Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thomas E. Woods on the Idiocy of "War-Time Prosperity"

"If spending on munitions really makes a country wealthy, the United States and Japan should do the following: Each should seek to build the most spectacular naval fleet in history, an enormous armada of gigantic, powerful, technologically advanced ships. The two fleets should then meet in the Pacific. Naturally, since they would want to avoid the loss of life that accompanies war, all naval personnel would be evacuated from the ships. At that point the U.S. and Japan would sink each other's fleets. They could then celebrate how much richer they had made themselves by devoting labor, steel, and countless other inputs to the production of things that would wind up at the bottom of the ocean."................................................................................................P.S. I would also add a question to this wonderful piece of irreverence. If in fact it WAS WW2 that got us out of the Great Depression, why then isn't it the case that the two conflicts (three, if you count Libya, four, if you count Pakistan, five, if you count Yemen, six, if you......) of today haven't produced a similar miracle? It's like, what, the sons a' bitches aren't ginormous enough?

15 comments:

  1. Well, for one thing, half the stuff our troops use come from sources outside the U.S. You can rest assured that SOMEBODY is getting rich, or there wouldn't be any wars.

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  2. It is a simplification to say the Depression "WAS" ended by WWII. In terms of general growth, the Depression, at least in America, began to finally subside in 1937.

    WWII involved massive central state spending - hiring, contracting, enlisting, building, educating, healing, entitling, aiding, and more.

    The country went into massive debt to pay for all this.

    Here's how we got out of that debt, turned the Great Depression into a memory, and in the end turned an enormous profit:

    We invested heavily and smartly in post-war Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world, putting their people to work as well as ours.

    First, we borrowed a humongous pile of money and spent it, with pretty sure accountability, on every single thing we could think of to win the war and come out the better in the end.

    We invested heavily and smartly in the education of our GI's, and during the war trained millions of women and minorities in higher vocations, and then backed loans and investments for these educated, skilled workers - educated and skilled by the government - to purchase homes, and build savings and pensions.

    After the war, we continued infrastructural and institutional development with that same workforce, right up into the 1960's.

    Then, of course, we slipped into the establishment's comfortable laissez faire, and development began to wain. The great uniting forces of the Depression and the War were forgotten. We because spoiled, fat and selfish.

    Oh, the sorts of wars we've fought since WWII are just sleazy colonial/political escapades.

    No comparison.

    Not a one since WWII, and not many before in the annals of history.

    WWII was a unique experience. Let's hope we never have another, because next time it could be far, far worse - and that's saying a lot.

    JMJ

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  4. The question, Gorges Smythe, isn't whether one person/company gets rich from war. It's whether a country as a whole gets rich from one. And to that question I say, highly doubtful.......Jersey, I doubt that the families of the 58,000 casualties of the Vietnam War would appreciate you calling that conflict an "escapade". And what about Iraq? Over a trillion bucks and counting now?

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  5. JMJ said: "Oh, the sorts of wars we've fought since WWII are just sleazy colonial/political escapades."

    All of these have been anti-colonial, actually. Referring to actual history now. US imperialism and colonialism belong to the pre-WW2 era.

    Political? Kind of a pointless word to include in this.

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  6. Will said: ".Jersey, I doubt that the families of the 58,000 casualties of the Vietnam War would appreciate you calling that conflict an "escapade"."

    Don't forget the hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese slaughtered by the North Vietnamese invaders. It was a colonial effort, alright. The imperialists won.

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  7. Jersey's from the Howard Zinn school of American History...

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  9. Oops! I forgot what blog I was on!

    dmarks, are you for real? Do you know anything whatsoever about Vietnam or the Vietnam war?

    And, Howard Zinn, Les???

    ONLY far right loonies still repeat the sort of nonsense about the Vietnam war that dmarks has here! I swear to God, is the man is nothing but a living, breathing encyclopedia of simplistic right-wing soundbites? "Invaded" by the North??? On planet does he live??? Since when was there ever even a "North" Vietnam??? We created it!!!

    For Christ's sake, guys, get with the times. No serious person believes those sleazy lies anymore.

    JMJ

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  10. As power has been restored in my corner of the world I'll be back tomorrow!

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  11. While I agree with Jersey that the Vietnam War was an idiotic one, and that Presidents from Eisenhower to Nixon (with LBJ being the worst) all made hugely disastrous miscalculations, I really think that we all have to be honest here. The Communist government (starting with Ho Chi Minh and the killing of land-owners) of Vietnam (Jersey's right - the North and South were largely created out of whole cloth) was as nasty and brutish as any. Their elimination in fact WAS a noble thing....It just wasn't our task/battle, that's all.

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  12. JMJ: Your revisionism is appalling and ignorant. I am only referring to the facts about Vietnam.

    Do you want references about how North Vietnam put hundreds of thousands in 're-education camps' when it conauered South Vietnam? Or the boat peop[e crisis, in which the people of South Vietnam escaped in droves to avoid slaughter?

    JMJ said: "..."simplistic right-wing soundbites..."

    Can you at least stick to the facts?

    The Soviets created North Vietnam. Both it and South Vietnam were actual nations, until the North conquered and destroyed the South.

    This has nothing to do with 'right wing sound bites'. You are lying with just about every other word you mention. Good god man. Crack open a history book. ""Invaded" by the North???"
    Find out about the Ho Chi Minh Trail, for starters.

    Will: Don't forget how the USSR controlled North Vietnam. and after the conquest North Vietnam shipped hundreds of thousands of slaves from South Vietnam to Siberia.

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  13. dmarks,

    The people of Vietnam were historically ALWAYS ONE PEOPLE. THE rise of the communists may not have been something we liked, or something some of the Vietnamese liked, but it WASN'T OUR BUSINESS.

    And just how many Vietnamese would you have murdered? 5 million? 10 million? All of them? And the USSR "controlled" North Vietnam? Really? Where do you get this stuff from?

    JMJ

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  14. The clash of ideologies... And ONE a tyrannical force that was (is) indeed evil.

    But you got one thing right jmj, it was in essence a civil war and therefor should not have been our business.

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  15. JMJ said: "And the USSR controlled North Vietnam? Really? Where do you get this stuff from?"

    The historic record. Check it sometime. North Vietnam was one of the USSR's several colonies.

    As for the murder of the Vietnamese. that was mainly North Vietnam's matter. The Hanoi regime slaughtered large numbers in North Vietnam, and when it conquered the South, it treated it like the Nazis treated Poland.

    Rational: Thanks for sticking to the facts...somewhat. JMJ does not know a thing about Southeast Asian history, from the whoppers he has laid before us again and again. I've studied the history of it and I have some Vietnamese friends. Apparenty JMJ has a stack of old 1980s Pravdas in front of him (hence his claims of US imperialism in an area when none exited.

    However, it was hardly a "civil war" as the conflict was caused by aggression from Hanoi's Soviet masters.

    -dmarks (Blogspot is not allowing Google logins to post comments right now).

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