Monday, January 6, 2014

State of War

The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
Ninety-nine red balloons go by

Jacob Hornberger discusses the collosal failure of three favorite state 'wars': the war on terror, the war on poverty, and the war on drugs.

More than 10 years after the war in Iraq, things are no better there and perhaps worse than before. Afghanistan...same situation. The greater the uninvited US presence in a foreign land, the greater the animosity (and pushback) of that locale toward America. Why should we expect otherwise? How would Americans react to forced presence of Chinese or Russians on US soil?

When measured on a timeline, however, the war on terror is still in its nascency compared to the war on poverty, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. After a half century of waging this campaign, grand proof of its failure are statist claims that poverty remains a huge problem and that governments must continue battling it.

Again, why should we expect anything other than failure? As JH observes, the mechanism of the war on poverty creates its own cause. The process of confiscating wealth to fund poverty programs destroys the foundation for building wealth and prosperity in society. That foundation is production.

The war on drugs has been another colossal failure. The purported goal, a drug-free society, is nowhere within reach. Meanwhile, the war on drugs has spawned gang violence, corruption, robberies, murders, and overcrowded prisons. JH argues that the drug war failure is the one area where it seems Americans are waking up to the folly of statism.

Warfare and welfare statists list a bevy of excuses:

"The right people just haven't been in charge. Get our people in there and the war will be won."
"Outside factors beyond our control have postponed victory."
"Judge our programs by their good intentions rather than by their results."
"Just give us more time and we'll win the war."

The correct solution is to stop the wars. Prohibit government from waging them.

This would bring into existence economic enterprise, savings, and productive capital that alleviates scarcity. Free and voluntary trade raise general standard of living.

As statist wars decline, peace and prosperity advance.

1 comment:

dgeorge12358 said...

Whoever wishes peace among peoples must fight statism.
~Ludwig von Mises