Connecting military spending and jobs

January 13, 2011 

When I read the Sunday story on military spending in our state, I wondered how that connects with jobs.

A little research revealed some interesting facts.

According to a 2007 paper by professor Robert Pollin at the University of Massachusetts, investing $1 billion in the military produces fewer jobs with lower total wages than investing the same money in health care, education, mass transit or home weatherization.

For example, if the $4.9 billion spent on the military in Washington in 2010 were instead spent on education, that would have given us 44,747 more jobs during the year, with salaries that were on average 12 percent better.

Another study by Global Insight and the Center for Economic Priorities found that military spending actually results in job loss by slowing economic growth.

The Center for Economic Priorities conservatively estimates that military spending increases over the past 10 years will cost the U.S. economy close to 2 million jobs over 20 years.

As we look for ways to create a better economic future for our state, we should push for different federal spending priorities, and start attracting and creating nonmilitary industries and jobs.

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