Posts Tagged ‘War’

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Who Will Make the Bullets?

January 12, 2010

We buy items from all over the world.  The global market has truly brought the price of goods down.  A quick look at products, such as televisions, shows this to be the case.  Ten years ago a 36 inch TV cost around $700, now a set with a quality not dreamed of then, is yours for $350 – about half the price.  If you judge by that alone, we receive better value for the products we buy.  What is the true cost?  Not to us individually, what does it cost us as a nation?

Of course, one has to look further back to see a time when televisions manufactures prospered in the United States, but at one time, they did.  There was a time, before World War II, most of the products we purchased where made here.  Having that ability gave us a national power few understood then and even fewer do now.  Oddly enough, the one man who understood it best lived in Japan.  His background was not in manufacturing though; Isoroku Yamamoto’s background was in Japan’s Imperial Navy.  Yamamoto was the commanding admiral that planned the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Yamamoto went as far as to publicly state war with America was ill-advised.  After his successful and stunning attack, Yamamoto is quoted as saying “I fear all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”

Yamamoto came to understand the manufacturing might of the United States while he studied at Harvard.  He understood that when America converted its peacetime industries to military production, no force on earth could withstand it.  He was right.  Almost all industry ended up manufacturing products to support the war effort, factories that made brass buttons converted to making ammunition.  Remember the television makers, they made walkie-talkies and radar units.  The auto industry made tanks and jeeps.  Aircraft companies turned to warplanes.  Even the food supply played a part, ever heard of “meatless Tuesday?”  It is the practice of giving up meat one day a week to feed the solders and sailors.

As we accept more globalization, keep this point in mind – each manufacturer we buy products from overseas, is a manufacturer we do not have here.  It is one more stab in the heart of our ability to manufacture products at all.  It is one less button company we can convert to make bullets in time of war.  While no right-minded person hopes for war, only a fool does not prepare for it.  The cost of giving up our industrial might is much higher than a job or some price point at the check out stand.  It can cost us our country and our future, if a war the size of World War II comes again.  Need proof, just look around – next time, who will make the bullets?

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