Matt Stoller gives a history of consolidation in defense contractors, which was actually ORDERED by Clinton. Stoller is tracking a fairly sharp turnaround. The FTC is now rejecting mergers that it would have approved before, and the Pentagon has joined the switch.
Amazingly, the Trump administration tried to turn the tide, and even more amazingly, the military is starting to OBEY the Trump order. This is definitely good news. The offshoring trend started in 1958, as Ike noted. American tech companies began to lose interest in the risks of real commerce. They gradually abandoned all consumer electronics to Japan and China, seeking only the GUARANTEED profit of cost-plus contracts.
Sane armies have always understood the need to build your own weapons and supply your own food and clothing to the troops. When all your stuff is made by the enemy, you can’t hope to win a war.
This 2020 report by the Pentagon includes several ground-breaking turnarounds.
Ultimately, the most important asset our defense industrial base possesses isn’t machines or facilities, but people. America needs an ambitious effort, like the Eisenhower National Defense Education Act, to support education and training for manufacturing skills required to meet DoD and wider U.S. requirements. As the Industrial Capabilities Report notes, while China has four times the U.S. population, it has eight times as many STEM grads, while Russia has almost four times more engineers than the United States.
AMEN, AMEN, AMEN. Note the return to Ike again. Amazingly, the report mentions the REAL problem. We don’t need more theoretical math grads or computer science grads. We need more SKILLS.
Virtually every U.S. president from Hamilton’s day until the dawn of the twentieth century understood that sensible and targeted trade measures – anti-dumping fees, countervailing duties, and even modest tariffs to level an unfair playing field – formed the principal tool by which America fostered its industrial base. The 1990ssaw an experiment in radical trade policies – dropping reciprocity – that made earlier presidents, such as FDR, Eisenhower, and JFK, all advocates of free trade, look, with their prudent tariffs, like protectionists.
Aside from the Woke salute to “President” Hamilton, this is a stern rebuke to the globalists. The ghost of Graybill is happy!