Fans of the military industrial complex, rejoice. There is a new romance on the block. Australia and France are deepening their military relationship, under the auspices of a fat ship-building contract:
Contemplating world peace, the Australian decision-makers thought that a dozen submarines are totally worth $50 billion of their people’s work. On the other side of the world, the failing French economy is in dire need of a stimulus. After relations soured between NATO and Russia, France had to cancel a profitable warships-building contract, although the Russians will probably be getting the ships anyway by using Egypt^ as a proxy.
Fifty billion dollars; it’s hard not to wonder what a different type of government could have done with this amount of money. Such an investment would be a game changer in any vital government branch such as education, healthcare, social services or research.
For example, a country could offer a salary of $4000 per month, for ten years to a hundred thousand people. In other words, a country could allow a hundred thousand entrepreneurs experiment with ideas for ten years. I think that after a decade, the products and technologies coming from even a tiny fraction of those entrepreneurs would help Australia more than a dozen chunks of metal thrown in the ocean to pollute it.
Unfortunately for its citizens (and fortunately for the French ones), Australia decided that it’s jolly time to protect its oceans from the legion of enemy ships swarming in it and around its shores. Except wait, the only serious threat to man around Australia are sharks. This makes me wonder what exactly is at play here. Is NATO cultivating an ally that might one day assist in the power struggle with a resurgent China?