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willedoo

Scotty from Marketing

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Gosh OME, you know more history than I do. My version came from tour guides while I was there for a few days. The king's name was the same though, king Kamehameha. Are you sure that the story about him selling Hawaii for a gunboat was not true?

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I think that you might be referring to the cause of Captain Cook's death in February 1779.

 

He anchored in Kealakekua Bay in January 1779. After departing Kealakekua, he returned in February 1779 after a ship's mast broke in bad weather. On the night of 13 February, while anchored in the bay, one of his only two longboats was stolen by the Hawaiians. In retaliation, Cook tried to kidnap the aliʻi nui of Hawaii Island, Kalaniʻōpuʻu. On 14 February 1779 Cook confronted an angry crowd. Kanaʻina approached Cook, who reacted by striking the royal attendant with the broad side of his sword. Kanaʻina picked up the navigator and dropped him while another attendant, Nuaa killed Cook with a knife.

 

By the early third of the 19th Century, American Christian missionaries and sugar cane growers had established themselves in the islands. American influence in Hawaiian government began with U.S. plantation owners demanding a say in Kingdom politics. This was driven by missionary religion and sugar economics. Pressure from these plantation owners was felt by the King and chiefs as demands for land tenure. After the brief 1843 takeover by the British, Kamehameha III responded to the demands with the Great Mahele, distributing the lands to all Hawaiians as advocated by missionaries including Gerrit P. Judd. Kamehameha III also tried to modernize Hawaii's legal system by replacing indigenous traditions with Anglo-American common law.

 

There was a bit of bluff and bluster between the British and Americans in 1843 over bias in land dealing by the American-born royal adviser. There was a short period of five months during which the British took over Hawaii. There were several British and American warships floating about, but the push and shove involved them, not the Hawaiians. The matter was settled diplomatically.

 

It was the American sugar plantation owners who wrested Hawaii from its people. They staged several coups disrupting the Hawaiian Royal family.

 

In March 1897, William McKinley, a Republican expansionist, succeeded Democrat Grover Cleveland as U.S. President. He prepared a treaty of annexation but it lacked the needed 2/3 majority in the Senate given Democratic opposition. A joint resolution, which does not have the power to annex, written by Democratic Congressman Francis G. Newlands to annex Hawaii passed both the House and Senate; it needed only majority support. The Spanish–American War had broken out and many leaders wanted control of Pearl Harbor to help the United States to become a Pacific power and protect the West Coast. In 1897 Japan sent warships to Hawaii to oppose annexation. The possibility of invasion and annexation by Japan made the decision even more urgent, especially since the islands' fourth population was Japanese who were largely sympathetic to their country's goal in doing so.

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The Yanks did very well out of WWII, thank you very much. Do you think that all the Lend Lease stuff they dumped around the world was simply done out of the goodness of their hearts? If you look at the Lend Lease agreements, you will find that the Yanks always required repayment in cash or kind. That's how they got their military bases all around the world.

 

I beg to differ. The Lend-Lease equipment left behind in all the countries the Americans fought in (or gave to the Allied countries) was a boon to local economies.

 

There are reams and reams of Congressional records where U.S. politicians discussed at length, what to do with the mountain of War surplus.

 

In the end, possibly a quarter of Lend-Lease equipment rotted due to poor storage (left out in the weather) and extreme weather conditions (high humidity and high rainfall and flooding) - possibly up to a quarter was stolen - about a quarter was destroyed by the Americans or Allies under American orders - and only about a quarter of Lend-Lease equipment was actually sold.

 

In many remote areas and distant Pacific islands, the scrap rights to the War surplus were sold to nations such as China and India. They gathered up thousands of tonnes of mostly steel scrap.

 

In the case of Australia, there was a massive amount of War surplus left here. Possibly a third had been outright purchases by the Australian Govt, possibly a third was owned by the U.S., Canada and Britain, and left behind by them - and possibly a third was pure Lend-Lease equipment.

 

Of course, the initial orders were to destroy all Lend-Lease equipment, in line with the original agreement. When a public outcry arose over the wastefulness and destruction of items that were desperately needed (after years of War shortages), the Australians went to Washington to negotiate a purchase deal for the remaining L-L equipment here and in close proximity to Australia, that hadn't been destroyed.

 

The simple problem with the L-L destruction orders was that they were issued with intransigence, and carried out with a vast degree of difference in enthusiasm.

