Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lockheed's F-22 Propaganda

I forgot to mention that after I posted on the F-22 question last year, I got an e-mail from a PR flack working for Lockheed, in which said flack sent me no less than three links to op-eds...all of which turned out to have been written by people with links to Lockheed-Martin...about how awesome the F-22 is. There were also the standard sophistical arguments about how many jobs would be lost if F-22 production were slowed or terminated.

But building ultra-high-tech fighters is a really bad way to create jobs. Those jobs tend to be highly-skilled, high-paying jobs...and so you make fewer of them. If you need an ultra-high-tech fighter, then by all means build one; but if you need to create jobs, build roads or something. Anything we build is going to create or sustain jobs, so that's not an argument for the F-22 as opposed to whatever else we might do with the money. But there probably aren't many things we could build that would make fewer jobs per dollar than an F-22.

The PR flack in question was nice enough, but I find it nauseating that companies like Lockheed spend money (money which ultimately probably came from our tax dollars) to buy ads trying to cajole us into buying weapons that we may not need...hence which may ultimately make the country less safe. (Of course I find it nauseating that anyone would ever be or hire a PR flack at all, but that's a whole other story...)

Let me say again that I'm not anti-F-22; I'm just against spending defense dollars in suboptimal ways, and I'm not convinced that money spent on the F-22 is money optimally spent.


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