Saturday, March 7, 2009

Economy Reset: Industrial Reset, and the Pentagon Budget

President Obama has made it clear the Bush practice of funneling taxpayer dollars straight into military spending is over. I applaud the end of handing out dollars by the train load to military contractors making bridges and buildings to nowhere in the Middle East, while the US infrastructure rots or gets evermore behind Europe and Asia's innovations. ( The insincere, fat boys and girls of the Republican Party love deficit spending when its to make America over into an infrastructure-less agrarian South, and dump taxpayer money into state building on foreign soil, but hate deficit spending when its to maintain the fundamentals of an industrial society here at home.)

But the Obama team shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water. The White House ought to stop Bridge to Nowhere projects on foreign soil, but keep Pentagon programs that have a multiplier effect for the US public. Specifically, the next gen micro-device programs at Darpa (see here).

I'm saying this if these technologies do at least the following: 1) Defend America for less money than previous generation technology and tactics 2) Defend America more effectively 3) Has trickle down effect of more powerful consumer goods 4) Invigorates American competitiveness in the global tech market place (with the caveat that those dollars do not go to American stockholders that opt for offshore production scenarios, leaving the average American unemployed once again).

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