Profiting from major disasters, wars, pandemics...The war on Afghanistan was the most expensive mass murder in history. About US$2.3 trillion of the US taxpayers' money was spent killing 230,000 people--$10 million for each civilian, military personnel, soldier of fortune.
Who profits from wars? Billionaires do --Robert Dole (frmr US Sen.) Letter to the editor: [Dated Sep 17, 2019]
On Aug. 12, I attended a rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) at the North Conway Community Center. Among other things, Sanders told his audience that the U.S. military does an excellent job defending American citizens.
Ever since then, I have been scratching my head trying to figure out exactly how the U.S. military was defending American citizens during the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. I had to come to the conclusion that I just do not have the required intellectual acumen to imagine one single way in which Americans were being protected during these wars. Perhaps someone with a greater understanding of international affairs could shed some light on this enigma. The U.S. military has killed 16 million people since the end of the Second World War.
Finally, it dawned on me that there were actually Americans who profited from all these crimes against humanity and that they were the billionaire capitalists who invest their money in the arms industry.
Now the United States seems to be preparing to start a war against Iran. This conflict is already destined to be just as much a horrendous disaster as the previous wars. When will they ever learn?
Jesus said: “A nation that lives by the sword will perish by the sword.”
[Aged 98, Dole is a WWII vet, army Col., former congressman, senator and the Republican Leader of the United States Senate.]
The cost of the global war on terror: $6.4 trillion and [probably as many as two million] lives
Since late 2001, the United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $6.4 Trillion through Fiscal Year 2020 in budgetary costs related to and caused by the post-9/11 wars—an estimated $5.4 Trillion in appropriations in current dollars and an additional minimum of $1 Trillion for US obligations to care for the veterans of these wars through the next several decades.Billionaires, Multi-Millionaires are War Profiteers!
Catherine Lutz and Neta Crawford, another Costs of War co-director and a professor of political science at Boston University, estimate that between 770,000 and 801,000 people have died in post-9/11 wars. The total estimate includes civilian deaths — some 312,000 or more — as well as deaths of opposition fighters (more than 250,000), members of the U.S. military (7,014) and journalists and humanitarian workers (1,343).
[Upper estimates of casualties: More than 2 million killed, 10 million injured and 40 million displaced as war refugees.]
The "super-wealthy" class invariably invests in the most lucrative stocks: Big Tech, Biotech, Defense, Healthcare, Pharma... [A list of corporations that have had lucrative contracts with the US Department of Defense since "War on Terror" started in 2001 is listed below.]
During the Covid pandemic, as with America's "War on Terror", the billionaires became even wealthier.
The world’s billionaires have seen their wealth surge by over $5.5 trillion since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, a gain of about 69 percent. Their combined wealth rose from $8 trillion on March 20, 2020 to $13.5 trillion as of July 31, 2021, based on data from Forbes.
The number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list (2021) of the world’s wealthiest exploded to an unprecedented 2,755--660 more than a year ago. Of those, a record high 493 were new to the list--roughly one every 17 hours, including 210 from China and Hong Kong. Another 250 who’d fallen off in the past came roaring back. A staggering 86% are richer than a year ago.
As of August 17, 2021, the U.S. still had the most billionaires--708.
U.S. billionaires have seen their wealth surge $1.8 trillion during the pandemic, their collective fortune skyrocketing by about two-thirds from just short of $3 trillion at the start of the COVID crisis on March 18, 2020, to $4.8 trillion on August 17, 2021, according to a report from Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies Program on Inequality (IPS). A table of the top 15 billionaires is linked to below, as well as the full data set.
As of August 30, 2021, Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest for the fourth year running, worth $197.2 billion, from $113 billion (March 2020), or a rise of 75 percent.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk rocketed into the number two spot on the list with $190.0 billion. He started 2020 worth $27 billion and has seen his wealth increase by an eye-popping $163 billion (more than 7 times) during the pandemic. French billionaire Bernard Arnault [$177.7billion] of LVMH remains at No. 3.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also saw his wealth rising from $54.7 billion to $136.8 billion in a meteoric rise of 250 percent. Bill Gates dropped to No. 5 spot on the list despite a US$34.5 billion (35%) rise in his wealth, which rose from $98 billion to $132.5billion.
