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The Myth of Military Contracting


December 1, 2011
Brave New Foundation

The war industry stood back with glee when it released a shoddy study that produced the sought-after deceptive headlines about defense spending, the magic sauce of job creation. There was no balance to these reports, and the War Industry should know, because they funded it!

http://www.bravenewfoundation.org/2011/10/blog/the-myth-of-military-contracting/

The Myth of Military Contracting
Brave New Foundation



CULVER CITY, California (October 29, 2011) -- The war industry stood back with glee when it released a shoddy study that produced the sought-after deceptive headlines about defense spending, the magic sauce of job creation. There was no balance to these reports, and the War Industry should know, because they funded it!

A cursory or peer review of its content would've demonstrated the leaps in logic and faith taken by the Second To None lobbying front.

Your and your neighbors' jobs, or lack thereof, are of no concern to Second To None, an association funded by the Aerospace Industries Association. Their bogus "analysis" links job creation to military spending, but it is, like so much of the Pentagon's hawkishness, detached and devoid of context and reality.

On its face, the study totally ignores how many more jobs would be created through just about any other kind of spending compared to military priorities. But to further demonstrate the study's twistedness, it omits the actual solution to the job crisis: long-term economic growth. And surprise, surprise- the road to long-term recovery is not through constructing tanks and warships.

Military spending generates an industrial brain drain that consumes engineers and scientists into a black hole of manufactured explosions and destruction. Manufacturing jobs, so sorely needed for economic prosperity, are withering on the vine as war contractors throw money down failed projects, or in Pentagon-speak, research and development initiatives. In the meantime, entire constructive industries are left stagnant or unimagined.

On almost the same day as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office revealed the smoke and mirrors employed in the most recent budget agreement left the Pentagon $440 billion richer, military contractors are renewing their chokehold on Congress.

Or as the Los Angeles Times put it: Congress works to avert defense budget cuts.

The story rightfully reports how Congress is doing the military contractors' bidding. Congressional leaders are on the cusp of taking military contractors' cuts off the table and upending the not-so-grand bargain, which raised the debt ceiling earlier this year.

But what's missing is muckraking that demonstrates the absurdity, on its face, that military spending is the holiest of holy spending. This in particular is a well-documented and well-sourced fairy tale. As Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research has demonstrated (emphasis mine):

Under the military spending fairy story, if the government spends $1 billion dollars paying people to do research or to build items related to the civilian economy it is just a drag on the private economy; however if the same spending goes to military related purposes, then it creates jobs.

… For people who don't believe in the military spending fairy, the story is simple. During a downturn where there are lots of unemployed workers, any government spending will create jobs, regardless of whether or not it is on the military. In fact, military spending is likely to create fewer jobs than spending in most other areas (e.g. education, health care, conservation) because it is more capital intensive.


More intellectually dishonest is how the report assumes idyllic conditions for job creation and weather patterns alike. It omits the scenario created by the debt ceiling increase, wherein the so-called Congressional supercommittee faces across the board cuts to defense cuts on one hand and programs for students, seniors, the disabled and the poor on the other.

It's not a secret that spending creates jobs, in fact compared to other ways of spending the money, military spending costs jobs. Spending elsewhere creates more jobs than building tanks.

So the same companies do the same military contracting with the same number of jobs year over year to protect the escalating jaw-dropping corporate profits. While some Occupy Wall Street cities have identified the war industry as a culprit of corporate greed, here's more proof how the war industry is not much different from the big banks after all.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in a 1786 letter that, "Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press." In that vein, it's the mission of War Costs to debunk Pentagon spin everywhere it appears. The first step is denying the war profiteers any public relations or make-believe victories.

Join the War Costs campaign on Facebook and help us expose war contractor propaganda.



Meet the 0.01 Percent: War Profiteers
Brave New Foundation

(October 27th, 2011) -- There's the top 1% of wealthy Americans (bankers, oil tycoons, hedge fund managers) and there's the top 0.01% of wealthy Americans: the military contractor CEOs.

If you've been following the War Costs campaign, you already know that these corporations are bad bosses, bad job creators and bad stewards of taxpayer dollars. What you may not know is that the huge amount of money these companies' CEOs make off of war and your tax dollars places them squarely at the top of the gang of corrupt superrich choking our democracy. These CEOs want you to believe the massive war budget is about security — it's not. The lobbying they're doing to keep the war budget intact at the expense of the social safety net is purely about their greed.

In many areas, including yearly CEO salary and in dollars spent corrupting Congress, these companies are far greater offenders than even the big banks like JP Morgan Chase or Bank of America.

Egregious Military Contractor CEO Pay
The top 0.01% of earners make at least $9.14 million per year, a rarefied strata of income that includes defense company CEOs and Wall Street bank chieftains alike. But a deeper dive demonstrates how defense companies outpace the big banks' knack for enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else.

Military Contractor CEO Pay in 2010

• Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush: $22.84 million.

• Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens: $21.89 million.

• Boeing CEO James McNerney: $19.4 million.

