Any American must remember Ike's greatest economic achievement as a President of the United States--Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. Well, everyone knows, or at least should know, about Ike's great military leadership qualities. The man has many achievements to his record many of which eclipse the fact of Ike being merely a human, with many flaws which humans have, but apart from Ike's great military record, there is no denial of Dwight D. Eisenhower being America's 20th century not just POTUS, but a real statesman. In fact, Ike's scale as statesman of global standing is so huge, that it is simply tasteless to compare him with the crop of American political operatives, starting from LBJ, whose occupying position of POTUS must be viewed as examples of utter inadequacy of human and professional qualities to the highest government office in the US. Ike was more than adequate to this POTUS office. In fact, we all living in America today use and benefit greatly from Ike' vision. Just to illustrate outstanding human and American statesman qualities of Ike:
Eisenhower had an almost pathological, but healthy, fear that he might be blamed for allowing the nation to fall into another depression. When a mild recession early in his first term pushed the unemployment rate above 5%, Eisenhower told his Cabinet that "we could be in terrible trouble" and asked for solutions. The highwaymen at the Bureau of Public Roads (the precursor of today's Federal Highway Administration) heeded the call. They reported that each federal dollar invested in construction generated close to one half-hour of employment. Like a stone cast into a pond, a mile of modern, four-lane, limited-access highway would create waves that would ripple through the economy. Workers across America, not just those who built the roadways, would benefit -- in cement and steel plants (50 tons of concrete and 20 tons of reinforcing steel go into each mile), in paint and sign manufacturers and in heavy equipment factories and oil refineries.
What is forgotten here is the fact that it was mandated by Eisenhower Administration that most of money provided and generated by this massive project should go back to the American industries—this is how industrial, manufacturing infrastructure grew, so grew well-paid employment. Gee-whiz, modern day liberals trumpet on every corner about Clinton's so called "economic expansion" forgetting, of course, that it was on his watch, granted with the service of Reagan economic ideologues (fraudsters), that American de-industrialization went into overdrive and the US today has become a full blown FIRE economy and is heading fast towards third world economic status. What a startling contrast between genuine American patriot and a collection of power-hungry corrupt politicians. In a sense, Ike is a man who created modern America.
Enter Vladimir Putin and his statement that:
The right to transport oil and gas along the Northern Sea Route should only be given to the vessels under the Russian flag. Such proposal was formulated by Vladimir Putin. This is just one of the measures that will help to load domestic shipyards with orders, first of all – the “Zvezda” complex in Primorye. How else can the state help shipbuilders – the participants of the special meeting discussed today in the Kremlin. “Zvezda” is the first shipyard for large-capacity shipbuilding in Russia, where giant tankers and gas carriers to drilling platforms will be launched. It should also become one of the largest in the world. But it is not enough to build a factory, Putin says. The main thing is to provide it with stable orders.
Rings the bell? I will omit here going over Stalin's industrialization, not insignificant portion of it helped by American manufacturers, since some overly zealous "democrats" may have aneurysm reading about parallels, but there is no denial of a common economic and state (as in nation) principle of building an enclosed technological cycle or, rather, cycles which become national economic locomotives. As the news from Zvezda, which already cuts metal for, and other shipyards trickle in, and I quote:
In September 2017, in the presence of the president, four supply vessels of the ice class were laid here at once. “Catherine the Great,” “Holy Mary,” “Vladimir Monomakh,” and “Alexander Nevsky” will be launched in 2019. The entire portfolio of orders from Rosneft includes already 24 vessels. Including five Aframax type tankers – environmentally friendly, with gas fuel. Another 15 LNG tankers of the Arctic class are ordered by Novatek. However, in order to make “Zvezda” profitable in 17 years, a lot more has to be built.
Actually, I think, should Ike have been alive today he would have been ashamed to be called Republican when observing this cabal of free trade and monetarism fundamentalists who run GOP today and who, together with Democrats and sleazy corporate rats, are primarily responsible for American economic decline. Yet, Putin acts in case of a massive shipbuilding and energy projects (plus many others) very much as Ike did—the parallels are undeniable. Obviously, Putin, being Russian acts with consideration of Russia's unique economic factors but the common sense economic idea is universal—normal patriotic statesmen act in the interests of the whole nation, not some small and moneyed inner-circle of self-promoters and lobbyists. Ike, certainly, acted in the interest of the whole American nation and the monument to his economic success is America's wonderful interstate highway system and massive construction and heavy road equipment industries. Cannot ask for a better and more massive monument to one man. And that is why I still like Ike.
|A very small part of Zvezda shipyard with one of the pr. 949A Oscar-class SSGN being modernized with Kalibr missile complex.