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Is Lockheed Martin a Parasite?

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

(from a new zine by the Student Coalition Against War)

Is Lockheed a Parasite? You be the Judge

On Thursday April 1, 2009, former Premier of Nova Scotia Rodney MacDonald made an announcement about a supposedly generous move on the part of a large corporation. On that day, they welcomed Lockheed Martin's plan to create a 100 new jobs. Lockheed Martin is the world's largest weapons manufacturer, raking in $3 billion in profits last year.

Many might think that Lockheed throwing down 100 jobs was a good thing for people in Nova Scotia. Former Minister of Economic and Rural Development, Murray Scott, emphasized that point during the official announcement, saying, "Lockheed's expansion is great news for Nova Scotia."

Really?

When one looks at the big picture, it's actually only “great news” for Lockheed Martin and a very small number of people who get one of those jobs. A wider angle view shows that people in Nova Scotia and across the country actually lost far more than they gained.

Here's how it breaks down. For one, the company received $1.8 million in payroll subsidies for bringing in the 100 jobs. That's $18,000 for each job. And looking more closely, the actual statement was “up to 100 jobs ... over 5 years.” Not so sweet sounding anymore, is it? But it gets worse.

In November, 2008, Lockheed Martin received $2 billion from the federal government for the installation, integration and long-term in-service support of a new combat system for Canada’s Halifax-Class frigates. The same announcement showed that 200 jobs would be created at part of the deal. The 100 jobs announced in Nova Scotia are probably part of that package.

$2 billion of economic activity! Yee haw! What could be wrong with that?

Plenty, if you're not working for, or investing in, Lockheed Martin... 

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May 12th, 2009

"WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin Corp. significantly increased the amount of money it spent lobbying Congress and the Pentagon during the first quarter as it fought to stave off proposed cuts to some of its major weapons programs. In a lobbying report filed with the House and Senate, Lockheed said it spent $6.35 million on lobbying during the three months that ended March 31 ..."

So, Lockheed spends money that it gets from the government to produce war machines for the government, and also spends a lot on lobbying the government to keep the conflict industry going. They seem to have things all locked up. But really, isn't there anything of positive social value they actually provide? Well, there sort of is, but it really depends how you look at it.

Lockheed collected vital info about Canadians in 2006 when the feds outsourced the Canadian Census to them. Here's an interesting legal note in relation to that: As a result of the USA Patriot Act and the USA Homeland Security Act, all US companies and their subsidiaries, wherever they are located, are required on demand (on pain of heavy penalty for refusal), to release to the US Homeland Security all data held. No foreign law (i.e., Canadian) overrides the application of the USA statutes in the USA.

From the point of view of someone who believes “the price for security will be some freedom”, it's probably no real problem that the US Government now has access to all that information. For anyone who's a little unnerved, you may be wondering why you were never asked if such a deal was Okay. Well, to be frank, neither Lockheed nor the government – who's too busy paying attention to million $$$ lobbyists – really gives a shit what you think.

But here's the bottom line. It's not really Lockheed Martin that's the problem. They are just one filthy rich corporation that seeks profits in a predatory fashion. The scandalous deals with governments and corporate welfare that Lockheed receives is nothing out of the ordinary in the corporate world. The problem is a system that legalizes and sponsors the behaviour. Unless working people, students, the poor and dispossessed are able to break the chains and do some re-designing, we'll continue to get pushed around and exploited by those who are designed to do so.

 


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Commentaires

NS Corporate Welfare in general

I think someone needs to track and justify the money that flows into these companies such as Clearwater Seafood who has had millions of taxpayer money piled in.

We need these to end and have an even playing field for all companies.

Probably?

If you're going to write about digging deeper and analyzing statements and facts, don't use the word 'Probably" to defend your side of the story, you sound worse than they do.

"The same announcement showed that 200 jobs would be created at part of the deal. The 100 jobs announced in Nova Scotia are probably part of that package."

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