 

On top of that, there were an inadequate number of Americans in every place where the surplus was located, to oversee and certify the destruction of L-L equipment.

 

I knew an old Veteran who was based in Darwin and he told me in the early 1970's how they were instructed to drive L-L Jeeps and trucks out in the jungle around the N.T., drain the engine oil, start the engines and leave them running with a brick on the accelerator.

Some of the Australians allocated this task didn't carry out the instructions in full and just left the vehicles in the Jungle. Others did carry out instructions to the letter. But virtually all the dumped L-L equipment in the Territory was eventually recovered, and put to use again by enthusiastic locals.

 

In the case of Australia, the very senior Govt officials who went to Washington were initially appalled at the figure the Americans wanted for their L-L War surplus. It was a huge figure, about 50-60% of the actual cost of manufacture.

The Australian officials went to work on the Americans, and argued their case very pointedly, that the Americans had the choice of taking a reasonable sum for the L-L War surplus - or get very little for it.

 

The Americans finally agreed to a purchase figure for all the residual L-L equipment, that was about 5% of the initial asking price. I have seen the records of this transaction, they are in the National Archives.

All the L-L War Surplus left here, was then purchased and owned outright by the Australian Govt - which had formed the Commonwealth Disposals Commission in 1944, and which was tasked with selling all War Surplus.

 

The CDC started selling War Surplus in 1944, selling off any military surplus that was now deemed to be unnecessary to prosecute the War, which was obviously winding down. Many surplus military aircraft were sold by the CDC in early 1945.

From late 1944, the CDC also sold off War Surplus located in the Australian and S.W. Pacific region, that was being disposed of by America, Canada, and Britain.

 

But the CDC job got so much bigger in late 1946 when the L-L Surplus sale agreement with the Americans was finalised. The CDC sold much of the goods at auction, but it also sold a lot of equipment, machinery, aircraft, ships, and buildings by tender.

The CDC auctions were held regularly until early 1950, when the surplus was dwindling - but also when it was realised War with North Korea was imminent, and War equipment would be needed again.

 

A substantial number of business owners, farmers, and those wanting to start in business, got their flying start by purchasing War Surplus from CDC auctions. And quite a number of business people did very well, selling "War Surplus" for decades after WW2 ended!

 

Somewhat surprisingly, in the final tally, the Americans actually owed us quite a bit of money for goods and services provided by Australia to American troops and war operations.

We allocated 3, virtually brand-new local hospitals for the exclusive use of injured Americans - a fact not lost on locals, and which caused some grievances. Australia supplied almost all the food for American troops in the S.W. Pacific, in the last 15-18 months of the War. This was simply because the logistics of getting food from America to their troops in these remote regions was much higher than paying us to provide it.

 

All these figures were "squared up" in the final agreement with the U.S. - and the Australian Govt, and Australians in general, came out clear winners from the War Surplus, and in particular, L-L Surplus.

 

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/50263623

 

EDIT - I found the copy of the Lend-Lease War Surplus agreement between America and Australia. It's dated June 7, 1946.

We paid the Americans a total of US$27,000,000 in total for all the remnant L-L equipment. A huge sum at that time, but it was returned in spades when the total of the CDC sales was tallied up.

 

https://www.loc.gov/law/help/us-treaties/bevans/b-au-ust000005-0164.pdf

Edited by onetrack
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I agree with what Onetrack has said above. All recipients of Lend Lease materials benefitted form the US overproduction. But I was referring to the political wins that the USA had. Look at the US bases in the UK, and here in Australia. No doubt that there are similar holdings in a lot of other previous Allied countries. Bases in Germany and Japan are spoils of war.

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19 hours ago, old man emu said:

In March 1897, William McKinley, a Republican expansionist, prepared a treaty of annexation

Annexation  is the administrative action and concept in international law relating to the forcible acquisition of one state's territory by another state and is generally held to be an illegal act. It is distinct from conquest, which refers to the acquisition of control over a territory involving a change of sovereignty, and differs from cession, in which territory is given or sold through treaty, since annexation is a unilateral act where territory is seized and held by one state.

 

Typical American philosophy - if you want it, take it.

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Only recently I heard that, for most of my life, the US outspent THE REST OF THE WORLD PUT TOGETHER on military spending.

Wow, thought I, why was that not trumpeted?

