Chalmers Johnson, noted political science scholar has described in great detail the full extent of the military industrial complex, its price on the American people and clearly lays out how our present course is unsustainable. Not only does our military spending exceed that of any other nation on the planet but so also does our trade deficit.
The world’s top 10 military spenders and the approximate amounts each country currently budgets for its military establishment are:
1. United States (FY08 budget), $623 billion
2. China (2004), $65 billion
3. Russia, $50 billion
4. France (2005), $45 billion
5. Japan (2007), $41.75 billion
6. Germany (2003), $35.1 billion
7. Italy (2003), $28.2 billion
8. South Korea (2003), $21.1 billion
9. India (2005 est.), $19 billion
10. Saudi Arabia (2005 est.), $18 billion
World total military expenditures (2004 est.), $1,100 billion
World total (minus the United States), $500 billion.
What we have sacrificed to bring about this self destructive policy amongst other things is manufacturing jobs. What we now suffer is massive dependence upon foreign resources to maintain our exorbitant military budget.
On May 1, 2007, the Center for Economic and Policy Research of Washington, DC, released a study prepared by the global forecasting company Global Insight on the long-term economic impact of increased military spending. Guided by economist Dean Baker, this research showed that, after an initial demand stimulus, by about the sixth year the effect of increased military spending turns negative. Needless to say, the US economy has had to cope with growing defense spending for more than 60 years. He found that, after 10 years of higher defense spending, there would be 464,000 fewer jobs than in a baseline scenario that involved lower defense spending.
It is often believed that wars and military spending increases are good for the economy. In fact, most economic models show that military spending diverts resources from productive uses, such as consumption and investment, and ultimately slows economic growth and reduces employment.
The US is crumbling as befitting a nation that invests in non productive enterprises such as defense as opposed to education, renewable energy and local manufacturing and resources management. Even Japan, which must import 100% of the raw materials required for manufacturing retains…
$88 billion per year trade surplus with the United States and enjoys the world’s second-highest current account balance.
Paul Kennedy, author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, ( a book recommended to me by a handsome and brilliant young Air Force officer I met while protesting at the Pentagon ), describes how through history how each empire, once it begins to invest so heavily in defense is doomed to fall. We have to start working locally, toward correcting our own smaller, possibly more manageable trade imbalances before the empire crumbles into dust.