17 February 2009

En garde

While we're on the subject of the dismal science (I apologize for my lapse into sentimentalism in the previous post), I'm not liking all this talk lately about how it took WWII and only WWII to end the Great Depression. It's all coming from one side of the political spectrum—and it's not the side that came up with or supported any aspects of the New Deal (or President Obama's stimulus plan, for that matter).

It sounds like these people are spoiling for war. Right now, it's all in the abstract—sort of. But it sure sounds like they're laying the groundwork for war: "Any war will do; we just need one to fix the economy. Don't worry, we'll come up with an enemy. We can demonize pretty much anybody; we're good at that. Look what we did with/to Granada, Nicaragua, Saddam the first time (remember the Hill & Knowlton-generated incubator fraud?), feminazis, socialists, atheists, Bill Clinton, liberals, Iraqis, France, Arabs, Muslims. And on and on and on."

War for war's sake is sheer barbarism. War for economics' sake is a perversion, no matter what ideology or rationale the perpetrators gin up to justify it. Both are obscene. We've discussed the case for 'just war' earlier, if you're interested.

Many feel the wars of the 21st Century will be fought over resources: oil, water, arable land, lebensraum (where have I heard that one before?), minerals (silicon, bauxite, e.g.), whatever. And that the Iraq business under the Bushes, per et fils, was just the first in the series. There's a certain cynicism and pessimism and hopelessness in that prophecy, self-reinforcing and potentially self-fulfilling.

On the other hand, there are those who feel there are alternatives to war. They offer energy alternatives, economic alternatives, philosophical alternatives. Reasonable alternatives. Of course, they don't tend to be as, shall we say, "persuasive". I will say this, though, we've had two separate wars going on for the last seven or so years under a self-proclaimed "war-time President". It doesn't seem to have helped.

Now, I'm no economist, so I have to take the word of people who know more than I do about this subject. The following graphs show the decline in unemployment and unemployment rates under various presidents and the growth of gross domestic product and productivity prior to WWII:

The counter-argument, 'articulated', if you will, by Michael Steele, new head of the RNC, seems to be that government-created jobs are not 'jobs.' Go here if you don't believe me. I'm sure your police, firefighters, teachers, VA doctors and nurser, prosecutors, judges, economists, politicians and their staffs, road-crews, soldiers, etc., etc. will buy that. Some things simply don't pass the laugh test.

If you want to be a warmonger, be one. Just don't attempt to deceive us into another war based on false pretenses, lies, fraudulent misreading of history, bad economics, ignorance, and ideological bullying.

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