RE: SV: [OPE] Studying unproductive labor: CEPR report

Date: Thu Feb 28 2008 - 08:12:07 EST

> While military spinoffs can have a positive effect on productivity and > output I think there can be little doubt that had the military budget > been spent in civilian R&D instead the effects would have direct and > greater.
Hi Dave Z:
At least insofar as we're talking about capitalist economies, there
is indeed room for doubt.  Most of the major technological advances
of the 2nd half of the 20th Century (including rockets, jets, satellites,
atomic power, computers, the Internet, radar, GPS, etc.)  were a
consequence of military spending. Indeed, to the extent that 
government spending was key for the development of the computer
then it could be fairly claimed that every _other_ technology developed since
which includes a microprocessor (and that means just about _all_
new technologies) was an indirect consequence of military spending.  
Had that money been spent on civilian R&D then other technologies 
would have indeed developed but there is no way of knowing whether 
the effects would have been greater.  
In solidarity, Jerry

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