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(The Hill)   Defense contractors complain they can't make a profit without taxpayer money. If only there was some sort of market that tied a corporation's profit with its performance   (thehill.com) divider line 208
    More: Fail, killer, Pratt & Whitney, EADS, carbon sequestration, House Armed Services Committee, defense contractors  
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3932 clicks; posted to Business » on 19 Jul 2012 at 1:54 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-19 06:00:31 AM  
F*ck them. Seriously DIAF.
The defense budget is the most ridiculously bloated thing in history, and it's so much overkill, it's laughable.

Everybody wants to see spending cuts, just as long is it's not them that's affected.

By all means, cut health, education, and food, because we NEED a few more $10billion dollar aircraft carriers, and a trillion dollars worth of planes that don't work.

After all, TERROR!
 
2012-07-19 06:08:37 AM  
Well, as I understand it, any company that can't survive without government handouts should die.
 
2012-07-19 06:17:42 AM  
Hey, learn how to manufacture something else then.
 
2012-07-19 06:27:13 AM  
Where is your Tea Party now?

Free Markets: The Way Jesus Wants It.

I'm guessing their execs all vote Republican; they should have to live by the free market.
 
2012-07-19 07:30:15 AM  
If they were true patriots, they would adjust top level salaries so less people would lose their jobs.
 
2012-07-19 08:02:42 AM  

ourbigdumbmouth: If they were true patriots, they would adjust top level salaries so less people would lose their jobs.


Well, that *may* work for Lockheed Martin and GD and other massive contractors like them. I work for a small contracting company (approx 150 employees). If the contract I'm working on gets cancelled, there's nowhere they can just shuffle me around to in order to keep me employed. That's okay. I knew that coming in to this job, and I don't hold that the company has some sort of moral obligation to keep me employed if I suddenly become unnecessary deadweight. It would suck, but that's how government contractors work.
 
2012-07-19 08:13:43 AM  
Yeah, let's fire all the engineers in the country, right! Because when money is spent on defense it is just burned and not at all used as paychecks for an educated workforce of engineers and scientists. Nope. Certainly not.
 
2012-07-19 08:18:09 AM  

Thoguh: Yeah, let's fire all the engineers in the country, right! Because when money is spent on defense it is just burned and not at all used as paychecks for an educated workforce of engineers and scientists. Nope. Certainly not.


HAHAHAHA you think defense spending only goes to employ people. Just how much of a contract do you think is spent on employee salary?
 
2012-07-19 08:34:54 AM  

GAT_00: HAHAHAHA you think defense spending only goes to employ people. Just how much of a contract do you think is spent on employee salary?


Less than half of my hourly rate billed to the government makes it to my paycheck. The rest goes to my company, where it pays the people who do the payrolls and put together bids for new contracts, pays for office space, health insurance, retirement plans, etc, and a small portion probably ends up in the owner's bank accounts. So, I'd say most of the contract goes towards employing people, while a significantly smaller portion is spent on employee salary, and an even smaller portion is profit. Those ratios may be different for the mega-contractors, like General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, etc.
 
2012-07-19 08:38:01 AM  

incendi: So, I'd say most of the contract goes towards employing people, while a significantly smaller portion is spent on employee salary, and an even smaller portion is profit. Those ratios may be different for the mega-contractors, like General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, etc.


I should clarify - a large portion goes towards employing people, and a smaller portion of that portion goes to salary. For companies that provide a physical product (we provide a service), there's a portion that goes to material acquisition, which in turn employs people elsewhere. And then a smaller portion off to the side is profit.
 
2012-07-19 09:00:19 AM  
I thought government doesn't create jobs?
 
2012-07-19 09:59:39 AM  

incendi: I should clarify - a large portion goes towards employing people, and a smaller portion of that portion goes to salary. For companies that provide a physical product (we provide a service), there's a portion that goes to material acquisition, which in turn employs people elsewhere.


Why can't the defense industry transform to build things that benefit the civilian population? While I understand aircraft carriers are important to help defend the country, there is a heck of a lot of old infrastructure in this country that needs to be updated. It may be less lucrative than building a fighter jet, but developing technology to upgrade our freight rail system, for example, is useful too.
 
2012-07-19 10:00:26 AM  

incendi: incendi: So, I'd say most of the contract goes towards employing people, while a significantly smaller portion is spent on employee salary, and an even smaller portion is profit. Those ratios may be different for the mega-contractors, like General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, etc.

I should clarify - a large portion goes towards employing people, and a smaller portion of that portion goes to salary. For companies that provide a physical product (we provide a service), there's a portion that goes to material acquisition, which in turn employs people elsewhere. And then a smaller portion off to the side is profit.