Larry Page, up from US$50.9 billion to US$123.7 billion, or a rise of 143 percent. Sergey Brin, up from US$49.1 billion to US$119.3 billion, also a rise of 143 percent. Larry Elison, up from US$59 billion to US$116.7 billion, or a rise of 98 percent. Warren Buffett, up from US$67.5 billion to US$103.6 billion, or a rise of 53 percent. And so on...
- In 2001, Forbes list included 500 billionaires with a combined wealth of US$1.73 trillion.
- In 2005, some 691 billionaires had $2.24 trillion combined.
- By 2010, some 1,011 billionaires had a total of $3.57 trillion.
- In 2015, there were 1,826 billionaires, with a total wealth of $7.06 trillion.
- The number of U.S. billionaires grew more than nine fold between 1990 and March 2020 -- leaping from 66 to 614.
- The total wealth of U.S. billionaires grew from $240 billion in 1990 (adjusted for inflation) to $4.18 trillion in 2021--a 17-fold growth!
- In April 2021, 719 U.S. billionaires had nearly twice as much combined wealth as the165 million people (61 million households) in the bottom half of Americans-- $4.56 trillion vs. $2.62 trillion.
War Contractors R UsThe following is an incomplete list of corporations that have/had lucrative contracts with the US Department of Defense since the "War on Terror" started in 2001. These corporations directly profit from war:
3D Research Corporation; A.P. Moller-Maersk Group (Denmark); AAI Corporation; AAR Corporation; Academi LLC (formerly Blackwater WW and Xe Services); Accenture Inc.; Action Target; ADNOC Distribution; ADT Corporation; Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC); AECOM; Aegis Defense Services (UK); Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings; Aeromet Inc.; Aerospace Center Support; Aerospace Corporation; Aerovironment; Aimpoint (Sweden); Airbus Defence and SpaceSAS; AirScan; Alion Science and Technology Corp.; Alliant Techsystems; Allied-Signal Inc.; Alseal Contracting and Trading Co.; AM General Corporation; AM General Corporation / AM General Corporation (Hummer/Humvee); Amentum ; American Petroleum Institute; Amerisourcebergen Corp; ANHAM FZCO; Anteon International Corporation; Antonov Airlines (Ukraine); Applied Research Associates Inc.; APTIM Federal Services LLC; Arctic Slope Regional Corporation; Argon ST; ARINC; Armour Group Inc (United Kingdom); Artis LLC; ASSETT, Inc.; Astronautics Corporation of America; AT&T Inc; Atec, Inc.; ATK / ATK; Atlantic Diving Supply Inc.; Aurora Flight Sciences; Austal USA LLC; Australia Metal Storm; Avondale Industries Inc. / Avondale Industries Inc. (division of Northrup Grumman); BAE Systems Elec., Intelligence & Support; BAE Systems Land and Armaments; BAE Systems plc (UK); BAH - ICM JV; Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.; Ball Corporation; Barrett Firearms Manufacturing; Bath Iron Works; Battelle Memorial Institute; BBN Technologies; BDM Corporation(Saudi /United Kingdom); Bechtel; Bell Helicopter Textron; Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office; Benelli USA (Italy); Berger Group Holdings Inc.; Berico Technologies; BFBC LLC; Boeing ; Boeing Sikorsky Comanche Team; Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp.; Boston Dynamics; BP Products North America Inc.; Brashear; Bravo Strategic; British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (United Kingdom); BWX Technologies; CACI International Inc; CAE Inc.; Carahsoft Technology Corp; Cardinal Health Inc; Carlyle Group; Carnegie Mellon University; CDW Corp; Centene Corp.; Ceradyne; CFM International Inc.; Chugach Alaska Corp.; Cisco ; Clark Construction LLC; Cloudera; CNA Corporation; COLSA Corporation; Colt Defense; Columbia Helicopters Inc; Computer Sciences Corporation; Concurrent Technologies Corporation; Convergys Corporation; Crowley Holdings Inc.; CSRA Inc.; Cubic Corporation; Curtiss-Wright Corporation 20; Data Link Solutions L.L.C.; Davidson Technologies Inc. / Davidson Technologies; Day & Zimmermann; DCS Corp.; DDB Chicago Inc; Decibel Research