Made in America on the Rise
by James Glaser
Korea and Japan are flooding America with cars and now pickup trucks. China makes almost everything that is sold at Wal-Mart. European countries supply us with high-end luxury cars, and more and more farm produce comes from South America.
There is one segment of the manufacturing sector that America almost owns and that is the sales of military weapons. From September 2005 to September 2006, American corporations sold $21 billion worth of things used to kill people.
Leslie Wayne, writing for the New York Times reports that sales have doubled and one of the big reasons why is that "The Bush administration has used arms sales as a way to reward allies and cement international relationships. Middle Eastern countries flush with oil revenues have become big buyers."
George Bush calls them the "Coalition of the Willing." That would be the countries who send a token number of troops to "help" us in Iraq. Well, Wayne reports that "countries like India, Pakistan, and Indonesia that were once barred from buying American weapons have had those bans lifted, and some have placed big orders."
$21 billion of arms that we sold to foreigners this past year is a lot of money, but it is really peanuts when you compare it to the hundreds of billions that the US taxpayer spends on military arms each and every year for ourselves, but it still gives us something to stack up against the hundreds of billions in manufacturing goods we buy from foreign sources every month. Those would be goods that we made here at home not that long ago.
So now if we want to crow a little, it has to be that we are the largest merchant of death in the world. We sell more killing machines than the rest of the world combined. We talk about bringing peace and democracy to the Middle East, but so far all we have brought is death and munitions.
BACK to the 2006 Politics Columns.