Well, as I see it, I'm working for another month for a powerful government body that has a measurable presence in real research and they're getting cut back bad, and they spend a fraction of what defense does. All defense spending does is employ a few people on building $180M airplanes that can't fly without crashing constantly. You can take a few cuts.
 
2012-07-19 10:02:51 AM  

GAT_00: You can take a few cuts.


By all means. Just don't cry when there's a bump in unemployment.
 
2012-07-19 10:03:22 AM  

oh lord. several months of "pity the poor povertystricken defense contractors" ahead of us

- Atrios (@Atrios) July 19, 2012
 
2012-07-19 10:10:00 AM  

Thoguh: Yeah, let's fire all the engineers in the country, right! Because when money is spent on defense it is just burned and not at all used as paychecks for an educated workforce of engineers and scientists. Nope. Certainly not.


You're arguing for more government jobs. The only difference is who prints the paycheck.
 
2012-07-19 10:14:03 AM  

TommyymmoT: Hey, learn how to manufacture something else then.


Farmer: No more wasting time each spring, I've been able to till my fields in mere seconds since I converted to Nuclear Ballistic Plowshares!
 
2012-07-19 10:14:34 AM  

ourbigdumbmouth: If they were true patriots, they would adjust top level salaries so less people would lose their jobs.


What, give the job creators less money with which to create jobs?
 
2012-07-19 10:15:07 AM  

Thoguh: Yeah, let's fire all the engineers in the country, right! Because when money is spent on defense it is just burned and not at all used as paychecks for an educated workforce of engineers and scientists. Nope. Certainly not.


I'm pretty sure those engineers could get other jobs that don't involve making weapons we have no one to shoot at.

The Cold War is over. I know, it sucks but it is.
 
2012-07-19 10:18:07 AM  

Mugato: Thoguh: Yeah, let's fire all the engineers in the country, right! Because when money is spent on defense it is just burned and not at all used as paychecks for an educated workforce of engineers and scientists. Nope. Certainly not.

I'm pretty sure those engineers could get other jobs that don't involve making weapons we have no one to shoot at.

The Cold War is over. I know, it sucks but it is.


Well, engineers from India came over here on H1B visas and took all the private sector jerbs, so you'd have to be comfortable with sending them back, you racist.
 
2012-07-19 10:18:50 AM  

Thoguh: Yeah, let's fire all the engineers in the country, right! Because when money is spent on defense it is just burned and not at all used as paychecks for an educated workforce of engineers and scientists. Nope. Certainly not.


But it's ok to fire all the teachers and policemen and firemen and such, right? You can't have it both ways. The defense industry is conservative socialism in action.
 
2012-07-19 10:21:43 AM  

GAT_00: Well, as I see it, I'm working for another month for a powerful government body that has a measurable presence in real research and they're getting cut back bad, and they spend a fraction of what defense does. All defense spending does is employ a few people on building $180M airplanes that can't fly without crashing constantly. You can take a few cuts.


A bit more at length, since my previous response may come off as a little curt. I fully support cutting the part of the defense budget that involves building more aircraft carriers and expanding the part that supports things like R&D on the polywell fusion reactor. But when you cut or shift the budget, somebody's gonna get fired. The defense industry became so big by providing the government with services and products that the government was willing to pay for. If you eliminate the demand, yes, the companies that supply it are going to suffer, and a lot of people will lose their jobs. This really applies not only to defense, but the whole spectrum of government spending. It's merely intensified for defense spending because there's very little crossover to the civilian sector for nuclear weapons, submarines, supersonic aircraft, etc, but right now, they're keeping a lot of people employed. If you want to cut the defense budget (which I think we need), it's going to cost a lot of jobs. And that sucks, and it's not politically expedient, but that's just the way it is.
 
2012-07-19 10:29:22 AM  
Yes, money spent on the defense industry gets dumped back into the economy. However, there are other ways we could still dump that same money into the economy.

We spend a ridiculous amount of money on war/military when compared with the entire rest of the world. I think at this point, with our embarrassingly crumbling social and physical infrastructure, we should shift 20 to 25% of military spending to nation building in the US for about 10 years. Our social and physical infrastructure is in desperate need of it. That would be pumping the same money back into the economy and as paychecks, but just more for teachers, construction workers, engineers, and the like.
 
2012-07-19 10:30:27 AM  
Military spending is less effective at creating jobs than virtually any other form of government activity.
 
2012-07-19 10:31:16 AM  
And as far as the funding of R&D, shift some of the money I suggested above toward NASA and as research grants for universities. We are nothing in the 21st Century without R&D.
 
2012-07-19 10:31:43 AM  
There's a major defense contractor in my town, but instead of merely sucking off the government teat, they produce civilian versions of many of their products to sell on the market, as well as sell their products to the militaries of allied nations. Diversification FTW. They had to cut some jobs now that the wars are winding down, but civilian and other military orders have helped stave that off to a degree.

