Richard Sanders writes that If governments were serious about increasing employment, they would invest more in socially-useful, labour-intensive sectors of the economy, not the war industries.
Over the decades, many studies have proved that military spending is among the worst methods ever conceived for putting people to work. Research by the U.S. Institute for Policy Studies, in 2007, found that, for every billion dollars shovelled into war industries, 8,555 jobs are created. This pales in comparison to investments in other industries. For example, 50% more jobs are generated for every billion invested in home construction (12,804) and health care (12,883), while twice as many jobs are created in education (17,687), and 2.3 times as many in mass transit (19,795).
But, besides creating more jobs, investing in social sectors provides much-needed benefits for those who are putting up the cash. So, while grubstaking war industries generates far fewer jobs and provides no social services whatsoever, it also takes a terrifying toll on civilians who comprise 80% of the casualties in modern wars. This creates more enemies and makes us less secure.
As Canadian Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie noted: “Every time you kill an angry young man overseas, you’re creating 15 more who will come after you.” Leslie did not calculate how many enemies are created by killing women and children.
Make no mistake: war is big business. It generates profits not only for war industries, but also for corporations benefiting from regime changes that we force upon other societies. War is indeed about making the world peaceful and secure — not for us, but for the corporations that — while plundering natural and human resources — are running roughshod over the world.