Inc.; Defense Systems and Solutions; Deloitte LLP; Denali Holding Inc; Dewberry; Digital System Resources Inc.; Dillon Aero; Draper Laboratories; DRS Technologies; DynCorp; EADS (Netherlands); EADS North America; Edge Group 11 (UAE-based); Edison Welding Institute; EDO; Elbit Systems (Israel); Electric Boat (division of General Dynamics); Electro Design Manufacturing; Electronic Data Systems Corporation; Engility Corp.; ENSCO, Inc.; Enterprise Services LLC; Environmental Chemical Corp; Environmental Tectonics Corporation ; EOIR Technologies ; EOTech; Ernst & Young (United Kingdom); European Union Airbus Helicopters; European Union MBDA; Evergreen International Aviation; Express Scripts Inc; Exxon Mobil ; F M C Technologies; Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta (Italy); Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (Belgium); Federal Resources Supply Company; FedEx ; Fisher Sand & Gravel Co.; FLIR Systems; Fluor Corp.; Fluor Marine Propulsion LLC; Force Protection Inc; Forjas Taurus S/A (Brazil); Foster Wheeler Ltd.; Foster-Miller, Inc.; Foundation Health Systems Inc.; G4S plc (United Kingdom); General Atomic Technologies Company; General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.; General Dynamics; General Dynamics Electric Boat; General Electric Corporation PLC; General Electric Military Jet Engines Division; Geo-Centers Inc.; Georgia Tech Research Corp; Gilbane Inc; Glaxosmithkline plc; Glock Ges.m.b.H. (Austria); GMD Solutions, Inc.; Goodrich Corporation; Government of Canada; Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp; GTE; Gulfstream; Gyrocam Systems; H Squared Inc.; Halliburton Corporation; Harper Construction Company Inc.; Harris Global Communications Inc.; Health Net Federal Services LLC; Health Net, Inc.; Heckler & Koch US (Germany); HEICO ; Hensel Phelps Construction Co; Hewlett-Packard; Highmark Inc.; Honeywell International Inc; Howmet Aerospace ; HS Produkt (Croatia); Hughes Electronics Corporation; Humana Inc; Humboldt Trading Corporation; Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc; Hybricon Corporation; IAP Worldwide Services Inc.; IBM; IET (Information Extraction & Transport Inc., Rosslyn, VA); Ingalls Shipbuilding (division of Northrup Grumman); Insight Enterprises Inc.; Insight Technology; Insitu; Institute for Defense Analysis; Intelsat; International Resources Group; iRobot; Israel Aerospace Industries; Israeli Military Industries (Israel); ITT Exelis; ITT Industries Inc.; ITT Research Institute; Jacobs Engineering Group Inc; JANUS Research Group; John M. Olin Foundation; Johns Hopkins Health System Corp.; Johns Hopkins University; JPS Communications (wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon); Kaman Aircraft; KBR (Kellogg, Brown and Root); Kearfott Corporation; Kearfott Guidance & Navigation Corporation; Knight's Armament Company; Kollsman Inc. / Kollsman Inc.; Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Norway); Kongsberg Protech; Kratos; L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc.; L3Harris Technologies Inc; Lafayette Praetorian Group (France); Land Systems OMC (South Africa); Leidos Holdings Inc; Leonardo S.p.A.; Litton Industries Inc.; Lockheed Martin; Longbow Limited Liability Inc.; LRAD Corporation; Lumen Technologies; M1 Support Services L.P.; M7 Aerospace; MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc; Maersk [A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S ]; Maersk Line and Patriot Contract Services; Manson Construction Co; ManTech International Corporation; Marconi Corporation PLC / Marconi Corporation PLC; Marinette Marine Corp; Maritime Helicopter Support Company; Martin's Point Health Care Inc.