Military Spending and Jobs in Massachusetts is the title of a new study by Heidi Garrett-Peltier and Prasannan Parthasarathi, published by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) of UMass Amherst.
The authors look at the level of job losses that would be sustained if substantial cuts were made in federal spending on defense contracting in Massachusetts. They compare those impacts with potential cuts at a similar scale to education, healthcare, construction or clean-energy spending, finding that, for the same level of federal spending cuts, jobs losses are 15-20% less in non-military sectors. That is because federal funds invested in education, healthcare, construction and clean energy are far more effective job creators than military spending.
Massachusetts loses in two ways when federal dollars are allocated to the military beyond the actual security needs of the nation: it loses funds that may be used for education, healthcare, investment in infrastructure and environment and it loses the larger number of potential jobs that would be created from these alternate uses of federal dollars.
The Budget for All Referendum, which will be on the ballot in districts across Massachusetts this November, will allow hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts voters to call for shifting money from military spending to education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
Read the full study at http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/research_brief/MA_Military_May2012.pdf.