Does War Benefit The Economy?

As in the last post the following transpired between myself and another member of a forum.  The topic was this article entitled “USA has two options to save its economy: declare default or trigger off war”

I post the following because it is a common belief even among educated people who should know better.  That war somehow benefits an economy and the citizenry.  No doubt some well connected benefit immensely (cough cheney cough)  However when paying for a war the government has 2 options, raise taxes or print money both of which steal from the pocket of the citizen.  When someone steals money from you this can NEVER benefit you.

So my initial response to the article was this.

“I disagree, there are no options to save the economy.

I don’t see how the US economy was helped whatsoever by the mid east wars, the only thing that prolonged the inevitable is lowering interest rates to 0 and flooding the economy with money and cheap credit to unqualified people. This is already in the process of unwinding and another war will have no effect. We are already fighting too so I fail to see how adding 1-2 more zones will improve our economic conditions by any beneficial way to the average American. Sure GDP will go up because government spending is included in GDP, but it goes up at the pure expense of the people through devaluing their currency as well as inevitably increasing taxation (as if the latter is possible)

Starting a war will not increase meaningful US manufacturing, create jobs, lower personal and government debt, cut spending which are all things we desperately need.

War IS the health of the state, but when the state wins they win at the expense of the populace.”

So a few posts later someone commented.

“A war in the style of Iraq,drains an economy, they simply dont want to “win”. To Win a war, the people need to be subjugated and in fear, the Iraqis are neither,and havent been since the Invasion. The Iraq war is MEANT to drain the US economy, and to cause fear in the US to gain control, thats it! However a limited conventional war with China.Or Russia would be economically beneficial, as larger, more numerous items,(Tanks, planes, ships,rifles knives GI socks,etc.) would be needed to reequip the military.The US casualties , for the entire “War on Terror” is under 5500 dead and around 40k wounded(this includes 1100 who died in theater, but not combat) compare that to the Normandy campaign with 29k,dead and 210,000 wounded or MIA, or the 50000 lost in Vietnam in roughly the same time frame, it pales in comparison, IMHO the US population has no real stomach for those losses irregardless of their fate.”

I replied

“Explain how war (government spending) in any form or fashion is beneficial to an economy?

Just look at the trillions printed to keep the charade going for the last 2 years, it hasn’t even bought us a month of prosperity. Interest rates are already at 0, they can’t afford to bring them up since they can’t afford Tbill rates going higher, it would also collapse the housing market.”

His reply

“If you go to war with your creditor,the debt vanishes.”

To which I said

“How would that help our economy?

Only a portion of our debt is with China. Plus we are totally dependent as an economy on not only cheap imported goods (to hide inflation for one thing) but also for them to use that money to finance our empire. So pissing off your creditor is usually not a good idea short or long term.”

So then he kinda backpeddles/changes the subject

“How else do you think they will get rid of it? **As I clearly said from the first post, I don’t think they can get rid of it** it accomplishes population reduction and consumption, they will fight, it is planned.Its also a bit more than “pissing of your creditor” even in a conventional Sino-US war the casualties would be in the tens of millions.If it went nuclear, close to a billion.”

My final response, which has gone unanswered so far

“I’m asking how it will help our economy, as in create jobs, create manufacturing that is a benefit to society.

You seem to be arguing that starting a war with China our largest creditor will erase a couple trillion from the debt and help our economic crisis.  I just fail to see how.  Even if it erased our current 13 trillion official debt, we still have over 100 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities!  Even if we kicked major ass in a war we would be back to this 13 trillion dollars in less than a decade, it only took 10 years to go from 4 to 14 trillion.  It took 200 years to go from 0-4.

While fighting this war we will run up into the many trillions of dollars since undoubtedly there would be a draft and our military would have to double in size, where do you propose we raise this 2-5 trillion?  From the people who are unemployed and heavily indebted?  Or from the myriad of other countries who love our imperialism throughout the world and are only waiting to be asked to lend a helping hand?

China has us by the gonads and it would be the biggest mistake in history to start a war with them.  It’s like starting a war with your banker and supplier, you have no money, materials or food how long do you think the fight would last?”