FORUM IN BATH SUPPORTS REDIRECTION OF MILITARY SPENDING
We had 100 people turn out last night in Bath for the public forum on Maine's growing dependence on military spending. A three-woman panel of speakers did a good job putting our present situation in context and offered ideas for ways we can begin to deal with our state's economic addiction to military spending.
The key take away was that we need more local discussion across the state about how military spending is capital intensive - meaning that federal spending on military production creates fewer jobs than any other kind of investment. Studies have long revealed that if we put our tax dollars into building green technology, health care, education, rail systems, road and bridge repair, etc we'd in every case get more jobs. You can see the study here
You'd think elected officials would be all over this information since it would be a key way to create more jobs with existing levels of federal spending. But the power of the military industrial complex neutralizes these "leaders".
Another important take-away from the meeting was the need to pass legislation at the state level to create a planning commission to begin the process of diversification of our military economy. Last year the state of Connecticut passed such a law and other states are now moving to do the same.
In the audience last evening were religious leaders, a Bath city council member, leaders of the climate change movement, peace activists, people from the green energy field, union members, as well as interested people from the general public.
Our challenge now will be to bring together a diverse group of people from across Maine to get this planning commission legislation moving in the state legislature next year.
All in all it was a very successful event organized by Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies.
The event began with a pot luck supper and we got great reviews on the food.