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Feeding Pentagon Capitalism: California and Palestine


California lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 2389 that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed on July 10. AB 2389, which Assemblyman Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, introduced, provides a tax break of $142 million over 15 years to Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Corp., to develop “new advanced strategic aircraft for the United States Air Force” from which to drop nuclear bombs.

In the Gaza Strip, 1.7 million Palestinians are the targets of Israeli Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds aircraft. Officially, the aim of Israel’s non-nuclear airstrikes on the Gaza Strip is to stop Hamas, the elected Palestinian political group, from firing rockets at Israeli cities and towns.

Back in California, bipartisan support for Lockheed and Boeing will also subtract tax revenue from the state treasury. For instance, there will be less tax money to fund government services for the health care of residents who live below the official poverty rate, 15.3 percent of 38.3 million people, in 2008-12.

The corporate warfare state wins. The human welfare loses.

In California, AB 2389 reveals what critics call corporate welfare for private aerospace firms such as Lockheed and Boeing in action. Such an economic development model has its rise in the Cold War.

However, this model continues long after the purported demise of the Cold War. New Lockheed aircraft built in California at state taxpayer expense will be a part of—not apart from—the destruction of people and property taking place in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli pilots flying Lockheed aircraft encounter no resistance from Palestinians in or out of Hamas, a replay of Israel’s 2012 aerial assault.

In California, taxpayer subsidies feed Pentagon capitalism. In no form, shape or way is this the classical political economy of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand, folks.

Seth Sandronsky is a journalist in Sacramento. Email [email protected].

 

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