Part II of II by Claudio Grass, Hünenberg See, Switzerland
This is precisely what the State is doing. The idea of war, mayhem and destruction being economic boosters is exactly what has supported the thin facade that politicians like to place over their greed and their personal gain that they derive from the military industrial complex. “It’s good for the country”, is certainly easier to sell than “it’s good for me and my reelection campaign”.
The taxpayer will not see a penny’s worth of their “investment” in the military aid budget, which is essentially a forced wealth transfer, a bailout for defense contractors. The public’s hard-earned money will simply go to the pockets of the State and its cronies, to produce tools of destruction instead of anything that could actually contribute to human progress and prosperity.
This brings us to the morality of this issue. The aforementioned argument made by President Biden is actually one of the most innocuous of its kind. Here are some other highlights, some from across the aisle too:
“The funding will expand production lines, strengthen the American economy, keep us safe, and create new American jobs,” Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget.
“People think, increasingly it appears, that we shouldn’t be doing this. Well, let me start by saying we haven’t lost a single American in this war. Most of the money that we spend related to Ukraine is actually spent in the U.S., replenishing weapons, more modern weapons.”, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.
“If you’re a fiscal conservative, you know this is a great use of taxpayer dollars. And not one single American soldier has had to die.”, Former Republican congressional staffer Steven Moore.
It is clear that we found a political “unicorn”, the most elusive of creatures: a truly bipartisan issue, where both sides find themselves in total agreement! Feeding the war machine is the patriotic thing to do, the economically responsible policy choice and the what any good and decent leader would want for their people. This is, of course, underlined, by the claim that it is not those particular people who die as a result of it, so it is obviously a win-win.
It is hard to believe that any human being worth the name would actually endorse this way of thinking, especially when it is stripped down to its essential parts, when the boisterous rhetoric is removed and when it shows exactly what it means. The idea that it’s ok to keep spending money on an industry that produces nothing but death, as long as it creates jobs, and as long as that death is only suffered by “other people”, is revolting on a visceral level. It is, however, practical.
Just like our glazier from Bastiat’s example, the defense contractors have been elevated to the status of economic messiahs. The more death and destruction they help spread around the world, the better off their States are. So why should the State not do all it can to maximize that damage, if their incentives are so clearly and perfectly aligned? After all, the actual victims of this senseless greed are far, far away from their ballot boxes, have no campaign donations to offer and have no power to threaten them. They are irrelevant.
This is yet another manifestation of the average ruler’s motivations and psychopathic disregard for the value of human life. But it is also very telling of their myopic view of the world too. As one of the very few decent politicians to ever walk the earth, Ron Paul, highlighted, that damage will not be contained to foreign lands alone.
As he made clear: “Spending billions more to support military action in the Middle East and Ukraine will benefit the military-industrial complex. However, it will harm most Americans by accelerating the growth of the government’s over 33 trillion dollars debt. As the debt increases, the Federal Reserve will push interest rates lower and monetize the debt. This will lead to increased price inflation, combined with economic stagnation and high unemployment — in other words, stagflation. Concerns over the government’s debt and the Federal Reserve’s enabling of that debt with easy money and low interest rates will lead to more challenges to the dollar’s world reserve currency status. Increased resentment over US hyper-interventionist foreign policy will also lead to changes to the dollar’s reserve currency status. Saudi Arabia could even stop using dollars for its international oil trade. The end of the petrodollar would be the final nail in the coffin of the dollar’s world reserve currency status.” And of course, then, “The end of the dollar’s world reserve currency status would mean the US government could no longer run an empire abroad and an authoritarian welfare state at home.”
In the upcoming second part, we’ll focus on the moral implications and on the erroneous idea that the impact of war can be contained and perpetually be “somebody else’s problem”
Claudio Grass, Hünenberg See, Switzerland
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