Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shovel-Ready versus Soldier-Ready

There really isn’t any serious debate in Washington over Keynesianism. Or there won’t be when the Tea Party freshmen get over their delusions of independence. When money has done the talking for you, it expects you to do the talking for it.

Here is the “split”.

Some of them want to throw money at “shovel-ready” highway projects…and their good friends in the road-building, car-manufacturing, and fuel-pumping businesses.

The others want to throw money at “soldier-ready” military adventures…and all their defense-contractor pals.

Whether you drop money from helicopters or “forget” to include the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the budget comes down to the same thing.

The handful of real peaceniks and budget hawks in Washington have no idea what they’d do with the staggering unemployment which would result from a 50% cut in defense spending. Somehow the prospects for renewed frenzy in McMansion-building, Escalade-manufacturing, and imported-TV-selling don’t seem all that plausible right now. As always there are a lot more jobs to be had in making stuff and then blowing it up.

What to do about it? Hmm…what would happen if we-the-people began to behave as though we valued dignified, fulfilling jobs for one-another over the lowest prices and the highest rates of return? What would happen if we stopped outsourcing so much responsibility?

To be continued…

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