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I Know, Let’s Start A War!

I’ll go with Krugman’s little blurb, Wag The Dean. about David Broder’s column in the WashPoo that would seem to suggest that starting a war with Iran would be one way of “stimulating the economy”.

While a lot of people have commented on it, they haven’t looked at the underlying issue – would a war provide any real stimulus to the US economy?

While World War II certainly stimulated the US economy at that time, we have been in two wars for some time, and they haven’t been very beneficial. If you look at the numbers, the way things are, another war won’t help, and will probably destroy the US economy. The Republicans have screwed war up in addition to everything else.

First off, war with Iran would bring down the global economy as oil from the Persian Gulf would be cut off, so that should be off the table. Just forget it.

But the way the US military has been configured, and the way it operates, it will do real damage to the US economy. There isn’t going to be any huge draft of the unemployed, as happened beginning in 1940, the current practice is to use the Guard and Reserve for additional manpower. During the Hedgemony this resulted in cuts in income for thousands, and the destruction of small businesses that lost the services of critical people.

Many of the support functions performed by the military in World War II are now contracted out, and those services tend to be structured so the corporations that receive the contracts hire almost no US workers, and pay almost no US taxes. All of the benefits will flow out of the US to multinational corporations. That is exactly what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sorry, Dean, but your plan won’t work economically or morally, no matter what the conventional wisdom of the Villagers says. Why don’t you just go back to watching the Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland DVD and leave the rest of us to get on with real life.


1 Kryten42 { 11.01.10 at 11:54 pm }

LOL You posted this as I was posting my comment here:

It’s The Economy!

Maybe you should move it here, or not. 😉

(I think I made an error in the last link of that comment anyway).

2 Bryan { 11.02.10 at 12:31 am }

It’s fine where it is, because it is all tied together.

The bottom line is that the Republicans have managed to screw up things so badly that we can’t even “fight” our way out of this mess.

The answer is to fix the infrastructure that the Republicans have been ignoring for decades. It generates jobs and produces useful results.

Few people realize, but when an AARAM is used to take out an enemy observation plane, the US is down about $900K on the exchange. Our “bullets” are ten times more expensive than their targets. That is no way to win a war.

The Iranians will just swarm US Naval vessels with World War I mines and small inflatables if they enter the Persian Gulf. Hell, I’m not even sure the Navy really trains to repel borders and other 17th century tactics that the Iranians may well use. I know we don’t have minesweepers that can deal with contact and magnetic mines – we found that out in the first Gulf War.

Buying all this stuff for a high tech war against the Soviets seems a bit of a waste of money when we may need cutlasses and pistols.

3 Badtux { 11.02.10 at 1:50 am }

Given how the Navy is now persistently under-manning its ships under the excuse that technology allows them to drive a ship with fewer personnel, I don’t know if the Navy has enough people left on anything other than an aircraft carrier for cutlasses and pistols to make a difference, Bryan :).

The thing about war is that it literally employs people to build stuff to blow up. You might as well just employ people to dig holes, and other people to fill the holes back in, you get about as much economic productivity out of the exercise but without all that icky killing and dying stuff. But given how much of America’s infrastructure is crumbling from decades of persistent underinvestment (underinvestment that strangely enough seems to have started in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan — funny, that, eh?), you are certainly right that we have a better alternative to even the digging holes for others to fill in exercise to get the unemployed, err, well, employed.

But I forget, I’m making sense, and that is a cardinal sin in American politics today. Alrighty, then!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

4 jams o donnell { 11.02.10 at 9:16 am }

Jesus what sort of idiot is that man? I won’t say more as I would just be largely repeating what you said in the post Bryan

5 Suzan { 11.02.10 at 9:44 am }

David Broder is a broken, witless old man now who sold out for a pittance in the 80’s to board the Raygun train to guns, gold, fame and prosperity.

He’s never gotten off, and the fact that anyone listens to him (or Limpdick, David F. Brooks, Cal Bigmouth, Bill O’Yeller, Kristol Breaking in the Night, etc., etc.) never ceases to amaze me as they have nothing to offer but utter (intentionally) confused thinking to further daze and confuse the ignorants who populate their “party.”

Party on, Garth?


6 Bryan { 11.02.10 at 3:42 pm }

In ancient times, Badtux, we at least used a US work force to create the stuff that blows up in US factories, these days everything gets out-sourced and, at best, the weapons are “assembled” in the US. If the money doesn’t move in the US economy, the US economy isn’t helped.

Jams, the guy gets column inches the main newspaper for the US capital. There is no sane explanation for such an situation other than he writes what the owners of the paper think.

Suzan, Broder just writes down what he hears at dinner parties from this country’s “elite”. He listens to the people who control the power in Washington. They are all demented.