Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump’s Plan to Rebuild Military Hits Manpower Shortfalls


Why would it be safe to assume that the same could not be said for manufacturing/industrial/infrastructure jobs?





27 comments:

Penguin pop said...

Trump will need to copy Theresa May on this one and get a lot of focus on STEM and training in that area if he wants to get that military up and all those infrastructure jobs he wants to create. He needs to think about policies that would help immediately get people into that kind of training. Is this related to the point you were making about gender studies majors not being qualified to do these jobs?

Matt Franko said...

Well it looks like to a great extent we are what we train to be...

I just dont think we have been training for the last 8 years in the disciplines that Trump policy is relevant to...

Paul Ryan said the other day "there is no such things as shovel ready jobs..." so he might understand this (tho I didnt get any context just the quote... he might have just been shitting on Obama policy...)

Bannon has said 'we are going to throw some stuff up on the wall and see what sticks..." so this is cowboy Keynesian and perhaps scary in terms of stable prices...

Crystal ball is pretty cloudy....

John said...

Rebuild? By some measures, Washington spends more than the rest of the world combined! How much would it take to "rebuild" this gigantic military, a military that has near taken control of civilian decision making? Should Washington double the budget? Perhaps it should double the overseas bases to 2000, and even demand military bases in the countries who don't host this sprawling behemoth?

Matt Franko said...

"By some measures, Washington spends more than the rest of the world combined! "

Well that is their problem...

We need more young people coming in to replace the older folks going out all the time... same as in non-military sector...

You get rates back up a bit and imo there is going to be a FLOOD of retirements creating even more shortages in certain labor codes...

No evidence that they have thought all of this through....








Noah Way said...

That same strategy should be applied to the civilian labor market. Lower the retirement age to 55 to open up jobs. Of course there would have to be a substantial increase in social security to keep all those new retirees out of poverty. But none of that money would be saved, it would all flow back into the economy creating more jobs and tax revenue.

Tom Hickey said...

The US can import STEM workers from all of the world a lot cheaper than training them here? Why would a business not want to do that?

Tom Hickey said...

Don't even need visa with the Internet. They can work at a distance, just many US tech workers now do.

Matt Franko said...

"But none of that money would be saved, it would all flow back into the economy creating more jobs and tax revenue."

Nobody understands that.... they are thinking that the taxes fund the transfer payments... also we need to understand that some of the leading flow will leak into savings both internal and external... to holders of USDs who have had a high 'hoarding' coefficient...

This is from Brian R's latest where he introduces this "hoarding" concept which is a current period loss to the system if we use discrete time form of modeling...

Brian says:

" I have discovered that it is fairly easy to generate endlessly growing governmental debt levels. All you need to do is to add a sector to the economy, give it a source of cash flow, and forget to add an outflow. It will hoard financial assets, and drive the economy to a state of capacity underutilisation. The automatic stabilisers associated with fiscal policy kick in, and the government runs deficits to counteract the demand drag. Eventually, the economy returns to a "normal" capacity utilisation level, but with higher governmental debt and deficit levels. In other words, we can have wildly different governmental debt levels corresponding to the exact same level of capacity utilisation.

If we return to the real world, we do see sectors that emulate such hoarding behaviour.
Pension funds are relentlessly accumulating financial assets to meet future outflows. Those pension funds will never purchase real goods and services (beyond their technology infrastructure), no matter the level of their financial asset holdings.
Foreign central banks have been accumulating reserve assets, with no intention of ever buying real goods and services with those reserves -- they are to be used to purchase a particular financial asset (their domestic currency if it is under attack).
Many corporations are mindlessly piling up cash hoards, reflecting the empire-building objectives of the C-suite.
Increasing inequality is redistributing income flows to the parts of the household sector with a low propensity to consume, leading to the growth of the stock of financial assets held.
If we include various intra-governmental debt holdings within the total, government debt outstanding could become arbitrarily large without any observable effect on economic behaviour."

Nobody in the academe of economics can understand this but maybe a few ...

