Monday, July 27, 2009

People are peaceniks until jobs are lost

California has a reputation as the land of fruits, nuts, and flakes, so you'd think that Californians would be cheering the demobilization that occurred after the end of the Cold War.

Not exactly. Politicians are so addicted to keeping money in their districts that they not only opposed the post Cold War cuts, but they have (in the past and today) opposed the military on several projects - the military wants to cancel them, the politicians want to keep them going.

But there are times when there is a happy medium and everyone can agree to spend military money. Such is the case in Barstow - a town which, in addition to being the site of the Barstow Station, is also a town surrounded by several military facilities.

You see, there are jobs to be had:

The Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow is seeking to hire 400 to 600 welders, mechanics and painters to fix up ground combat equipment that has been in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Robert Jackson, base public affairs officer....

Depending on the applicant's skill level, pay can range from $17 an hour to $30 an hour for the jobs that include electronic equipment repair, machinist and upholstery work, Jackson said.

Of course this raises the question - why hire outsiders? Why not have Marines do the work? Well, the Marines are needed to USE the ground combat equipment, so they need to get civilians to repair it.

I assume that any anti-war protesters in Barstow will not be treated kindly. They probably can't afford the gas to get out there anyway.

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