Monday, September 27, 2004

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war

I was bumming on the couch flipping through the channels this past Saturday when I happened upon Fox News Channel and heard this guy talking. It was somewhat incoherent or maybe I wasn't paying attention, but the argument he seemed (seems) to be making to Neil Cavuto was that there may be some economically stimulative effects from the Florida hurricanes.

This is garbage akin to saying war helps the economy because it puts people to work. In fact, I wrote about that in my book The Pure Investor:

The cataclysm of war is a catastrophe to people, economies and businesses alike. Factories, infrastructure, and people are destroyed and unavailable for productive uses. The Pure Investor knows that the common idea that WW II brought the country from depression is a dangerous fallacy. People believe this lie because they reason that the stimulus to the economy of building arms and employing people as soldiers and defense workers will lift up the economy. It is a notion that should be removed from the conscious of the public for fear that policymakers may follow this misguided idea and plunge the country into war during a future economic slowdown.

Waging war is not productive. If it were the case that war could bring a country out of recession, the Pure Investor suggests that countries who would fight each other to spur their economy should do without all the horror and carnage. They shouldn’t fire missiles into the air. They could fire Cadillacs, or computers, or furniture. This way they can avoid killing anyone. Using this strategy, soldiers become workers. The economy is lifted and no one gets killed.

Stay You.