Obama ran an admin of the academe now Trump is bringing in the acquisitors maybe these people can be made to understand it the academe is too dogmatic and stovepiped...

We need to put out deterministic discrete time models that illustrate what you are saying here .... NOBODY is doing that anywhere...

Matt Franko said...

sounds good Tom... we can pay them with 3 rations of dog brain soup per day like they do in China and make an absolute killing!!!!

Unknown said...

Quote:
Why would it be safe to assume that the same could not be said for manufacturing/industrial/infrastructure jobs?

Because the armed forces are all volunteer, and the US history in getting involved in foreign wars is not good. Relatively few want to run the risk of getting killed.

The way out would be to re-institute the draft. Then there would be a real push back against starting new wars.

lastgreek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lastgreek said...

Don't even need visa with the Internet. They can work at a distance, just many US tech workers now do.

Had problems with my phone so I called Bell tech support the other day. At the end of our conversation, out of curiosity, I asked the tech guy what Canadian city he was in: "I am overseas, in Asia," came the reply in perfect, having no accent ... English!

It's funny. I see that the Trump Administration has put a freeze on all federal hiring except the military, but there's a manpower shortfall re. the military because they can't get enough people to join. Maybe the young'uns have read Tony Schwartz's book The Art of the Deal and figured the military is for suckers, not winners. Can't make bigly real estate deals when you're getting shot at, right ;)

Bob said...

Bring back the draft and build a conscript army. Foreign misadventures will be reduced to a minimum.

Noah Way said...

Which is exactly why they won't do it. Or show body bags and KIA on the nightly news. And if they keep a large segment of the young population unemployed and without other options ... Presto! Volunteer army.

John said...

Bob: "Bring back the draft and build a conscript army. Foreign misadventures will be reduced to a minimum."

Too democratic and therefore subject to popular pressure and mutiny. To sum up, it's too dangerous for the empire. If I could have one wish, it would be for national service with a conscript army when required, and I'm a Quaker-like near-pacifist by upbringing! All the MMT stuff would be a distant second. War is man's biggest problem. At out present rate, and if we do not sharply change course, human life will cease to exist. Washington's humiliation at the hands of the Taliban and the Iraqi people, armed as they were with rifles and booby traps, should have given it pause for thought, but no. Other countries cannot sustain such crippling defeats, hence their more pragmatic and levelheaded foreign policy. Unfortunately Washington can sustain defeat after defeat because of its immense economic and military power, and so it is full steam ahead for the South China Sea to demand the Chinese kiss the ring.

Lastgreek, good point. Would Trump advise anyone to join the military? Ordinarily, he'd say it's for losers who can't make it in business. That's how Trump and elites, whether they're Washington or otherwise, see the military: cannon fodder to be chewed up as part of foreign policy, as Henry Kissinger explained in a moment of uncharacteristic honesty. Apparently, recruitment is becoming such a problem that the Pentagon turns a blind eye to the recruitment of neo-Nazis, the mentally ill, gang members and criminals. What could go wrong?

Matt: "Well that is their problem..."

Washington's military is everybody's problem! I think you may be alone in thinking otherwise. Spending even half that much on any military is a serious problem, whether at home or abroad. At home, the military's tentacles reach into and subvert industry and government alike, perverting democracy and guaranteeing economic cronyism of the worst kind. Abroad, Washington's colossus is such a menacing presence that others, like China and Russia, have decided that they need a deterrent. What the bloody hell is Washington's navy doing in the South China Sea or the Straits of Hormuz or Bahrain or Qatar or anywhere outside US territorial waters? What is Washington's army doing on the borders of Russia, China, Iran, etc? Clearly this isn't "defence" in any understandable sense: it's all about projecting power on to its so-called "adversaries", none of which are a threat to anybody but perhaps their own people, keeping jihadi petrostates and other client states in place, and keeping trillions of dollars flowing to the industries that matter. The mafia also patrols neighbourhoods with heavily armed enforcers, but nobody would argue that that's defence.

lastgreek said...

