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The Militant, 24 August 1946

Dan Shelton

Wall St “Bargains” –
Slavery at Cut Rates

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 34, 24 August 1946, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


In an article entitled, Bargains in War Surpluses Bring U.S. Privileges Abroad, World Report, one of the house organs of Big Business, provides an instructive glimpse into Wall Street’s drive toward world domination.

Goods and equipment worth more than 11 billion dollars, stored in U.S. depots all over the world, are now being sold “at bargain rates” to 80 countries. Over three billion dollars worth of Army tractors and equipment, transportation stock, hospitals and food rations, have already been sold “at a 72% loss.” In return for these “bargains,” Wall Street has gained the following “privileges”:

  1. U.S. commercial planes receive the right to land on important round-the-world airports built during the war. A globe-encircling air transportation net is thus provided for American exporters. Equally important, American military planes also have permission to land on these bases.
  2. Navigational aid stations, providing vital weather information for long-range planes, are to be maintained in many countries. Thus U.S. commercial and military planes crossing the Atlantic will continue to receive these important reports in peacetime as in war.
  3. The U.S. gets permission to use China’s drydock facilities for her fleet repairs, instead of towing damaged ships across the Pacific. This agreement with China is – for the time being – “limited” to a period of 30 years!
  4. Trade with other nations will be stimulated by the sales of vast surplus quantities of U.S. equipment. In addition, new equipment will be needed for any plants which may be built around surplus supplies, as well as replacements for worn-out material.
  5. Guns and fighting equipment are sold to friendly nations at scrap prices. Needed replacements and parts can be supplied only by American munitions factories. As soon as Congress passes the military cooperation bill, Latin American nations will receive large shipments of these weapons to standardize their armies on the American plan, thus further intensifying their dependence on Wall Street.

In brief what World Report cynically calls “bargains” turn out to be imperialist chains which all the more securely tie these already dependent countries to Wall Street.

Or, as World Report puts it, “as compensation for the logs in dollar values, the U.S. is gaining new property and privileges abroad.” And further “gives America a foothold in strategic areas of the world.”

The real price of these “bargains” is thus slavery. Taking advantage of the precarious economic situation of the “buyer” countries and their dire needs, the U.S. imperialists turn them into even more servile dependents by wresting political and economic concessions through these “tie-in” sales.

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