Nobody buys American anymore How often have you heard that lately? Look around your house. How many things can you see that have some crucial component that is not made in America? From the industrial, to the Information Age. Speaking of information, one look at the current situation in the Middle East and at home in the US and its plain to see that America has become a victim of its own rhetoric. Post 9/11 the US Government’s actions at home and abroad have created fertile land for the sowing of extremist seeds and thinking. Yeah, yeah the aim was to bring about the exact opposite. From an Asian perspective the answer was obvious: Money. Or in other words: Development. The US Government has spent more than 300 billion dollars in Iraq since the “invasion”. And in all likelihood, just a little less than that in Afghanistan!!And what do they have to show for it? 100 people have been killed in sectarian violence in and around Baghdad everyday for the last two months. Afghanistan is not faring much better. The Shiite-Sunni divide and the Taliban are as deeply entrenched as ever.Now imagine what would have happened if we had taken all that money and spent it on building roads and housing in Afghanistan and Iraq. And yes, along with the social workers sneak in a few spooks too. To keep an eye “on the ground” and even spread the “word” wherever possible. No one would have minded. Least of all, the Iraqis, and Afghanis. Would the US’ “sphere of influence” been greater than it is now? Think about it.It’s the 14th of July (check date).
Until then America was quite happy to sit out the war and supply arms to Europe. Then Pearl Harbor happened and the US jumped into the fray. Since then the United States has always had the most and the most sophisticated weapons of war in the world. The US armaments industry is a small country by, in and of itself! As an industry it is one of the most capital intensive. And it is one of the best employers too.So now lets take another ‘what if’. After all life is full of what ifs isn’t it? What if the US government has spent its 300 bill differently. Lets say it took half of that amount and spent it on an economic scheme and the other half for getting its troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus keeping the American defense establishment and related groups happy too.Coming back to the 150 bill we have for our little scheme that I shall endeavor to describe in a few short steps:Pick 150,000 names from unemployment and welfare lists across the US.Give each of these hundred-and-fifty thousand individuals a million dollars each and tell them “…go start a business in West Asia. Country of your choice”.Set realistic repayment terms for the million dollar loans.Sounds easy as pie doesn’t it?