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Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Colin Grabow, Aug 12, 2002.
As usual when Friedman writes something, this is an insightful piece.
It's a very insightful article. Currently, my own employer contracts with both Wipro and Infosys for software maintenance and testing.
On a project that I'm currently finishing up, I worked with somebody at Infosys. She handled a lot of the testing of my software during the night here in the USA, which is the daytime in India. And she did a great job at it, too. So while it was a pain in the ass to schedule document and code reviews for early in the morning (so that she could participate), this freed me up to work on other projects simultaneously.
I don't know if I would go so far as to credit multinationals for bringing India and Pakistan back from the brink, but it puts the lie to the whole "war is good for business" mantra that you sometimes hear. War is only good for business when a substantial portion of your means of production aren't going up in a mushroom cloud.
Corporations work to prevent war, or start it, based on the bottom line. You could almost say it's an arbitrary process.
So if we're going to say that GE is somehow now eligible for the Nobel Peace Prize, do you think that they'll stop making parts for the weapons that India and Pakistan are using against each other in Kashmir?
I think GE, and most American companies, have a whole lot more at stake in their commercial enterprises than on the military side. US sales of arms to India are actually pretty small, the biggest sale in the past few years was a $146 million deal a few months ago for a radar system that is made by Raytheon.
India is potentially an absolutely huge market, I think that the mouths of US corporations water far more at the prospect of selling a toaster to everyone in India rather than weapons systems -- although ideally India would buy both.
Also to the extent that the US engages in defense sales to India, they will be aimed at building India as a bulwark against China, rather than helping Indian efforts against Pakistan, at least a nominal US ally.
The Means justify the Ends. If money can prevent this war than I'm in favor of it.
So corporations are more powerful than nations. That is nothing surprising, is it?
Here is what "Network" had to say about it: