Posts filed under “War/Defense”

Top Economists Say War Is Bad for the Economy

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Image courtesy of Steve Hess

 

War Makes Us Poor … And Drags the Economy Down Through the Floor

Preface: Many Americans – including influential economists and talking heads - still wrongly assume that war is good for the economy. For example, extremely influential economists like Paul Krugman and Martin Feldstein promote the myth that war is good for the economy.

Many congressmen assume that cutting pork-barrel military spending would hurt their constituents’ jobs. And talking heads like senior Washington Post political columnist David Broder parrot this idea.

As demonstrated below, it isn’t true.

Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that war is bad for the economy:

Stiglitz wrote in 2003:

War is widely thought to be linked to economic good times. The second world war is often said to have brought the world out of depression, and war has since enhanced its reputation as a spur to economic growth. Some even suggest that capitalism needs wars, that without them, recession would always lurk on the horizon. Today, we know that this is nonsense. The 1990s boom showed that peace is economically far better than war. The Gulf war of 1991 demonstrated that wars can actually be bad for an economy.

Stiglitz has also said that this decade’s Iraq war has been very bad for the economy. See this, this and this.

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan also said in that war is bad for the economy. In 1991, Greenspan said that a prolonged conflict in the Middle East would hurt the economy. And he made this point again in 1999:

Societies need to buy as much military insurance as they need, but to spend more than that is to squander money that could go toward improving the productivity of the economy as a whole: with more efficient transportation systems, a better educated citizenry, and so on. This is the point that retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) learned back in 1999 in a House Banking Committee hearing with then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Frank asked what factors were producing our then-strong economic performance. On Greenspan’s list: “The freeing up of resources previously employed to produce military products that was brought about by the end of the Cold War.” Are you saying, Frank asked, “that dollar for dollar, military products are there as insurance … and to the extent you could put those dollars into other areas, maybe education and job trainings, maybe into transportation … that is going to have a good economic effect?” Greenspan agreed.

Economist Dean Baker notes:

It is often believed that wars and military spending increases are good for the economy. In fact, most economic models show that military spending diverts resources from productive uses, such as consumption and investment, and ultimately slows economic growth and reduces employment.

Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the American University Joshua Goldstein notes:

Recurring war has drained wealth, disrupted markets, and depressed economic growth.

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War generally impedes economic development and undermines prosperity.

And David R. Henderson – associate professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and previously a senior economist with President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers – writes:

Is military conflict really good for the economy of the country that engages in it? Basic economics answers a resounding “no.”

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Category: Economy, Think Tank, War/Defense

Senate: Which Groups Are We At War With? Admin: That’s Classified The Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing today on renewing the Authorization for the Use of Force (AUMF) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senators repeatedly asked representatives from the Department of Defense which groups we are at war with.  And the DOD refused…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

What Would Happen to Snowden If He Returned to USA?

Painting by Anthony Freda He Won’t Be Able to Tell His Side of the Story SecState John Kerry said that Ed Snowden really needs to “stand up in the United States and make his case to the American people.”  Kerry declared that “A patriot would not run away. … He can come home but he’s…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

The Terrorism Statistics Every American Needs to Hear: Calm TF Down … You Are Much More Likely to Be Killed By Boring, Mundane Things than Terrorism   McClatchy reported in 2010: There were just 25 U.S. noncombatant fatalities from terrorism worldwide. (The US government definition of terrorism excludes attacks on U.S. military personnel). While we…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, and Ignorance Is Strength

American Public Turns Anti-War … Warmongers Desperately Reply, “But War Is GOOD for Us!” The American people are now overwhelmingly opposed to more war in Ukraine, Syria, Iran and elsewhere. Those who get rich from war (the military-industrial complexers and big banks) and their lackeys are desperate to reverse this trend. As such, they are…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Geo-political Risks, Charges Against Banks

Here are a few clips from today’s Bloomberg TV appearance:

Sanctions Won’t Change Russian Policy (but I dont care)

Source: Bloomberg, May 5 2014

Bloomberg Contributing Editor Richard Falkenrath and Bloomberg View columnist Barry Ritholtz examine the increasing violence in Eastern Ukraine and limits for potential responses from the United States and Europe on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers
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Why Now Is the Time to File Charges Against Banks

Source: Bloomberg, May 5 2014

Bloomberg Contributing Editor Richard Falkenrath, Bloomberg View columnist Barry Ritholtz and Bloomberg’s Cristina Alesci discuss possible criminal charges against Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

Category: Legal, Media, Video, War/Defense

  Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com “We Are No Longer a Nation Ruled By Laws” Pulitzer prize winning reporter Chris Hedges – along with journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, activist  Tangerine Bolen and others – sued the government to join the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans. The trial judge in…Read More

Category: Legal, Think Tank, War/Defense

War Makes Us Poor

Image courtesy of Steve Hess Top Economists Say War Is Bad for the Economy Preface: Many Americans – including influential economists and talking heads – still wrongly assume that war is good for the economy. Many congressmen assume that cutting pork-barrel military spending would hurt their constituents’ jobs. As demonstrated below, it isn’t true. Nobel-prize…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Containing Ukraine

Containing Ukraine David R. Kotok April 25, 2014     The process is simple. Look at the front page of the Wall Street Journal and then the markets. Will Russia move troops across the border and seize Eastern Ukrainian territory? If so, what will be the consequences? There are several geopolitical scenarios being discussed. Punditry…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Think Tank, War/Defense

More War Lies Sold By the Same Lying Liars

Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com Peddler of Iraq War Lies Now Pushes Lies On Ukraine to Drum Up Confrontation with Russia Intelligence regarding Syria is arguably being manipulated even more blatantly than intelligence on Saddam and Iraq. Media coverage of Syria and Ukraine is as bad as it was of the Iraq war … or…Read More

Category: Think Tank, UnGuru, War/Defense