Wars Bring Prosperity!

Recently I’ve been trying to keep my stress levels down, considering that I just recently learned from my neuroscience lectures that stress kills neurons, but even so, I found my blood boiling when I read this today in a history book on the time period inbetween the World Wars:  (this is referring to the period shortly after the Great Depression had begun)

“. . .  The depression in the United States was also more severe than in the European democracies.  Industrial production shrank by about two-thirds.  The structure of agricultural prices and of common stocks collapsed.  Thousands of banks were forced to close their doors.  Unemployment rose to one-third of the total labor force.  An attempt to alleviate distress was contained in a program of reform and reconstruction known as the New Deal.  The chief architect and motivation of this program was Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), who succeeded Herbert Hoover in the president on March 4, 1933.

The aim of the New Deal was the preserve the capitalist system, by managing the economy and undertaking programs of relief and public works to increase mass purchasing power.  Although the New Deal did assist in the recovery both of individual citizens and of the country, through programs of currency management and social security, it left the crucial problem of unemployment unresolved.  In 1939, after six years of the New Deal, the United States still had more than nine million jobless workers — a figure which exceeded the combined unemployment of the rest of the world. Ironically, only the outbreak of a new world war could provide the full recovery that the New Deal had failed to assure, by directing millions from the labor market into the army and by creating jobs in the countless factories that turned to the manufacture of war material.

Now I don’t think you have to be an economist to realize just how stupid this is.  Actually, I think you’d HAVE to be an economist to think something so ridiculous.

So we have a depressed economy and want to know how to turn things around.  What should we do?  According to mainstream economics, we find everyone who’s unemployed, and then tell them to produce bombs, tanks, machine guns, and missiles.  Even better, quit manufacturing things we need and use everyday.  Convert your factories toward the production of war munitions!   Then find a foreign country and fire away.  Prosperity is then on its way!

Can’t find work?  Come to the loving arms of your government, ready to strap you with a machine gun, helmet, and ship you off to a foreign land to kill the yellow man.  I was BOOOOORRRRRNNNN IN THE UUUSSSAAAAAA.  I WAS BOOOORRRRRNNNNN IN THE USSSAAAAA YEAAAHHHH.

This kind of thinking is mainstream thought, and is in our history books.  It’s right here written on this page, right here on my desk.  No matter how many times I read it, I can’t believe it.  It’s taught in our universities.  I even saw a woman on CNN Finance talk about this years ago.

This is wrong.  So wrong.  On so many levels.  You know, I’d write about what REALLY happened, but I’m too angry.  This is poison.  People gobble it up, and spout it out, even though there’s obviously something very wrong here.  How come the Iraq and Afghanistan wars aren’t producing unlimited prosperity to our nation?  Huh?  Why is unemployment shooting through the roof even while we have wars, wars, and more wars, and the printing presses running full boar?

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