Just to put that in context, consider how these annual payoffs compare to the people we're used to thinking of as poster children for the top 1 percent:

Financial Sector CEO Pay in 2010

• JP Morgan Chase CEO James Dimon: $20.81 million.

• Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf: $18.97 million.

• Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan: $1.94 million.

Considering how they stack up to financial sector heads, war industry CEOs aren't just members of the 1%; they're the super-elite among them, the one-hundredth of a percent.

Lobbying Domination
Disgusted by the overwhelming corporate influence in Congress? Look no further than the big military contractor companies, whose flagship companies spend enough on lobbying to dwarf even financial sector titans.

War Industry Lobbying Expenditures for 2010
• Lockheed Martin: $12.7 million.

• Northrop Grumman: $15.7 million.

• Boeing: $17.89 million.

Again, just to provide some context, here are the same lobbying totals for some of the most recognized names in the financial sector.

Financial Sector Lobbying in 2010
• JP Morgan Chase:$7.41 million.

• Wells Fargo: $5.43 million.

• Bank of America: $3.98 million.

The war industry gets away with blowing our money on job-killing spending because it can bend Congress to its whim. In the process, the industry is like a vacuum sucking up brain power and engineering resources that could and would establish and grow entirely new wholesome industries. It's no surprise that Americans confront a 9.1% unemployment rate and an under-employment rate flirting with 20 percent this year.

Want to know where all the money went that could be putting people back to work or keeping US manufacturing industries competitive? The war industry CEOs dumped lobbying cash on Congress and diverted all that wealth to their private bank accounts.

Striking a Blow for Democracy
The war contractors' iron grip on the wealth and politics of our country has caught the attention of our friends at Occupy Wall Street, who are targeting war profiteers in its draft list of demands with a call to bring home "all military personnel at all non-essential bases" and to end the "Military Industrial Complex's goal of perpetual war for profit."

We're allies of the Occupy movement, which swells from the 99%'s disgust and dysfunction with our system. A democracy for and of the people that favors the 0.01% at the expense of the 99.99% of us is no democracy at all.

We here at Brave New Foundation and the War Costs campaign have been inspired by the incredible work of the Occupy movement, so we created our latest video to help push this critical piece of their message: war for profit has to end. We're asking viewers to share our video with their local Occupy groups and organize a guerrilla screening at an Occupy protest in your city.

The Occupy protests have a lot to teach us, and the leaderless movement is at minimum an indictment of our political system. They've stopped whispering, and we've all started shouting.

Occupy your city and show this video to your community.

Brave New Foundation, 10510 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Championing social justice issues by using media to inspire, empower, motivate and teach civic participation that makes a difference.


http://www.bravenewfoundation.org/2011/10/blog/the-myth-of-military-contracting/

The Myth of Military Contracting
Brave New Foundation



CULVER CITY, California (October 29, 2011) -- The war industry stood back with glee when it released a shoddy study that produced the sought-after deceptive headlines about defense spending, the magic sauce of job creation. There was no balance to these reports, and the War Industry should know, because they funded it!

A cursory or peer review of its content would've demonstrated the leaps in logic and faith taken by the Second To None lobbying front.

Your and your neighbors' jobs, or lack thereof, are of no concern to Second To None, an association funded by the Aerospace Industries Association. Their bogus "analysis" links job creation to military spending, but it is, like so much of the Pentagon's hawkishness, detached and devoid of context and reality.

On its face, the study totally ignores how many more jobs would be created through just about any other kind of spending compared to military priorities. But to further demonstrate the study's twistedness, it omits the actual solution to the job crisis: long-term economic growth. And surprise, surprise- the road to long-term recovery is not through constructing tanks and warships.

Military spending generates an industrial brain drain that consumes engineers and scientists into a black hole of manufactured explosions and destruction. Manufacturing jobs, so sorely needed for economic prosperity, are withering on the vine as war contractors throw money down failed projects, or in Pentagon-speak, research and development initiatives. In the meantime, entire constructive industries are left stagnant or unimagined.

On almost the same day as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office revealed the smoke and mirrors employed in the most recent budget agreement left the Pentagon $440 billion richer, military contractors are renewing their chokehold on Congress.

Or as the Los Angeles Times put it: Congress works to avert defense budget cuts.

The story rightfully reports how Congress is doing the military contractors' bidding. Congressional leaders are on the cusp of taking military contractors' cuts off the table and upending the not-so-grand bargain, which raised the debt ceiling earlier this year.

But what's missing is muckraking that demonstrates the absurdity, on its face, that military spending is the holiest of holy spending. This in particular is a well-documented and well-sourced fairy tale. As Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research has demonstrated (emphasis mine):

Under the military spending fairy story, if the government spends $1 billion dollars paying people to do research or to build items related to the civilian economy it is just a drag on the private economy; however if the same spending goes to military related purposes, then it creates jobs.

… For people who don't believe in the military spending fairy, the story is simple. During a downturn where there are lots of unemployed workers, any government spending will create jobs, regardless of whether or not it is on the military. In fact, military spending is likely to create fewer jobs than spending in most other areas (e.g. education, health care, conservation) because it is more capital intensive.


