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Must Reads: Military Keynesianism and Government Failure

October 7th, 2010 Posted in Must Reads, US Politics by

Two brilliant articles have surfaced recently. One by the excellent Freeman Magazine pointing out, quite rightly, that American Conservatives are actually Military Keynesians and in surprising agreement with them is Keynesian Economist Paul Krugman. They advocate spending a ludicrous amount on Defense, in a manner wholly unrelated to foreign policy and defend it even if it’s so obviously for the purposes of gerrymandering (e.g. Rep. So-and-so has a military base in his district) under the pretense that anything that keeps America safer is a good thing.

But this brings us to the issue of the Tea Party. If this highly diverse and scattered group of (justifiably) angry economic liberals are not just Conservatives by another name then they surely will speak out in the loudest terms about America’s bloated Defense budget:

So listen up tea partiers! Slashing military spending will not only shrink government and help put us on a path to fiscal responsibility while stripping unaccountable, fat-cat defence contractors of hundreds of billions in corporate welfare. It will also strip foreigners, many of whom speak ridiculous languages, of large defence subsidies paid out of your pocket! What’s not to love?

I don’t quite know what to think about the Tea Party movement yet but I imagine wasteful and counter-productive policies like the Defense budget and drug prohibition with prove whether they are really true economic liberals or disgruntled Republicans by another name.

My second article was originally published in 2008 but is just so funny, I thought – since it was doing the rounds – I’d post it again. 5 Government Programs That Backfired Horrifically . Any article that contains this observation:

Have you ever tried to make steel at home? Does that seem like a retardedly impossible thing to do? Congratulations, you are smarter than Chairman Mao.

Must be read and revisited often.


5 Responses to “Must Reads: Military Keynesianism and Government Failure”

  1. Foregone Conclusion Says:

    Isn’t this just a misuse of the Keynesian label, which is about economic theory? None of these politicians believe that their spending is ‘priming the pump’ or anything like that – they’re just trying to steer large amounts of pork towards their constituencies.

  2. Sara Scarlett Says:

    Krugman is a confessed Keynesian.

  3. Andrew Schiffer Says:

    Politicians are like businessmen, they love money. Although they collect them in different manner.

  4. Foregone Conclusion Says:

    But Krugman is saying that a full-scale war is what might be needed to lift the American economy. He’s not saying that he supports this, or that conservatives do. Very few American conservatives are supporting a military attack for these reasons. My problem still stands.

  5. Geoffrey Payne Says:

    You can define “Military Keynesianism” as a desire to get the government to spend more money on the military.
    This is not the kind of Keynesianism that Krugman supports.
    In fact virtually everyone except the Keynesians in the US supports more state funding of the military.
    The Tea Party appears to be split on this. Leading Tea Party activist Sara Palin wants to spend more on the military, whilst many in the rank and file disagree;