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Maxar Technologies ; McCarthy HITT – Next NGA West JV; McDonnell Douglas; McKesson Corp.; McQ Inc; Mercury Systems; MEVATEC Corporation; Michael Baker International, LLC; Microsoft ; Milkor USA (South Africa); Miscellaneous Foreign Contractors; Mission Essential Personnel; Mission Research Corporation; MITRE Corporation ; Mitretek Systems Inc.; Mitsubishi (Japan); Modernatx Inc; Moog Inc.; Motorola Inc.; MOWAG (Switzerland); NASSCO Holdings Inc.; Natel Electronic Manufacturing Services; Navistar Defense; Navistar International Corp.; Newport News Shipbuilding (division of Northrup Grumman); Nextel; Nichols Research Corporation; NLX Corportation ; Noble Sales Co.; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems; Northrop Grumman Ship Systems; Northrop Grumman Technical Services; Nova Global Supply and Services LLC; Ocean Shipholdings Inc.; Oceaneering International; Olin Corporation; Omega Training Group; OMI Corporation; Orbital ATK Inc.; Orbital Sciences Corporation; Oshkosh Corp; PAE Holding Corp.; Para-Ordnance; Patriot Team; Pennsylvania State University; Peraton 7; Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation; Peregrine Systems, Inc.; Perot Systems; Perspecta Inc; Photon Research Associates ( Raytheon Photon Research Associates); Picatinny Arsenal; Pinnacle Armor; Powersecure Inc.; Pratt & Whitney (division of United Technologies); Precision Castparts Corporation; Private Federal Corporations; Private Military Corporations; Quantico Tactical Inc.; Quantum3D; Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Israel); Raytheon; Redstone Defense Systems; Remington Arms; Riverside Manufacturing LLC; Rock Island Arsenal; Rockwell Collins Inc.; Rockwell International ; Rolls-Royce Corp; Rolls-Royce plc (United Kingdom); RONCO (de-mining operations Horn of Africa); Royal Dutch Shell plc; RQ Construction LLC; Saab AB (Sweden); Saudi Logistics and Technical Support / SALTS; Schafer Corporation ; Science and Engineering Services Inc.; Science Applications International Corp (SAIC); SEI (Systems & Electronics Inc. / SEI); Sensis Corporation; Sequa Corporation; Serco Group plc; SGIS; Shaw CENTCOM Services, LLC; Shaw Group Inc.; Shell Oil Company; Shoghi Communications Ltd; Siemens AG (Germany); Sierra Nevada Corp; SIG Sauer (Germany); Sikorsky Aircraft Company; Smith & Wesson; Smith Enterprise Inc. (SEI); Sobran, inc; SOS International; Southwest Valley Constructors Co; Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX); Sparta Inc.; Spectrum Astro; Spirit AeroSystems; Springfield Armory, Inc.; SRC Inc; SRI International; ST Engineering (Singapore); ST Kinetics (Singapore); Standard Missile Company LLC; Stanley, Inc.; Stevedoring Services of America; Stewart and Stevenson; Sturm, Ruger & Company Incorporated; Sullivan Land Services Ltd; Supplycore Inc.; Sverdrup Corporation; Talla-Tech; TCom; Teledyne; Teledyne Brown Engineering; Teledyne Technologies Inc.; Telent (United Kingdom); Telos Corporation; Tesoro Corp.; Texas Instruments; Textron Inc; The Aerospace Corp; The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc.; The Columbia Group; The Mitre Corp.; The Parsons Corp.; The Titan Corporation; The Walsh Group Ltd; The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company; Torch Technologies Inc; Tracor Inc.; TransDigm; Trijicon; TriWest Healthcare Alliance; TRW Inc.; Tyco International Ltd.; U.S. Department of Energy; Unisys; United Defense Industries; United Industrial Corporation; United Launch Alliance L.L.C.; United Technologies; UnitedHealth Group Inc.; University of Texas System; URS Corporation; US Counter Intelligence Agency; US Ordnance; Valero Energy Corp.; Vangent; Vanguard Research Inc.; Vectrus Systems Corp.; Verdian Corporation; Verizon Communications Inc.; Vertex Aerospace LLC; Viasat Inc.; Vigor Industrial LLC; Vigor Marine LLC; Vinnell Brown and Root; Vinnell Corporation; VSE Corporation; W. S. Darley & Co; Washington Group International; Weeks Marine Inc; Westinghouse Electric Corporation; Woodward Inc.; World Wide Technology Holding Co., Inc; Worldcorp, Inc.; WVC3 Group, Inc.; Wyvern Technologies, Inc...
Note: Some of the above listed corporations may have merged with others, or currently operating under different names.