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War and the Economy, Again

February 26, 2007

Tags Booms and BustsMedia and CultureWar and Foreign Policy

This article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes me on the subject of war and the economy.

I got the impression during our conversation that the author understood the traditional what-is-seen and what-is-not-seen argument I made, yet anyone walking away from this article would probably conclude that war really is a nice if unfortunate source of stimulus.

I do object to this characterization of what I said: "The idea that war is an economic stimulus is especially suspect if the economy is already in decent shape, said Thomas Woods Jr...." I never said any such thing; whether the economy is in decent shape or lousy shape, war is not a boon, period.

Also, the direct monetary costs of wars, even if relatively small compared to the economy's output, conceal other, typically hidden costs, as I argue here (.pdf).

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