(OPE-L) Jurriaan re Permanent arms economy

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Fri Nov 05 2004 - 11:10:06 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jurriaan Bendien" <andromeda246@hetnet.nl>
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 9:05 AM
Subject: Permanent arms economy

 Personally, what I always find so peculiar about these Marxian discussions
about "permanent arms economy" is that a lot of it consists of abstract
theorising undisciplined by any serious analysis of empirical data, even
although there is quite some literature on the economic effects of defense
spending. In addition, the significance of military industries differs
greatly from country to country. The U.S. defense research and development
budget alone is five times that of all West European countries combined, for
example. I think you need the quantitative dimension to relativise the
theoretical arguments.

 Last year, the 46 percent growth in US defense spending was estimated to
about 1.7% to US GDP. In the first quarter of 2004, defense production
accounted for nearly 16 percent of the increase in the value of GDP,
according to the Commerce Department and BEA. Defense spending rose by 15.1
percent to an annualized rate of $537.4 billion, up from $463.3 billion in
the comparable period of 2002/2003. The increase helped the US apparel and
textile industry to its first net increase in employment over the first four
months of any year since 1990. However, many government departments, such as
the Department of Energy, engage in defense or defense-related projects;
thus, just by looking at what the US Department of Defense spends, total
defense spending is underestimated.

 Looksmart has some older articles on the economic effects of defence
spending in the US available on-line, see e.g.

 Defense-related employment would be around 2% of all US jobs (but of course
more jobs are directly dependent on those jobs) and defense outputs would be
to the order of 3-4% of GDP. Therefore military expenditure in the US can
have a significant effect on the annual increase in national income.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Nov 06 2004 - 00:00:00 EST