My letter to the editor of The Olympian was published yesterday. 250 words makes it difficult to add important details, like the effects of depleted uranium munitions. Or the fact that a very sizable proportion of homeless and indigent pupulations in this country are military veterans. You get the idea. Here's the letter, www.theolympian.com/2011/06/19/1692136/full-employment-is-possible.html:
The military provides opportunity for many people: travel, education, other experiences. In many ways, the military works pretty well as a low-barrier jobs program.
Jobs programs are good for many reasons. One is because people deserve to have jobs; in fact, people need jobs. And if all people had job security and economic stability, then life might be better for everyone.
For example, there would be less violence. One problem with the military as a jobs program is that much of the military efforts of the U.S.A. are violent and suited to serve policies of economic supremacy, to serve aggression. And in the military there is racism, and other oppression. For more information, please see www.coffeestrong.org/.
If only there was to be a jobs program capable of providing meaningful and dignified work for all seekers. If only there was a jobs program as inclusive and extensive that did not operate on a premise of nationalistic dominance. If only there was a jobs program that was not oppressive and not racist, and did not have an essential basis in the killing of human beings.
Such a program is possible, it must be. Cutting the military budget and re-directing military spending to suit peaceful purposes need not result in unemployment for current military personnel.
We can have full employment and economic security; we can have jobs for all, without killing and war. And we can have rewards for creativity and productive enterprise.
Robert Whitlock (Berd)