WHO IS THE WORLD’S LARGEST EMPLOYER?
WHAT IF WE SHUNNED AND SHAMED THE PEOPLE AMONG OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO ARE PART OF THE WAR MACHINE?
As long as war is good for business, it will thrive. So to stop wars, humanity must remove the profit incentive.
Easier said than done, I know. Wars have been thriving since time immemorial.
But what if we used conscience as a criterion in choosing what we want to do for a living and who to work for?
Again, easier said than done, especially if you’re unemployed and hungry.
Still, maybe there is a way, however idealistic it may seem.
Businesses need employees, right? Big businesses employ large numbers of people. Which means that all those involved in the business of war profit from the killings and destruction, not just the bosses who give orders, are complicit in war crimes. Every time they cash their paycheck.
And so are the death merchants’ shareholders. Every time they cash their dividends.
“I was just following orders”-excuse didn’t cut it at Nuremberg after World War II. So why should it work today?
Everyone employed in the war machines of the world is complicit in crimes against humanity, not just the bosses who gave the orders or operatives who did the killings.
Shame Instead of Glory
That includes our neighbors, friends, family, acquaintances. What if we were to shun them and let them know it is because of their choice of employment?
Some they might start to feel shame rather than pride in their work, which is what the war machine wants people to believe. And who knows, those with conscience might even quit. After all, most people are not “born killers.”
And then, like a tree without leaves, businesses who feed off of wars would whither and die. In theory anyway.
As I said, it is idealistic, but easy to do. That kind of quiet protest against war could be more effective than any loud, public placard-waving denunciation of war.
The best part is that everyone can engage in it. Because most of us know people who are involved in the business of war directly or indirectly.
That also means large portions of the population. How large? Whole nations of people.
If we were to look at just the Pentagon and its top defense contractors, for example, that would be over 6 million people!
Guess who the world’s largest employer is?
The US Department of Defense boasts a workforce of 3.2 million people, making it the largest global employer. The Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army, is in second position with a force of 2.3 million.
Only Walmart and McDonald’s come third and fourth with 2.1 and 1.9 million employees respectively (the number for McDonald’s includes franchises). They are the only private companies in the top 10.
And then there are private defense contractors who profit from wars the most. The Top 10 Pentagon “death merchants” alone employ nearly one million people (921,000 – see the list below). As for the Top 100, we estimate it is probably over 3 million. That’s close to if not bigger than the Pentagon payroll.
And then there are those in supporting industries who also benefit from wars… fast food chains, health care companies, hosting suppliers, media, Hollywood… the war food chain goes on and on.
Of course, that’s nothing new. See the Truth in Media articles from 2002 and 2004 which drew similar conclusions and expressed the same sentiments.
To end the global war economy, we must starve the entire food chain. There are no innocent participants. Which is why we must refuse to participate in the war booty and encourage all those around us to do likewise.
* * *
Feb 3, 2002 … Who Says Money Cannot Buy Presidency, Favors? Enron’s Peons, Unocal’s Yokels. Bush League All-Stars. “Death Merchants,” Oil Companies …
Apr 19, 2004 … Perpetual War for Perpetual Commerce: Private Armies of Private …. Which makes the global wartime economy the fastest growing “new” …
Nov 18, 1998 … … its economy in shambles, its people starving and dying enmasse. … After World War I, Germany had to swallow the punishing terms of the …
TOP 10 AMERICAN “DEATH MERCHANTS” AND THEIR EMPLOYMENT IN 2015
Here’s a rundown of the top 10 federal contractors in 2014. Hint: all of the top 10 contractors are for-profit companies, and all of them owe their status to militarty spending – something worth keeping in mind as Congress engages in battle over government spending levels for the Pentagon versus every single other priority, including health care, education, and job creation.
10. Huntington Ingalls Industries, $4.7 billion, 38,000 employees
Huntington Ingalls describes itself as “America’s largest military shipbuilding company.”
9. BAE Systems, $5.0 billion, 84,600 employees
BAE Systems traffics in “defence, aerospace and security solutions” (and yes, they are a British company with significant operations in the U.S.), with products ranging from amphibious combat vehicles to “hyper velocity projectiles.”
8. L-3 Communications Holdings, $5.8 billion, 48,000 employees
L-3 bills itself as a “prime contractor in aerospace and national security solutions.” Its products include explosive detection systems and holographic weapons sights, among others.
7. United Technologies Corporation, $6.0 billion, 211,500 employees
UTC is a parent company for defense contractors Pratt & Whitney, UTC Aerospace Systems, and Sikorsky. Pratt & Whitney is the maker of the F-35 jet fighter engine, among others, while Sikorsky is the maker of the Black Hawk helicopter.
6. McKesson Corporation, $6.2 billion, 42,800 employees
On its face, health care solutions company McKesson appears to be the lone non-military contractor among the group. But even McKesson would not be where it is without our country’s penchant for Pentagon spending: it gets $4.2 billion in contracts from Veterans’ Affairs, and an additional $1.6 billion directly from the Department of Defense.
5. Northrop Grumman Corporation, $10.3 billion, 64,300 employees
Northrop Grumman bills itself as providing “unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and security” solutions. Northrop Grumman makes the Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt II (also known as the “Warthog”), among others.
4. Raytheon Company, $12.6 billion, 61,000 employees
Raytheon’s business includes missile defense, electronic warfare, precision weapons, and more, including Tomahawk and Patriot missiles.
3. General Dynamics Corporation, $15.4 billion, 93,000 employees
General Dynamics provides aerospace, combat systems, marine systems, and more, including Abrams tanks, MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles, and nuclear submarines through its Electric Boat division.
2. Boeing, $19.6 billion. 165,500 employees
Boeing specializes in fighter jets, rotorcraft, advanced weapons, and missile defense, including Minuteman missiles, the V-22 Osprey aircraft, and the F-15 aircraft.
1. Lockheed Martin, $32.2 billion, 112,000 employees
That’s 7% of all federal contracts, and the equivalent of three percent of discretionary spending in 2014, to just one company. That company saw over $5.5 billion in profit, and paid its CEO more than $34 million in 2014. And the $32 billion it received from the U.S. government made up more than seventy percent of its total sales.
And Lockheed’s signature product? The F-35 jet fighter, which despite being in development since 2001, and being billions of dollars over budget, is not yet combat ready. The F-35’s top initial selling point?
Affordability. Go figure!?
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