Re: [OPE] Studying unproductive labor: CEPR report

Date: Thu Feb 28 2008 - 07:43:59 EST

I agree with Dave Z. Military spending while it can lead to the creation of 
surplus value in its absolute form cannot create  surplus value in its 
relative form with the consequences that Dave Z argues. An article in this 
month's (February 2008) Le Monde Diplomatique by Chalmers Johnson of all 
people shows concretely the effect of arms production on the US economy and 
proves the point ( ). The theory of 
the permanent arms economy is totally misconceived as Paul Bullock and 
myself argued over 30 years ago in Revolutionary Communist 3/4 

David Yaffe

At 15:50 27/02/2008 +0100, you wrote:
>Hi Jerry,
>I don't agree with their analysis, but I think it is interesting that they 
>reach a similar conclusion. In the short run military spending raises 
>demand. But it drains investment in the productive sectors, reducing the 
>growth of productive capacity of the economy which determines the long-run 
>development of output and the material living standard. Moreover, 
>increased arms spending means that more surplus labour must be pumped out 
>of the workers in the rest of the economy.
>//Dave Z
>> > The Economic Impact of the Iraq War and Higher Military Spending
>> > May 2007, Dean Baker
>> >
>> > Quote:
>> > "Military spending drains resources from the productive economy. For
>> > this reason, it will typically lead to slower economic growth, less
>> > investment, higher trade deficits, and fewer jobs."
>>Hi Dave Z:
>>The same argument could be extended to the
>>consequences of just about any increase in government spending.
>>What is curious here is the apparent lack of recognition that
>>increased government spending, including increased spending
>>on the military, can increase employment, income, and
>>spending in the macro economy.  It's almost as if he is making
>>a pre-Keynesian claim and thereby failing to recognize the
>>role that fiscal policy (not to mention the "multiplier") can
>>play in short-run macroeconomic activity.
>>In solidarity, Jerry
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