This spring, the United Arab Emirates is expected to close a deal for $7 billion dollars’ worth of American arms. Nearly half of the cash will be spent on Patriot missiles, which cost as much as $5.9 million apiece.It is funny that the US claims to have no "industrial policy" but with the world's highest incarceration rate, and using those prisoners at a wage that makes China's sweat shops look generous, it sure seems to me that the US has an "industrial policy". It is a policy of squeezing profit out of the underclass through the prison system.
But what makes those eye-popping sums even more shocking is that some of the workers manufacturing parts for those Patriot missiles are prisoners, earning as little as 23 cents an hour. (Credit Justin Rohrlich with the catch.)
The work is done by Unicor, previously known as Federal Prison Industries. It’s a government-owned corporation, established during the Depression, that employs about 20,000 inmates in 70 prisons to make everything from clothing to office furniture to solar panels to military electronics.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
US New Industrial Policy
From a Wired magazine article we get a glimpse of the brave new world of US government "industrial" policy: