The Senate struggled to approve a $15 billion jobs bill
and has yet to enact additional fiscal relief for the states, but
lawmakers continue to approve trillions of dollars for wars and defense
appropriations. In fact, ignoring the almost $1 trillion spent on the
Iraq and Afghanistan wars, military spending has grown 41 percent since 1998.
If progressive leaders intend to reduce long-term deficits and ensure a
robust economic recovery, cutting inefficient and costly areas of the
defense budget should be a top priority.
As we described last week in State Job Creation Strategies Part I: Finding the Money and Investing in Human Capital and Physical Infrastructure,
competing globally for jobs starts with policy makers instituting
fundamental investments in education, human capital and physical
infrastructure that make their state a productive environment for
economic innovation. The next step, as this Dispatch will describe, is helping the private sector leverage opportunities for job creation and technological innovation.
This Dispatch will outline how funds allocated in the ARRA aim to support broadband initiatives and how states can leverage broadband to create efficiencies, increase opportunities and begin to bridge a major resource divide in our country by implementing progressive broadband initiatives.
Policyleaders should be critically concerned with using these new tools to reviveareas devastated by deindustrialization and chronic poverty. Around the world,"emerging markets" are hotspots for investment, so many states aretreating their low-income domestic areas as "domestic emergingmarkets" that just need a bit of patient capital in order to be revived.