of all is that politicians can be bought so cheaply. Public records show that combined labor, insurance, big pharma and related corporate interests spent just under $500 million last year on healthcare lobbying (not much of which went to politicians) for what is likely to be a $50-100 billion annual return. The fact is that American citizens have never been as divorced from their representatives – and if that description fits the Democratic Congress now in control – then it applies to Republicans as well – past and present. So you watch Fox, or is it MSNBC? O’Reilly or Olbermann? It doesn’t matter. You’re just being conned into rooting for a team that basically runs the same plays called by lookalike coaches on different sidelines. A “ballot box” pox on all their houses – Senators, Representatives and Presidents alike. There has been no change, there will be no change, until we the American people decide to publicly finance all national and local elections and ban the writing of even a $1 check for our favorite candidates. Undemocratic? Hardly. Get on the internet, use Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter to campaign for your choice. That’s the new democracy. When special interests, even singular citizens write a check, it represents a perversion of democracy not the exercise of the First Amendment. Any chance that any of this will happen? Not one ghost of a chance.

This isn’t written by some docudharma dude, this is written by the Managing Director of PIMCO, “your global investing authority“!

And check out this rather alarming graph he shows us:

WTF is that?   Well THAT, my friends, shows the amount of U.S. debt that the Fed has purchased in recent months.   Because nobody else would buy it.   This is similar to, say, running up all your credit cards until they’re maxed out, then simply magically borrowing money from yourself to continue borrowing even MORE money.   Borrowing money from yourself that you don’t have.    So you can appear, to your neighbors, to still be “prosperous”.  It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard of, and it’s S.O.P for the Fed right now.   The Fed is buying our debt because China won’t any more.

And as he puts it:

“It was the least understood, most surreptitious government bailout of all, far exceeding the U.S. TARP in magnitude.”

If this doesn’t make your eyes pop out of your head, nothing will.

But hey, that’s almost beside the point, what I want you to read is this.   One more quote from it:

You know about America’s unemployment problem. You may have even heard that the U.S. may very well have suffered a permanent destruction of jobs.

But did you know that the defense employment sector is booming?

The only game in town.  

Whodda thunk this country could be ruined in ten short years …?


Skip to comment form

    • Inky99 on January 10, 2010 at 10:02

    I just like to see that people have read my stuff here.   It keeps me going.  

  1. Another profound point to remember about propping up the economy with military spending – it creates nothing of value.

    Unlike infrastructure investment, education, or other domestic expenditures, which create long term value for society, defense spending creates nothing but the power to destroy.

    It is a sinkhole. A drain.

    UNLESS, you are a parasitic nation, who’s GDP is largely derived from the pillaging of other nations.

    A parasitic nation. A nation of rapist and pillagers. That’s about right.

    • banger on January 10, 2010 at 20:22

    It makes perfect sense that it should be this way. But in the end, isn’t it the profound failure of democracy in this country that we are looking at here?

    Isn’t it a fact that we love violence or at least watching it and thinking about it. Why do all the responses that come out of our country always violent? We should torture, kill, incarcerate, punish, punish, punish, revenge, revenge, revenge. This is who our contemporary citizens, to a large extent are. In real life they may not be violent most of the time but their emotions often violent and repressed. Even some of us may fit into that category. The crazy stuff we crave does express who we are and what our values are. The external military is an outer expression of our inner state. We have armies on the move killing, terrorizing in order to maintain order, any kind of order. We cannot face the ever more chaotic stuff from the unconscious that we have no idea how to handle and our masters (and mistresses) encourage our confusion, our weaknesses. The more junky-like we are, the better.  

    Whether people are manipulated or not (they are) we are all responsible for ourselves ultimately.

    Each of us, in my view, contributes to this ever-mounting craziness to the extent we are determined to shut down our consciousness and allow the great drug of popular culture to pick us apart. The only way forward is to turn to the soul for guidance and that is a hard journey. As I view the current situation, which is out of the control of any constructive force, I see the only way to turn is inward — not towards isolation but towards something we know so little about and out of which, to the extent we focus on it, will bring us back to who we really are and enable us to truly see others.

  2. it seems to me that one of the key factors for the growth of private-sector jobs is one that the original George Washington nailed: we need tariffs.  We need to penalize (by way of taxation) companies that move their plants overseas.  We need to protect the “home front” from parasitic corporate policies.

    Free trade basically means the same thing as “Right to Work”: ya got no rights in the latter case; and ya got nuthin’ ta trade cuz we off-shored it in the former.

    Shrubbie starting two wars made the military-industrial complex’s expansion inevitable; I don’t believe that it will inevitably continue to expand as long as private-sector policies are brought into line with what the U.S. historically has had.

    What is inevitable is that, with the Free Marketeers working in conjunction with the Armchair Warriors for some 30 years, we get these results.  

  3. The use of the military-industrial complex as a quick, if dubious, way of jump-starting the economy is nothing new, but what is amazing is the divergence between the military economy and the civilian economy, as shown by this New York Times chart.

    I’ve been saying this on blogs since 2001 until I was blue in the face.  

  4. This seems to completely overlook the housing boom the country just went through and the jobs that created. Add to it that the Tech bubble had not burst yet …. I think the charts may have erred’.

    I’m not saying that taking a country to war to support the MIC is not profitable for a few, but …. just sayin  

  5. All those hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually on war and the tools thereof are bankrupting us.

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