Merchants of Death

It seems America is always – and always will be – at war, and you might be wondering why. This morning. I came across an article that might answer your question. Surprisingly, it was not a political article. It was an investment column from the Motley Fool, written by Rich Smith.

The message was a practical one. American corporations are reaping billions from arms sales in the Mideast so it would be wise to buy their stock.

Among the revelations was a $90 billion deal brokered by the Obama Administration to provide Saudi Arabia with “everything from Boeing  (NYSE:BA) F-15 fighter jets and Apache helicopters, to United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) Blackhawks, to Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense anti-missile systems from Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT).”

The article noted that:

 …about a year ago, the DSCA (the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency),sought congressional authorization for Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) to sell the Saudis $1 billion worth of TOW anti-tank missiles. That probably sounded like a lot at the time. But, in fact, it was pretty small potatoes. General Dynamics’ (NYSE:GD) subsequent deal to sell the Saudis more than 3,000 light armored vehicles via its Canadian subsidiary, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada, was at least 13 times as large — $13 billion.

The Motley Fool helpfully provided a list of corporations profiting from these arms deals, and I expect many investors will benefit from the information.

I suppose this is what the Republicans mean by “trickle-down” economics.  Burger King hash slingers making minimum wage could get rich by buying stock in Raytheon or General Dynamics. That’s after the poor slobs have paid their power bills, bought groceries and set aside  bus fare for the week.

Yes, I know that’s absurd. I know the folks who can afford to buy stock are already rich – or at least well off. It’s one more way in which the rich get richer and the rest of us get left behind.

This is the kind of country we get when the Supreme Court decides corporations are people and have a Constitutional right to spend as much as they like on political campaigns.

The corporations own Congress because politicians must do their bidding to be reelected. And corporations that sell weapons want war and more war.

But there’s more to it than that.  Arms sales – not only abroad but at home -are a vital part of the US economy. World peace could be a financial disaster for Uncle Sam.

Click for the Motley Fool article.