Build up US military personnel numbers and then what -- have them perhaps deliver the mail on Sundays?

I'm assuming you guys already have Saturday delivery :)

Noah Way said...

It's the worst kind of corporate welfare. They need to create justification (terrorism, wars). Then they need to train, supply, equip, transport, etc. a typical grunt's kit costs around $20k. Now add all the outsourced supply / logistics / support services necessary to keep the grunt. Multiple by a huge factor for a technical service (Air Force, navy, etc. where equipment procurement costs are insignificant compared to maintenance and operating costs). Then add all the crazy corruption ($4,600 coffee makers, lobbying, R&D on everything from hafnium to telepathy). And that just touches the surface - plane loads of shrink-wrapped palettes of $100 bills simply disappeared in Iraq ...

John said...

Noah, and the so-called grunts come back in body bags or requiring medical care for the rest of their lives. Then, as Magic Mike says, a bought and paid for politician inflicts the worst abuse of all by saying: "Thank you for your service". No wonder some of the most anti-war activists are veterans of some diabolical war dreamt up in the corridors of power. The power elite is going to drive the human race into mass extinction. The corruption you rightly point to is what is available. A lot of corruption is simply referred to as "black" and so no one is allowed to no about it except, perhaps, the chairman of some committee, and he's the corrupt bastard who passed it in the first place, having taken his marching orders from a lobbyist promising the chairman untold wealth when he retires. It is, as the man said, a racket.

Lastgreek, New Orleans still could do with some help. Perhaps the engineer corps could muck in, or would that break some crony corporate law? The army could be posted to high schools to prevent mass shootings. As the NRA monotonously points out, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. The GOPhers may like this authoritarian proposal. Since the neo-Nazi and mentally ill recruits are predisposed to shouting "'Murica, Fuck Yeah" interspersed with screams of "Jesus 3:16", then the military budget can be quadrupled. Everybody's happy. The GOPhers will even have a rallying cry of the liberals wanting to stop the mentally ill having fun. Buy stock in Raytheon, Fuck Yeah!

Matt Franko said...

We've had no wars since we went off gold....

The MENA stuff since then has been about securing the region for oil... now US doesn't import any of that oil with the NA prod. increase over the last few years... so the situation is changing...

Israel political alliance still an issue over there via the neoconservatives/OT Christian coalition....

Six said...

Good point, Matt. We no longer have mangled war veterans. We have mangled securing-the-region-for-oil veterans. Do they get combat pay or do they call it something different, since we're "not at war"?

John said...

"The MENA stuff since then has been about securing the region for oil... now US doesn't import any of that oil..."

That can't be the reason, not least because declassified papers tell a very different story. Even without access to the declassified papers, it was clear that this explanation makes no sense, because Washington's policy was no different when it was not importing oil from the region. As the declassified papers make clear: Washington's policy is to control the oil in order to use it as a lever on the economies of other countries, notably the Europeans and the Japanese. Contrary to all evidence to the contrary, the Europeans and Japanese are not stupid and understand this, which explains their move to energy conservation and renewables.

"We've had no wars since we went off gold...."

Depends on how you define "war", I suppose, but the invasion of Iraq was clearly a war. Afghanistan was also a war, although at first glance (as long as the viewer is groping around in a dark room and also happens to be blind) it could be taken for self defence to invade a country that had nothing to do with the murder of 3000 innocent people. Bosnia and Kosovo were wars, although Washington's PR machine prefer to call them "interventions" like numerous other so-called "interventions". No other country could get away with calling a war an intervention, but the media are all very "oorah" when it comes to supporting whichever lying madman sits in the Oval Office. Anything but servility would be "unpatriotic". Such are the burdens of living in, reporting on and governing the "indispensable" and "exceptional" nation. Such also are the burdens of self-brainwashing.

Matt Franko said...

Six its a critical energy source used in the US system of provision and subsistence...

