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(55,745 posts)
16. Without enemies, there's no reason for a trillion dollar 'Defense' budget.
Sun Apr 12, 2015, 01:05 PM
Apr 2015


We Need More War - BFEE Business Plan is now the modern American Economic Worldview.

Economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason University has seen the future and it looks bleak for most of us. Thankfully, the United States of America may be in for good times, especially for those perched atop the socio-economic pyramid scheme, should war break out.

The Pitfalls of Peace

The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth

Tyler Cowen
The New York Times, JUNE 13, 2014

The continuing slowness of economic growth in high-income economies has prompted soul-searching among economists. They have looked to weak demand, rising inequality, Chinese competition, over-regulation, inadequate infrastructure and an exhaustion of new technological ideas as possible culprits.

An additional explanation of slow growth is now receiving attention, however. It is the persistence and expectation of peace.

The world just hasn’t had that much warfare lately, at least not by historical standards. Some of the recent headlines about Iraq or South Sudan make our world sound like a very bloody place, but today’s casualties pale in light of the tens of millions of people killed in the two world wars in the first half of the 20th century. Even the Vietnam War had many more deaths than any recent war involving an affluent country.

Counterintuitive though it may sound, the greater peacefulness of the world may make the attainment of higher rates of economic growth less urgent and thus less likely. This view does not claim that fighting wars improves economies, as of course the actual conflict brings death and destruction. The claim is also distinct from the Keynesian argument that preparing for war lifts government spending and puts people to work. Rather, the very possibility of war focuses the attention of governments on getting some basic decisions right — whether investing in science or simply liberalizing the economy. Such focus ends up improving a nation’s longer-run prospects.

It may seem repugnant to find a positive side to war in this regard, but a look at American history suggests we cannot dismiss the idea so easily. Fundamental innovations such as nuclear power, the computer and the modern aircraft were all pushed along by an American government eager to defeat the Axis powers or, later, to win the Cold War. The Internet was initially designed to help this country withstand a nuclear exchange, and Silicon Valley had its origins with military contracting, not today’s entrepreneurial social media start-ups. The Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite spurred American interest in science and technology, to the benefit of later economic growth.

War brings an urgency that governments otherwise fail to summon. For instance, the Manhattan Project took six years to produce a working atomic bomb, starting from virtually nothing, and at its peak consumed 0.4 percent of American economic output. It is hard to imagine a comparably speedy and decisive achievement these days.


Living in a largely peaceful world with 2 percent G.D.P. growth has some big advantages that you don’t get with 4 percent growth and many more war deaths. Economic stasis may not feel very impressive, but it’s something our ancestors never quite managed to pull off. The real questions are whether we can do any better, and whether the recent prevalence of peace is a mere temporary bubble just waiting to be burst.

Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/14/upshot/the-lack-of-major-wars-may-be-hurting-economic-growth.html?_r=0

[font color="purple"]Dr. Cowen, from what I've read, is a fine person and not one to promulgate war. He's just sayin'.

He has commented on other Big Ticket economic themes impacting us today: "Inequality," for another instance.
[/font color]

Tired Of Inequality? One Economist Says It'll Only Get Worse

September 12, 2013 3:05 AM

Economist Tyler Cowen has some advice for what to do about America's income inequality: Get used to it. In his latest book, Average Is Over, Cowen lays out his prediction for where the U.S. economy is heading, like it or not:

"I think we'll see a thinning out of the middle class," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "We'll see a lot of individuals rising up to much greater wealth. And we'll also see more individuals clustering in a kind of lower-middle class existence."

It's a radical change from the America of 40 or 50 years ago. Cowen believes the wealthy will become more numerous, and even more powerful. The elderly will hold on to their benefits ... the young, not so much. Millions of people who might have expected a middle class existence may have to aspire to something else.


Some people, he predicts, may just have to find a new definition of happiness that costs less money. Cowen says this widening is the result of a shifting economy. Computers will play a larger role and people who can work with computers can make a lot. He also predicts that everyone will be ruthlessly graded — every slice of their lives, monitored, tracked and recorded.

CONTINUED with link to the audio...


For some reason, the interview with Steve Inskeep didn't bring up the subject of the GOVERNMENT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT LIKE IN THE NEW DEAL so I thought I'd bring it up. Older DUers may recall the Democratic Party once actually did do stuff for the average American, from school and work to housing and justice. But, we can't afford that now, obviously, thanks to austerity or the sequester or the divided government.

What's important is that the 1-percent may swell to a 15-percent "upper middle class." Unfortunately, that may see the rest of the middle class go the other way. Why does that ring a bell? Oh yeah.

"Commercial interests are very powerful interests," said George W Bush on Feb. 14, 2007 White House press conference in which he added, "Let me put it this way, ah, sometimes, ah, money trumps peace." And then he giggled and not a single member of the callow, cowed and corrupt press corpse saw fit to ask a follow-up.

Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan tried to bring it to our nation's attention back in 2007. I don't recall even one reporter from the national corporate owned news seeing it fit to comment. Certainly not many have commented on how three generations of Bush men -- Senator Prescott Sheldon Bush, President George Herbert Walker Bush and pretzeldent George Walker Bush all had their eyes on Iraq's oil.

I wish the Press had done its job. Those in authority would have to do their job. Millions might still be alive, the People might use the money spent on wars in better ways, and the Republic might see a return to Justice. Then, again...

