Formulating a plan for economic diversification in defense dependent communities: establishing a model for stability, growth and development
Millner, Timothy L.
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This project studies economic dependency on defense spending in certain communities and formulates methods to help those localities diversify their economies. The project asks whether such communities should pursue a more varied economy and whether federal assistance should be made available to help with the effort. The focus is on creating an economic development process that will allow dependent areas to spur growth in other economic sectors, thereby broadening their respective economic bases. The process is applicable to locations near military bases and to those areas near large defense contractors. By their reliance on military spending, communities are vulnerable to the cyclical nature of defense spending. The programs that have been used in the past to assist communities have offered assistance after spending reductions had already occurred. This report proposes a proactive planning approach to mitigate the communities of their reliance on Pentagon spending by giving the localities help in broadening their economic base as a matter of course, before cuts occur, as part of the communities' overall development planning. The idea behind the concept is that spending on defense is not an equitable or sustainable way to invest in the fiscal well-being of the country. Investments in communities tend to provide many more positive benefits to the local, state and national economies. By investing some defense funds to strengthen some communities, all concerned would be better off.
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