A LaRouche Organization Proposal: “The Swords to Plowshares Act of 2024”

As part of the campaign to re-tool the capacities of the “military-industrial-financial complex” for productive manufacturing purposes, The LaRouche Organization in the United States has prepared draft legislation to be submitted to Congress. A vast mobilization has been launched to gather support for the measures from all constituencies over and above party lines. The legislation begins with the following Findings:

1. United States spending on military weapons systems and mobilization for wars — having totaled approximately $17 trillion in the 21st Century through 2023 — is far in excess of its needs for defense. If the Biden Administration’s $106 billion “supplemental” military request is approved, military spending in this Fiscal Year 2024 will very nearly reach $1 trillion.

2. A handful of large Wall Street investment firms and banks control half a dozen or more weapons-production giants—the product of repeated mergers—which depend on defense contracting for 50% to nearly 100% of their corporate revenue. Some 80% of U.S. 4-Star Generals and Admirals work for the arms industry when they retire. This “military-industrial-financial complex” depends on the United States being constantly involved in wars, and threatens world war.

3. This is a major cause of excessive U.S. indebtedness which has hit $34 trillion, up 54% in five years, and now far exceeding 100% of GDP.

4. The spending of such vast sums on military production has not produced productivity gains; on the contrary, since 2005 technological (or “total factor”) productivity growth averaged less than 1.0% annually, well below 20th Century norms.

5. It is not possible and should not be attempted, to salvage unpayable amounts of debt by war, looting, and economic warfare, or by seizing other nations’ assets. New economically productive assets and productive employment must be created instead of war-fighting means of destruction and waste.

6. Urgent economic development needs, projects and opportunities are waiting around the world—investments equivalent to tens of trillions of dollars. These needs and investments are being left to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and to the BRICS nations. Military production capacity can and should be converted and retooled to meet them.

The purposes of the legislation are then laid out as:

1. Reverse the deindustrialization and decay of American economic infrastructure.

2. Meet the need for new infrastructure project investments in the developing countries—particularly in power, water management, healthcare and transportation. The Grand Inga Dam Project in sub-Saharan Africa, the Transaqua Project in the Sahel, and the 21st -Century North American Power and Water Alliance Project, are models for these development investments.

3. Repurpose what is now “defense” or military spending, on canal, pipeline, tunnel and bridge building; water management and desalination; electrification by advanced third- and fourth-generation nuclear plants, gas-turbine and hydroelectric power plants; creating modern healthcare systems; the components for space exploration; the development of unlimited fusion power and laser- and plasma industrial processes.

4. Retool the weapons merchant companies, mobilized for decades for high-technology war production, to produce the capital goods of high-technology infrastructure development instead. Preserve and expand machine-tool design and production capability and skilled employment in the process.

The full text can be read at: https://laroucheorganization.com/node/991

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