News & Politics

HIGHTOWER: Clinton's Foreign Jobs Program

"Finally, the United States is creating good-paying jobs in manufacturing -- except the jobs are in Turkey, South Korea, Poland, and elsewhere, not in the U.S. of A. Even worse, these jobs are in the arms industry, manufacturing weapons that ultimately could be used by dictators against their own people, their neighbors ... or against us!"
The good news is that the United States at long last has a jobs program, creating good-paying jobs in manufacturing!The bad news is that the jobs are in Turkey, South Korea, Poland, and elsewhere -- not in the U.S. of A. The worst news is that these jobs are in the arms industry, manufacturing weapons that ultimately could be used by dictators against their own people, their neighbors . . . or against us!A story on the website of Mother Jones magazine notes that the same Bill Clinton who campaigned in 1992 on cutting the world trade in arms, has become the Music Man of international arms sales. He has required our embassies to shill for U.S. weapons makers, literally becoming sales agents for Lockheed and the rest. It worked. In his first year alone, U.S. arms sales doubled. Since he's been in office, the U.S. government has sold, arranged the sale, or given away some $200 billion in weapons to nearly every nation on earth.Also since Clinton has been in office, the U.S. weapons makers have cut some 800,000 American jobs. Odd, huh? More sales, fewer jobs.What's at work here is that U.S. policy is to promote arm sales by giving what are called "offsets" to the purchasing country. The "offset" is an incentive in the form of agreeing that our corporations will make some or all of the weapons in their country, hiring their people to do the job. Lockheed Martin, for example, in a deal to sell F-16s to Poland, is offering to build an assembly plant there where they would make all future F-16s to be sold in all of central Europe. So, Lockheed shareholders make a bundle, but U.S. workers don't get a dime -- indeed, they get the shaft. Of course, they can always join the air force and look forward to the next war when those foreign-made F-16s are shooting at them.This is Jim Hightower saying . . . To get this full story, check www.motherjones.com/arms.

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