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Germany backs NATO plan for missile-defense shield | World | Deutsche Welle | 14.10.2010

Germany has expressed its approval for an anti-missile system proposed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at a summit of member countries' defense and foreign ministers.

 

The 28-nation military alliance gathered Thursday in Brussels to discuss its new 10-year strategy designed to usher in a new era with a new orientation. Top of the agenda was a nuclear-missile shield to protect Europe and North America.

 

"We believe that, on substance, the missile shield is a good idea," German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told reporters ahead of the meeting.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:38:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shield against whose missiles ?

Iran's 500 mile fire crackers ? N Korea's inner city ballistic missile ?

Or Martians ?

We're going through a recession guys, now is not hte time for recreating cold War fantasies

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 05:19:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if the work were done in countries that are in recession, that would constitute a stimulus for those economies. The last thing needed is for most of the work to go to Germany. Call it "Anti-Missile Keynsianism".  :-)

But, of course, most of the work will end up in the countries that need it least, possibly excepting the UK. And presuming that the work is done in Europe. The USA could certainly use the work. It fits the economic function provided by capital spending: people are employed building things that are not immediately consumed. Not to say that it wouldn't be even better were similar sums spent on infrastructure that people would actually use.

But if they pay for it by firing government workers, then they have just replaced one kind of non-consumption oriented production with another. But politics and spin trumps all.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem with what you propose is that military spending is an economic dead end in that the product provides zero added value to the economy (even if you sell it abroad). It is simply dead weight economically.

If you build trade goods or infrastructure these assets multiply their value, weapons systems may direct tax dollars into the pockets of citizens in the same way as any other govt project, but at the end nothing is added to the economy.

So military spend adds mass not energy.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 09:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends. Part of the money for the missile shield goes to solve interesting technical puzzles that may further down lead to useful stuff. Better than buying and dropping bombs at least.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 09:50:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I never claimed that military production resulted in useful things, other than military advantage. But, because that production is not consumed in a normal sense, it has the same effect, in a macro sense, as capital spending -- i.e. you are paying people for production that will not be consumed. They will spend their wages on things that are consumed. That helps the larger economy, which is largely based on production of goods and services for immediate consumption. See THE GREAT SLUMP OF 1930 by Keynes and do the little arithmetical calculation he suggests.

This used to be more effective, before consumer goods manufacturing was exported to low labor cost countries, but it would still help the domestic service based economy by providing relatively high wage jobs and injecting purchasing power into the base of the economy.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 01:24:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using the military spending to "help the domestic service based economy by providing relatively high wage jobs and injecting purchasing power into the base of the economy" is all good from a very narrow perspective.

broadening the horizon a bit, that same money could be used to fund all manner of civilization-enhancing technologies and projects, including even the arts.  with far more payback.

humanity ain't gonna advance while it keeps funding old-school death. 'specially not as the oceans die off, and the nutrient-depleted topsoil washes away.

if i had 1/100th of amurka's military budget to spend for ten years, we'd have floating windmills producing hydrogen being deployed around the world in year 11.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 04:06:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am certainly not advocating 'Military Keynesianism', only noting what its effects are on the economy. It would be much better to have the same money put into just about any long term social capital good.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Better than buying and dropping bombs at least.

But they do them both at the same time. The classic Reagan get what you give motif: finance both Iran and Iraq to kill each other, hiding the addicted wife while buying and selling drugs to finance munitions prohibited by Congress, spend massive amounts of money for carriers, battleships and planes while kicking off the faux dream of missile defense.

27 years later they still have failures with beacon-blaring targets.

The only spin-off so far is a good laugh or two from the one or two comedians keeping track.

Happy Cuban Missile Crisis Anniversary.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 01:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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