Spending on the military rather than civilian areas of the economy results in a net loss of jobs. This is because military spending is less effective at creating jobs than virtually any other form of government activity.
US research documents that, for example, a billion dollars spent for military purposes creates one and one-half times fewer jobs than spending on clean energy production and two and one-half times fewer jobs than spending on education. In addition, more of the military dollar goes to capital than to labour than in other job categories.
For example, only 1.5% of the price of each F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pays for the labour costs involved in manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly work at the plane’s main production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
The $368 billion the Australian government is using to buy 8 submarines but could instead be used to create 900,000 jobs.
It could also be used in the interests of peace and security by creating 248 hospitals, 4,500 schools or 320,000 homes.