"You know, General Sherman had it all wrong. It's not war that's hell, it's peace that's hell." -- former Sec. of Defense (and former CIA director) James Schlesinger, honored at the Military Order of the Carabao luncheon, 2002.


also great reading:


Sorry to over-vent. The nation needs some serious re-thinking.
K&R..... daleanime Apr 2015 #1
It is the sacred job of cable news and the main job of main stream media to gin up fear. Fred Sanders Apr 2015 #2
All of our bordering neighbors may be friendly but Palin can see Russia from her house! n/t A Simple Game Apr 2015 #23
"As Putin rears his head ... dmr Apr 2015 #45
Well, she probably could Art_from_Ark Apr 2015 #59
True but only if you understand that they work for their corporate bosses malaise Apr 2015 #27
All About Scamming $$$ billhicks76 Apr 2015 #35
And they have BILLIONS in campaign commercial money on its way in 2016. arcane1 Apr 2015 #52
K&R Octafish Apr 2015 #3
. BlueJazz Apr 2015 #4
That picture would be perfect if there was a young shepherd on the hill hollering "WOLF." n/t A Simple Game Apr 2015 #24
+1 Enthusiast Apr 2015 #41
^^^^This^^^^ Enthusiast Apr 2015 #42
One of my favorites. BlueJazz Apr 2015 #53
The last time I saw that picture, the caption below it read . . . Major Hogwash Apr 2015 #57
And he is 100% correct. bemildred Apr 2015 #5
Our biggest danger is the tyranny we will slide into if we don't get the NSA/CIA Security State rhett o rick Apr 2015 #6
Damn tootin'!! nt hifiguy Apr 2015 #11
+1 a whole bunch! Enthusiast Apr 2015 #40
Well the answer is Clapper. zeemike Apr 2015 #48
I don't think it's one person but a cabal. nm rhett o rick Apr 2015 #54
Well of course you are right. zeemike Apr 2015 #55
True. I was watching old 911 coverage treestar Apr 2015 #7
The "Home of the Brave" is false advertising. Tierra_y_Libertad Apr 2015 #8
And that "Land of the Free" stuff isn't very truthful, either gratuitous Apr 2015 #34
Now just how are attitudes like that going to make the MIC richer? Scuba Apr 2015 #9
+1 Enthusiast Apr 2015 #39
That's why the establishment politicians have to hifiguy Apr 2015 #10
"Overthrow:America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq" . . . brush Apr 2015 #63
The government wants you scared folks. nt Logical Apr 2015 #12
scared people awoke_in_2003 Apr 2015 #28
So true. And allow more legal spying to protect us form evil. nt Logical Apr 2015 #30
how else would the surveillance state justify itself? nt grasswire Apr 2015 #13
Not to mention the MIC -nt 99th_Monkey Apr 2015 #17
Heaven forbid that we would not have an enemy to fear. If we did we might even tackle some of jwirr Apr 2015 #14
I've always said that the other m*tha f*ckin texting driver is more of a threat to my life. L0oniX Apr 2015 #15
Without enemies, there's no reason for a trillion dollar 'Defense' budget. Octafish Apr 2015 #16
thanks! LiberalLovinLug Apr 2015 #22
+1 an entire shit load. Enthusiast Apr 2015 #38
Bingo Omaha Steve Apr 2015 #51
Very powerful. Every time we are told that we were attacked we should at least consider the GoneFishin Apr 2015 #18
1000 K&Rs!! Every citizen needs to wise-up to US/M$M/MIC fear-mongering. 99th_Monkey Apr 2015 #19
Somebody tell Wolf Blitzer. n/t Comrade Grumpy Apr 2015 #20
Not true, we have reason to fear....sadly the true threat to the average American comes from within AuntPatsy Apr 2015 #21
Speaking the truth Thespian2 Apr 2015 #31
K and R DocMac Apr 2015 #25
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. Zorra Apr 2015 #26
"... the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling ..." GoneFishin Apr 2015 #29
both parties are happy to play thier parts in the kabuki theatre of existential threats KG Apr 2015 #32
''To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.'' ~George Orwell DeSwiss Apr 2015 #33
I always thought that some people that read 1984 saw it as a plan. zeemike Apr 2015 #50
Send more money. For more "freedumb." blkmusclmachine Apr 2015 #36
This is the truth! The MIC and the PTB are actively pumping up and exaggerating the threat. Enthusiast Apr 2015 #37
I think this is a bit of an overstatement dsc Apr 2015 #43
We have thousands die every day. From auto accidents, medical accidents, gun accidents Enthusiast Apr 2015 #46
K&R! This post should have hundreds of recommendations! Enthusiast Apr 2015 #44
A relevant Blog... nikto Apr 2015 #47
Many Democrats only feel safe by letting the Government spy on our children. whereisjustice Apr 2015 #49
Republicans claim we are in danger to present themselves as the heroes who will save us. Spitfire of ATJ Apr 2015 #56
The biggest threats are the ones the US's own actions have ended up creating. merrily Apr 2015 #58
But we need a bogey man The Wizard Apr 2015 #60
Bribery doesn't cost, it pays The Wizard Apr 2015 #61
Feeling threatened has not served to unify the American people Martin Eden Apr 2015 #62
Kinzer is absolutely right about the world BlueMTexpat Apr 2015 #64
K&R. Well said. Overseas Apr 2015 #65
The only threats we have to worry about from the outside world d_legendary1 Apr 2015 #66
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