More intellectually dishonest is how the report assumes idyllic conditions for job creation and weather patterns alike. It omits the scenario created by the debt ceiling increase, wherein the so-called Congressional supercommittee faces across the board cuts to defense cuts on one hand and programs for students, seniors, the disabled and the poor on the other.

It's not a secret that spending creates jobs, in fact compared to other ways of spending the money, military spending costs jobs. Spending elsewhere creates more jobs than building tanks.

So the same companies do the same military contracting with the same number of jobs year over year to protect the escalating jaw-dropping corporate profits. While some Occupy Wall Street cities have identified the war industry as a culprit of corporate greed, here's more proof how the war industry is not much different from the big banks after all.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in a 1786 letter that, "Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press." In that vein, it's the mission of War Costs to debunk Pentagon spin everywhere it appears. The first step is denying the war profiteers any public relations or make-believe victories.

Join the War Costs campaign on Facebook and help us expose war contractor propaganda.


Meet the 0.01 Percent: War Profiteers
Brave New Foundation

(October 27th, 2011) -- There's the top 1% of wealthy Americans (bankers, oil tycoons, hedge fund managers) and there's the top 0.01% of wealthy Americans: the military contractor CEOs.

If you've been following the War Costs campaign, you already know that these corporations are bad bosses, bad job creators and bad stewards of taxpayer dollars. What you may not know is that the huge amount of money these companies' CEOs make off of war and your tax dollars places them squarely at the top of the gang of corrupt superrich choking our democracy. These CEOs want you to believe the massive war budget is about security — it's not. The lobbying they're doing to keep the war budget intact at the expense of the social safety net is purely about their greed.

In many areas, including yearly CEO salary and in dollars spent corrupting Congress, these companies are far greater offenders than even the big banks like JP Morgan Chase or Bank of America.

Egregious Military Contractor CEO Pay
The top 0.01% of earners make at least $9.14 million per year, a rarefied strata of income that includes defense company CEOs and Wall Street bank chieftains alike. But a deeper dive demonstrates how defense companies outpace the big banks' knack for enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else.

Military Contractor CEO Pay in 2010

• Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush: $22.84 million.

• Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens: $21.89 million.

• Boeing CEO James McNerney: $19.4 million.

Just to put that in context, consider how these annual payoffs compare to the people we're used to thinking of as poster children for the top 1 percent:

Financial Sector CEO Pay in 2010

• JP Morgan Chase CEO James Dimon: $20.81 million.

• Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf: $18.97 million.

• Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan: $1.94 million.

Considering how they stack up to financial sector heads, war industry CEOs aren't just members of the 1%; they're the super-elite among them, the one-hundredth of a percent.

Lobbying Domination
Disgusted by the overwhelming corporate influence in Congress? Look no further than the big military contractor companies, whose flagship companies spend enough on lobbying to dwarf even financial sector titans.

War Industry Lobbying Expenditures for 2010
• Lockheed Martin: $12.7 million.

• Northrop Grumman: $15.7 million.

• Boeing: $17.89 million.

Again, just to provide some context, here are the same lobbying totals for some of the most recognized names in the financial sector.

Financial Sector Lobbying in 2010
• JP Morgan Chase:$7.41 million.

• Wells Fargo: $5.43 million.

• Bank of America: $3.98 million.

The war industry gets away with blowing our money on job-killing spending because it can bend Congress to its whim. In the process, the industry is like a vacuum sucking up brain power and engineering resources that could and would establish and grow entirely new wholesome industries. It's no surprise that Americans confront a 9.1% unemployment rate and an under-employment rate flirting with 20 percent this year.

Want to know where all the money went that could be putting people back to work or keeping US manufacturing industries competitive? The war industry CEOs dumped lobbying cash on Congress and diverted all that wealth to their private bank accounts.

Striking a Blow for Democracy
The war contractors' iron grip on the wealth and politics of our country has caught the attention of our friends at Occupy Wall Street, who are targeting war profiteers in its draft list of demands with a call to bring home "all military personnel at all non-essential bases" and to end the "Military Industrial Complex's goal of perpetual war for profit."

We're allies of the Occupy movement, which swells from the 99%'s disgust and dysfunction with our system. A democracy for and of the people that favors the 0.01% at the expense of the 99.99% of us is no democracy at all.

We here at Brave New Foundation and the War Costs campaign have been inspired by the incredible work of the Occupy movement, so we created our latest video to help push this critical piece of their message: war for profit has to end. We're asking viewers to share our video with their local Occupy groups and organize a guerrilla screening at an Occupy protest in your city.

The Occupy protests have a lot to teach us, and the leaderless movement is at minimum an indictment of our political system. They've stopped whispering, and we've all started shouting.

Occupy your city and show this video to your community.

Brave New Foundation, 10510 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Championing social justice issues by using media to inspire, empower, motivate and teach civic participation that makes a difference.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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