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View Diary: NOW the military-industrial complex thinks the system is broken? (99 comments)

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  •  Well... it's not often talked about, (9+ / 0-)

    but I suspect part of the problem arises from the fact that in the United States certain goals which have nothing to do with the military are achieved through it, because sensible programmes might be politically unpalatable otherwise.

    If I remember correctly, in a class on the economics of European integration we noted that both the United States and the European Union view R&D policy as part of industrial policy, but where European companies may apply for R&D subsidies directly, such direct programmes are more limited, since they tend to be blocked by cries of "OMG SOCIALISM!!!" Instead, R&D is funnelled through the military, for example by using equipment purchases policy to lessen the risks associated with R&D, and by tailoring the specifications of equipment ordered to maximise potential commercial spin-offs.

    While historically both approaches have been roughly equivalent in terms of success, I suspect that the American approach mey be rather more fragile, as the fact that unspoken criteria are being used makes the system more vulnerable to corruption.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 10:42:53 AM PST

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    •  It's how Ike got the highways built (11+ / 0-)

      He said we needed them to haul military equipment in case of war.  

    •  it is ironic that the big bloated military budget (8+ / 0-)

      is the only real keynesian stimulus program that we have.

      It is of course one of the least efficient methods of doing it, but at least it's better than anything else we could pass through Congress.

      •  The Time Has Come... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alwaysquestion, BvueDem

        For the Military Industrial Complex to realize that their unlimited excesses have bankrupted this country and perverted our congress...

        We are hereby declaring that "Endless War is Over."

        They must now look to diversify beyond making swords for their survival rather than building unneeded weapons systems in order to keep their businesses open, rather than being a bloated parasite on the teat of our nation.

        They should instead look towards using their expertise in building things that will benefit the nation such as efficient mass transit systems, fuel cells for power for transportation, wind turbines for power generation, and above all working efficiently so that projects routinely come in under budget with better results than expected like every other profitable company in the world is expected to do...

        The other choice isn't their survival...

        "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
        I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
        ~John F. Kennedy~

        -7.5,-5.8

        by Oldestsonofasailor on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:37:29 PM PST

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    •  The Military-Industrial Complex has been (6+ / 0-)

      used as the center of the country's R&D since WWII.  Once the military was flooded with the lion's share of the country's money for execution of that war, they didn't want to let loose of it.  Ever since the economy started growing after the war, every R&D program of any magnitude has been funneled through the military.  The only exception, and the DOD fought for it tooth and nail, is NASA, and I'm still not clear on how the space program ended up in a separate agency.

      Every once in a while a president attempts to introduce a true industrial policy that doesn't rely on a funding stream through the DOD, but it's almost impossible to do, because the military has the political system and much of the country's security apparatus already in its pocket.  It's much easier to funnel money to the already-connected agency than create something new without the clout.  Also R&D failure within the Defense Department is much easier to cover up, so there is less public outcry when an experimental program - especially an expensive one - doesn't work out (think Solyndra).

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 12:17:57 PM PST

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