Re: ECON: War (was: Why Microsoft is a Threat to Freedom)

Eric Watt Forste (
Thu, 06 Nov 1997 12:42:22 -0800

Geoff Smith writes:
> In reading this, a old question of mine pops up: Is a war really
> a good thing for an economy? I any history class, you'll hear over
> and over that a good war will pick up a sluggish economy.

In *any* history class, or in any history class taught by
government employees?

The classic debunking of this one is, I think, Henry Hazlitt's (not
sure if it originated with him, might have come from Frederic
Bastiat) story of the broken window. It's a simple homily from
economics, but if you understand it, then you understand what sort
of effect war has on an economy. Sorry I can't come up with a more
specific reference (I did run a few web searches).

If someone tried to foist this sort of propaganda off on a roomful
of children while I was present, knowing what I (think I) know now
and did not know when I was a child, I'd have a hard time controlling
my temper, I think.