The problem with the defense contractors taking a whole bunch of public money is that so many of them simply do not produce anything that can be sold on the open market, and thus add value to the economy. If we're to keep the current spending levels because of worries about unemployment and loss of wages and all that, it'd be a more efficient use of those resources to cut the spending, cut out the middle man, and pick up the tab for those employees wages and benefits.

Like the contractor in my town. I can't buy a Black Hawk. It adds nothing to the economy in those terms. But I CAN buy a different helicopter and use it for a business.
 
2012-07-19 10:33:22 AM  

incendi: GAT_00: Well, as I see it, I'm working for another month for a powerful government body that has a measurable presence in real research and they're getting cut back bad, and they spend a fraction of what defense does. All defense spending does is employ a few people on building $180M airplanes that can't fly without crashing constantly. You can take a few cuts.

A bit more at length, since my previous response may come off as a little curt. I fully support cutting the part of the defense budget that involves building more aircraft carriers and expanding the part that supports things like R&D on the polywell fusion reactor. But when you cut or shift the budget, somebody's gonna get fired. The defense industry became so big by providing the government with services and products that the government was willing to pay for. If you eliminate the demand, yes, the companies that supply it are going to suffer, and a lot of people will lose their jobs. This really applies not only to defense, but the whole spectrum of government spending. It's merely intensified for defense spending because there's very little crossover to the civilian sector for nuclear weapons, submarines, supersonic aircraft, etc, but right now, they're keeping a lot of people employed. If you want to cut the defense budget (which I think we need), it's going to cost a lot of jobs. And that sucks, and it's not politically expedient, but that's just the way it is.


But that's the exact same argument Tea Baggers make when they want to cut entitlements. "It's too bloated! It's just a bunch of parasites sucking from the government teat!"

The defense industry is important and I hate to have people lose their jobs, but again, the Tea Party can't have it both ways. You can't say that government funding doesn't create jobs when it's spent on infrastructure but does when it's spent on defense.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-07-19 10:34:58 AM  

GAT_00: Well, as I understand it, any company that can't survive without government handouts should die.


That doesn't apply to the military. Socialized single payer military isn't socialisims because heroes.
 
2012-07-19 10:35:08 AM  

incendi: GAT_00: Well, as I see it, I'm working for another month for a powerful government body that has a measurable presence in real research and they're getting cut back bad, and they spend a fraction of what defense does. All defense spending does is employ a few people on building $180M airplanes that can't fly without crashing constantly. You can take a few cuts.

A bit more at length, since my previous response may come off as a little curt. I fully support cutting the part of the defense budget that involves building more aircraft carriers and expanding the part that supports things like R&D on the polywell fusion reactor. But when you cut or shift the budget, somebody's gonna get fired. The defense industry became so big by providing the government with services and products that the government was willing to pay for. If you eliminate the demand, yes, the companies that supply it are going to suffer, and a lot of people will lose their jobs. This really applies not only to defense, but the whole spectrum of government spending. It's merely intensified for defense spending because there's very little crossover to the civilian sector for nuclear weapons, submarines, supersonic aircraft, etc, but right now, they're keeping a lot of people employed. If you want to cut the defense budget (which I think we need), it's going to cost a lot of jobs. And that sucks, and it's not politically expedient, but that's just the way it is.


I'm not an idiot, I know jobs will be lost. But we spend half of the world's military budget for little return on investment and countless boondoggles on pointless designs that were never going to go anywhere. Military spending requires more dollars per job of any sector of government spending. It's the first place we should cut when the budget needs trimmed, because it is the least efficient.
 
2012-07-19 10:42:52 AM  

GAT_00: I'm not an idiot, I know jobs will be lost. But we spend half of the world's military budget for little return on investment and countless boondoggles on pointless designs that were never going to go anywhere. Military spending requires more dollars per job of any sector of government spending. It's the first place we should cut when the budget needs trimmed, because it is the least efficient.


I'm not calling you an idiot, I'm agreeing at length, despite the fact that if it happens it would likely cost me my own job. There are people though that somehow think that the defense contractors are lying when they say that government defense cuts will cost jobs, when that's precisely what will happen. I think we ought to be spending (not quite as much, but still spending) on better things, and that would definitely cost jobs in the present, but ultimately be a lot better in the future.
 
2012-07-19 10:45:41 AM  
Why is it the taxpayers' problem the contractors put all their eggs in one basket?
 
2012-07-19 10:50:03 AM  

Gulper Eel: Why is it the taxpayers' problem the contractors put all their eggs in one basket?


Because everybody's herpaderping "JERBS, JERBS!"
 
2012-07-19 11:08:32 AM  

Thoguh: Because when money is spent on defense it is just burned and not at all used as paychecks for an educated workforce of engineers and scientists.


