Disarming Military Industries: Turning an Outbreak of Peace by Peter Southwood

By Peter Southwood

The writer notes within the preface that a chance for major cuts in nuclear and traditional forces via significant worldwide powers has seemed. proposing the facts that the West can cope effectively with disarmament, he identifies regulations which must be followed for that end.

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24 However, there have been few studies on the relationship between defence spending and inflation that provide any clue as to how significant a factor military expenditure has been in generating inflation. A report from the Council on Economic Priorities, published in 1982, anticipated a renewed bout ofhigh inflation, after the deep recession of 1981-82, in the wake of President Reagan's massive arms build-up. Rising prices would arise principally from bottlenecks in the military supply industries and soaring federal deficits.

This debate over military expenditure and jobs has been taken further to try to demonstrate that military spending causes unemployment because of the numbers ofjobs foregone. Marion Anderson attempted this in The Empty Pork Barrel: Unemployment and the Pentagon Budget ( 1975) and stimulated a lively controversy in which the methodology employed and the empirical data were challenged. 41 Like R. Smith in 1978, DeGrasse found no association between military expenditure and unemployment. 42 Lindgren again stressed the need to distinguish between different phases of the business cycle.

The writings of one individual in particular, within the peace research field, will be considered separately and in more detail: Seymour Melman's ideas on the 'permanent war economy' provide a distinct and influential approach to conversion (or economic conversion, in the American sense of the term defined in Chapter 1). The discussion of his work in the next chapter, and that of the United Nations here, will be essential background material for the subsequent assessment of their respective contributions to the economics of disarmament and conversion in Chapters 6 and 7.

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