In Round Numbers

An affordable – not “massive” – investment in a 21st Century Emergency Shipbuilding Program would look like this:

– 75 revitalized shipyards
– 38,250,000 new employees (including offsite support workers)
– 2,700 patented container ships built annually (3 ships per yard per month)

It may seem like an enormous expense for the taxpayers, but it isn’t. The average cost of revitalizing each shipyard would be about $ 50 million. That’s on the high side, and it would be a one-time expenditure of about $ 3,750,000,000. Three billion, seven hundred fifty million dollars.

Annual salaries for the 38.25 million newly-employed – allowing $ 75,000 per worker – would come to about $ 2,868,750,000,000. Two trillion, eight hundred sixty eight billion, seven hundred fifty million dollars. And that still isn’t a “massive” investment. All that money would be thrown into a real “recovery”.

The construction cost for each of the 2,700 patented container ships would be about $ 40 million – about $ 108 billion – bringing the total cost of the investment to $ 2,976,750,000,000,000. But Title XI shifts 87.5% of that to lenders – the very banks that have been ripping us off lately – and the remaining 12.5% cost to taxpayers is down to about $ 372 billion. That’s a lot less than the wasteful and unproductive “stimulus” programs have cost us.

Those stimulus programs – contrary to the hype that came from the President and others in his administration – generated exactly no jobs and no weekly paychecks for our unemployed. Without even considering the positive effects Title XI would have on our costs, let’s look at what our 2,700 ships per year would generate:

– Each vessel would be purchased by U.S. interests for about $ 75 million.
– Each vessel would require a crew of about 30 U.S. seamen.
– The activity of those new container ships would bring all our foundering container terminals up to speed, and would require the construction of an additional 100 or more terminals as well – creating still more job opportunities.
– Construction workers by the millions would be needed to build homes, schools, hospitals, shopping centers, and the roads and highways in the busy communities sprouting up around the new shipyards and container ports.
– And that entire investment of $ 2,976,750,000,000 – it bears repeating – would be plowed right back into our economy, and with those millions of new jobs we’d be regaining our lost “buying power”. Widespread unemployment is what has taken away that buying power and has plunged us into this economic tailspin.

U.S. shipyards, patented “Jones Act” container ships, and jobs. It’s the only way out of this mess.