I'd rather see the engineering companies getting paid hundreds of billions to develop and build better infrastructure.
 
2012-07-19 11:28:50 AM  

vpb: GAT_00: Well, as I understand it, any company that can't survive without government handouts should die.

That doesn't apply to the military. Socialized single payer military isn't socialisims because heroes.


The best term I've seen to describe the phenomenon: "Defense Keyensians"
 
2012-07-19 11:32:01 AM  
I wonder why there isn't anyone in here telling us it's NOT socialism?
 
2012-07-19 11:40:29 AM  
Republicans on tax money being used to keep people alive and fed: OMG WORST THING EVAR

Republicans on tax money being used to keep schoolteachers employed: OMG OVERPAID WE NEED FEWER NOT MOAR

Republicans on tax money being used to keep government employees in general employed: OMG WASTEFUL SPENDING CUT CUT CUT

Republicans on tax money being used to keep massively profitable defense corporations afloat: OMG ESSENTIAL SPENDING CAN'T CUT A PENNY

Hypocritical hypocrites are hypocritical.
 
2012-07-19 11:40:59 AM  
Well, I see that I have arrived to find the well poisoned. No point in lingering.
 
2012-07-19 12:59:18 PM  
Hey, if the car industry and commercial airline businesses can get 'bailed out', then so can the defense industry.
 
2012-07-19 01:11:00 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: Military spending is less effective at creating jobs than virtually any other form of government activity.


It's funny because you're typing this on the Arpanet Internet.

"Military spending" covers a lot of things. R&D in particular historically pays massive returns to the general public.

Paying people to sit on a destroyer just in case the Cuban Navy sneak-attacks? Less useful.
 
2012-07-19 01:17:22 PM  

Gig103: Hey, if the car industry and commercial airline businesses can get 'bailed out', then so can the defense industry.


I'm sorry...Is Lockheed at grave risk of going bankrupt and taking down the American economy and causing a wave a trouble globally?

Bail out != Hand out
 
2012-07-19 01:18:24 PM  

incendi: GAT_00: I'm not an idiot, I know jobs will be lost. But we spend half of the world's military budget for little return on investment and countless boondoggles on pointless designs that were never going to go anywhere. Military spending requires more dollars per job of any sector of government spending. It's the first place we should cut when the budget needs trimmed, because it is the least efficient.

I'm not calling you an idiot, I'm agreeing at length, despite the fact that if it happens it would likely cost me my own job. There are people though that somehow think that the defense contractors are lying when they say that government defense cuts will cost jobs, when that's precisely what will happen. I think we ought to be spending (not quite as much, but still spending) on better things, and that would definitely cost jobs in the present, but ultimately be a lot better in the future.


Going all of the way back up this thread to Thoguh's reply:

If we shift some of that defense money into infrastructure development, many of those materials and building engineers would find work in rebuilding and making our country run better into the 21st century. He says that like all engineers in the U.S. can't do anything other than build missiles.
 
2012-07-19 01:51:47 PM  
No deal, no negotiations. The teatards demanded these conditions, and it's time EVERYONE sees the benefits of it.
 
2012-07-19 01:56:29 PM  

GAT_00: Well, as I understand it, any company that can't survive without government handouts should die.


Yes, you're right
 
2012-07-19 01:56:50 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: No deal, no negotiations. The teatards demanded these conditions, and it's time EVERYONE sees the benefits of it.


Come on, now. Unwavering demands without consideration for consequences is how we got here to begin with.
 
2012-07-19 01:57:20 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: No deal, no negotiations. The teatards demanded these conditions, and it's time EVERYONE sees the benefits of it.


If you told me the Republicans were going to renege on the agreed consequences of their prior deeds while blaming Obama for it, I would have labeled you a crazy man.
 
2012-07-19 01:57:43 PM  
Am I the only person that is sick and farking tired of the way the media and politicians throw 10 year numbers around like they are for one year?
 
2012-07-19 01:58:40 PM  

SphericalTime: He says that like all engineers in the U.S. can't do anything other than build missiles.


They can do other stuff, but the engineers that build missiles, etc. probably aren't the best ones to have planning roads and bridges.
 
2012-07-19 02:01:53 PM  
Why doesn't Boeing just have a bake sale?

Last night I saw a story about a bake sale that was being held so that some little kid could have corrective spinal surgery done.

It's pretty farked up that the richest country in the world can waste trillions on junk that will never even be used, but we can't shell out a few bucks to treat sick children.
 
2012-07-19 02:03:09 PM  
www.visitingdc.com\
"Did I not warn you people about this? How the fark is this coming as a surprise? Morons."
 
2012-07-19 02:03:17 PM  
Romney considering retroactively saving the defense contractor industry.
 
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