How Peace Economics Starts
In 1978 I began my career in politics determined to be president someday. But I failed in my first run for office, County Commissioner in 1980. So I got involved in the Democratic Party. In 1981 I began working in the Oregon State Legislature as an intern and returned in 1983 and 1985 as a public interest lobbyist who convinced the public employee retirement fund to invest 5% in venture capital.
In March of 1983 I went to a meeting of the Fellowship of Reconciliation held at Dorothy Patch’s house. Dorothy Patch was the Salem, Oregon power behind Republican US Senator Mark Hatfield, who was the Chairman of Appropriations and the only no vote against the first Reagan military buildup budget that passed 99-1. Dorothy was a devoted United Nations person who got the Salem city council to fly the UN flag alongside the US flag and Oregon flag. A young lady named Ada Sanchez gave me a brochure at that meeting that showed in a block chart by Ruth Leger Sivard over a twenty year period that G7 nations with higher military spending had slower economic growth. Specifically, the higher the percent of the economy in military spending the lower the rate of manufacturing productivity growth.
This was a direct refutation of the military Keynesianism I learned in school. I excitedly posted blown up copies of this bar chart all over the legislature. Two years later after the 1985 session ended, I was going through my papers and saw this chart again. I realized something was wrong, the world was not recognizing this new reality for some reason. So I set out to test this finding every way I could. I endlessly added various multiyear averagings of each temperature or economic statistics history to find the long term patterns. I kept these and other useful statistics by country to my notebook from August to December. In December I wrote the 35 page “You Can Have Military Spending or Economic Growth, But Not Both” with my findings and shared them with the county commissioners. One immediately offered to refer my publication for the Pulitzer Prize. Next I worked out the US model of this theory and tested it over a sixty year period. I was shocked to have the model work out the first time, I had so carefully calculated the parameters that they did not have to be altered to fit. Years later, I realized this meant no degrees of freedom deduction in the statistical calculation. But even with a degrees of freedom deduction, the model was highly accurate, perfecting out every nine years. Then began the long hard struggle for credibility. And here, decades later, I am finally beginning to overcome all obstacles and smoothly answer all the issues that have perplexed me for so long.
Here is the modern one page summary of my thirty years of study and growth:
Dr. Peace, Dr. Bob Reuschlein 608-230-6640