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Is America building a purely military economy?

A recent article in the New York Times, entitled “Why a Recovery May Still Feel Like a Recession,” has buried in it some startling statistics about the direction of the US economy.

Floyd Norris’ article points out that durable-goods shipments — a basic measure of industrial production — “fell by more than 20 percent during this recession, and would have declined further were it not for increased production of weapons.”

The use of the military-industrial complex as a quick, if dubious, way of jump-starting the economy is nothing new, but what is amazing is the divergence between the military economy and the civilian economy, as shown by this New York Times chart.

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