This past week I heard him say some things that certainly bear communicating, in this forum.
I'll start it off with some news about China's military budget. According to an article in the Washington Post, China spent about 35.4 billion in their 2006 military budget, up 10% from the year before.
China's announced military budget has risen about 10 percent a year recently, reaching $35.4 billion in 2006, and Pentagon specialists estimate that also counting equipment expenditures would more than double it.
Granted, it's but a fraction of what America spends. But, that's not all. Let's back up a second here and look at what's happening, via Mr. Wilkow's argument, shall we?
To start this off, let's look at some history.
In the Civil War, it was the industrialized north that defeated the agrarian south. While the south had to import weapons and equipment, the north manufactured them because they were heavily industrialized. They had the workers, they had the plants. But that wasn't the half of it, the Union forces put up a naval blockade and prevented the Confederates from importing. With no means of production or importing them, the Confederacy lost.
In WWI, the U.S. and her allies outproduced the Germans and its allies and won. In WWII, add ingenuity to the outproducing of the Axis powers and one can easily understand why the allies were victorious, then, too. Having the ability to produce is one of the most important factors in any nation's quest to sustain and/or win a war. None of these conflicts are an exception.
If a nation does not have the plants to convert from making everyday goods to armaments and other kinds of equipment, its chances at military success are diminished. That much we've established. But what about the workers?
Factory workers are used to working hard with their hands. So it stands to reason, they can be more easily converted to soldiers than say a greeter at Wal-Mart, or a server at Red Lobster. So all in all, having a strong manufacturing base is a major plus, all the way around.
Do you see what I am getting at, here?
Although, I am a capitalist and I strongly feel that a company has the right to do what it feels best in order to be profitable, it can come with a huge cost. By sending these plants, along with these jobs, to China, and by replacing them with warehouse workers and date entry clerks, we sacrifice a lot. We sacrifice that ability to outproduce.
What if we send the entire manufacturing base overseas to countries that are openly hostile (or at the very least have a vested interest in seeing the U.S. weakened), and those countries do not want us to be successful in a necessary military endeavor, or want to directly challenge the U.S. in some way? Do you think they will allow us to convert those plants to produce armaments and other equipment? I rather doubt it.
Now, we see China increasing its military spending by leaps and bounds and we also see a good portion of manufacturing jobs slipping to them. Does it make sense to keep doing this? With this new age of mercantilism and the natural by-products of that system, it's easy to see the answer.