From Seattle: The Lies of Drone Job Creation
Many of the scores of anti-drone protests across the country last month took place in communities dependant on the military-industrial complex for the money that drone warfare brings. A critical task of the peace movement is to expose the lie that ending investment in war technology such as drones would somehow mean the death of national and local economies. Through their actions in Seattle this month, Western Washington FOR and their allies did just that.
“How would you spend our nation’s discretionary funds for a year- a total of $1.242 trillion? On April 15, 2013, people in six different neighborhoods of Seattle were asked to make that decision. Each person participating got 10 pennies, each penny represented $123 billion, and there were 5 categories.
450 people participated in a penny poll and this is how they voted:
Military — 6.1%
Education — 31.7%
Health Care — 25.1%
Environment — 23.5%
Humanitarian Aid — 13.5%
These numbers are a stark contrast to the way that our income taxes are actually being spent in 2013. Instead of the military budget (past and present) dominating the budget at 47%, this clearly demonstrates that people in Seattle are calling out for a re-prioritization of our federal budget items. There is still acknowledgement that the military is a small, but necessary element of our national security, but the funding that is poured into the Pentagon could be better used if invested into education, health care, or our environment. Even humanitarian aid, which if used to stabilize other nations in a supportive way could lead to greater world security, received double the investment than the military.
Some may ask, what would happen to the unemployment rate if we cut the Pentagon budget? In fact, we would create more jobs by spending according to the priorities of Seattleites. Spending on education for example creates more than 16,000 jobs per billion dollars than spending on the military. Each person who dropped a penny into the Education jar voted to create 1,984,000 new jobs! If the priorities of the Congress followed the votes of the people of Seattle, we would certainly be living in a very different world.”
Please see here for WWFOR’s “Invest in People, Not the Pentagon” community conference from February.
Please see here for economic research showing that military spending creates fewer jobs than spending on other sectors.