First you had Iraq invade Kuwait, then many blame the 9/11 attacks on our being over there for whatever reason, then the GWOT has resulted ie Afghan & Iraq2.. ... the reason has been to secure the supply systems of the oil...

Same with water like the Damascus situation where the ISIS is holding the water systems hostage...

This is changing as US becomes non-dependent on the MENA oil... it doesnt turn on a dime...

At least we are no longer literally killing each other over the metals.... just some remaining spats related to energy trade...

Tom Hickey said...

It became obvious at the time of WWI that whoever controls the oil supply controls the world. This was the basis for the British interest in MENA rather than empire as control of territory.

After Yalta, the ship that FDR was using made a planned detour to meet with Saudi King Ibn Saud, where he secured the Saudis for the US. Churchill was unable to change the king's mind in a subsequent meeting.

The Day FDR Met Saudi Arabia’s Ibn Saud by Thomas W. Lippman

This is a must-read to understand the situation that developed later.

Matt Franko said...

Tom they only didnt want it going to the Nazis...

We might be getting out of all of that over there now....

Trump signed off on both the pipelines this AM, second day... only caveat "Made in the USA..."

These guys have it rolling into a juggernaut I would advise no one to try to get in front of it....

Tom Hickey said...

Tom they only didnt want it going to the Nazis...

At the time of the FDR-Ibn Said meeting in 1945, the Nazi were essentially defeated and the Yalta conference was about determining the new world order post-WWII. FDR had already decided to secure MENA and control of the oil for the US post-WWII, undercutting the British and basically taking over the remnant of the British empire.

This was the beginning of the American empire, when the US could dictate to the rest of the world and had the overwhelming power to confront opposition.

There was a push at the end of the war by some US leaders to roll east and take out the communist government of the USSR. But there was not appetite for it, so it did not happen. The rest is history.

Truman abrogated the promise that FDR had made to Ibn Said about Zionism, which Truman broke only two years later. This was a harbinger of the understanding that Reagan and Gorbachev had come to about NATO, which was broken shortly thereafter, decisively in the US attack on traditional Russian ally Serbia.

The US has a very bad record of keeping its word. W even abrogated the ABM treaty unilaterally.

This is imperial thinking.

John said...

Tom's exactly right, although I would add one thing. This was 1945, proving conclusively that it had nothing to do with the Nazis or Communism. Indeed even before 1945 it was clear that the Allies would be triumphant. So post-war planning was highly advanced. The Bretton Woods conference was held in July 1944, a mere month after D-Day, and preparations for a conference as complicated as that would have taken some time. Washington had already decided to kick the British out of the Middle East and take control of the region.

Washington's elites were quite clear why it was necessary to control the region's energy. They said that the British were in a position to essentially use oil as a "lever of control" over the rest of the world. That was tantamount to a declaration of war, although when the US did the same to Japan that was not the same thing at all! The British had to be stopped, but if, however, the US controlled the world's energy supplies, and because the US is Christ incarnate, it would only use this control for good unlike the perfidious British who only wanted to exert their global hegemony, unlike the US! All of this can be found in diplomatic histories of the period.

Once you add Bretton Woods, the IMF, World Bank, GATT, Nato, global military bases, coups, interventions/wars, then you have the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. And because it has an intelligent preference for client states rather than colonialism, it doesn't quite fit the mould of previous empires. The post-war planners were as smart as they come. Now Washington has Louie Gohmert and Paul Ryan, which is a new kind of cultural malaise that will eventually bring the empire down.

Noah Way said...

Washington's policy is to control the oil in order to use it as a lever on the economies of other countries

Exactly, and especially China.

The plan for invading Afghanistan was on the table long before 9/11. gWb inherited that (along with The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, that called for 'regime change'), from Slick Willie. Check The Project for a New American Century and note the dates and authors.

UNOCAL (now part of Chevron) owned majority rights to gas fields in Turkmenistan and the pipeline was to be routed through ... guess where? 9/11 was the perfect excuse and US soldiers have been spilling blood for corporate profit for over 15 years there.