I think the answer is that the pentagon's budget depended on them convincing the ( American ) taxpayer that the Russians were close behind.

It was a bit like how the US navy extolled aircraft carriers against the submarines... who wants to be an admiral on a submarine?

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51 minutes ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

I think the answer is that the pentagon's budget depended on them convincing the ( American ) taxpayer that the Russians were close behind.

Seems to be still the case, although now they've got the rise of China as reason as well.

 

These days the U.S. spends around ten times what Russia does on defence. Even at the height of the Soviet days there was a huge disparity. But having said that, the Soviets were and the Russians still are a formidable enemy. In the Soviet days, the Americans feared their technological ability and their capacity for production. The Soviets knew they could never out spend or out gun the U.S. in traditional warfare, so they had to develop a military doctrine to deal with the threat. Developing highly mobile forces and maximizing bang for buck has carried over into the military of the Russian Federation. They can do more with less money then the Americans can. Most of their conventional forces are designed to hit and run to inflict maximum damage, rather than sustain a large one on one front.

 

I think a big part of their non nuclear lethality is based around their huge fleet of transport aircraft. No one can move as much gear as quickly and cheaply as the Russians. They're developing some good gear as well. One new one is a re-design of the Pantsir missile system. They've fitted it to tracked vehicles which are air dropped out the back of Ilyushin 76's with the two man crew inside. Once they hit the ground, they're operational within 5 minutes to provide air defence for airborne troops with surface to air missiles and 30mm auto tracking cannon. The Russians would probably never win against the U.S. in the long run, but the amount of blood and treasure to be lost fighting them acts as a good deterrent. Between them and China as perceived threats, the military industrial complex should be assured of a quid for quite a while yet.

Edited by willedoo
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I don't disagree that the US spends more than anyone else.. But, although it may be, say 10 times that of Russia, is it in real terms?  Currently there are a tad over 76 roubles to the USD. Say the US spent $10 on aircraft and the Russians spent 76RUB and aircraft, does that mean the US got 10 times the aircraft? Maybe, but I am guessing 76 RUB buys more in Russia than 1 USD buys in the USD. This website is 2 years old, but inflation has not beein high. 90 Rubles buys a 2l bottle of coke: http://meanwhileinrussia.dk/get-an-overview-of-russian-rubles-and-prices-in-russia/

 

I just checked Amazon US, and a 2l bottle of coke on Amazon US is USD $11.99.. So a big difference in buying power (OK, the price of Coke has probably gone up in Russua, but by 10 times?) My point is that Russia inreal terms is still probably spending less, but Iwould not think that much less..

 

Same for China (my guess is even more).

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75 to 80% of the cost of producing an item is consumed in wages. If that wage level is low than an item can be sold at a lower price, or sold at the same price as a competitor's and bigger profits made.

 

You would be surprised at the amount of markup retailers put on wholesale prices. Just go to any shopping centre and see the SALE signs on shops with price reductions of 50+%. How much are consumers being ripped off at recommended retail price? Also, the Recommended Retail Price is the result of collusion between manufacturers and retailers. You should hear the screams from manufacturers and other retailers if one larger retailer decides to drop the markup on a popular product. 

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8 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

I don't disagree that the US spends more than anyone else.. But, although it may be, say 10 times that of Russia, is it in real terms?  Currently there are a tad over 76 roubles to the USD. Say the US spent $10 on aircraft and the Russians spent 76RUB and aircraft, does that mean the US got 10 times the aircraft? Maybe, but I am guessing 76 RUB buys more in Russia than 1 USD buys in the USD. This website is 2 years old, but inflation has not beein high. 90 Rubles buys a 2l bottle of coke: http://meanwhileinrussia.dk/get-an-overview-of-russian-rubles-and-prices-in-russia/

 

I just checked Amazon US, and a 2l bottle of coke on Amazon US is USD $11.99.. So a big difference in buying power (OK, the price of Coke has probably gone up in Russua, but by 10 times?) My point is that Russia inreal terms is still probably spending less, but Iwould not think that much less..

 

Same for China (my guess is even more).

Jerry, another factor is that military design and production in Russia is still relatively centralised which keeps production costs lower. Contractors and sub contractors are all on the same page. In the U.S. there's a big defence cash trough and everyone has their snout in it. The level of waste in the U.S. budget must be significant.

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