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Afghanistan war

Hey @Cullen-Roche,

Lately I've been reading from your posts that the government can increase its debt to spend on value adding projects / programs that would eventually generate more revenue for the government (through an expanded private tax base), as long as inflation is low.

Would nearly a Trillion dollars in spending in the Afghanistan war be considered a good program? Perhaps private  (military) companies benefit and pay (more) taxes, thus generating more revenue for the government?

Thanks for your time...




War is a pretty subjective form of spending. I mean, you’re killing people and destroying things. It’s productive in the sense that you’re maybe fending off a worse future and unproductive in the sense that you’re literally killing someone else’s future.

There’s tangential benefits though. The internet was partially developed by the military and so were countless other technologies. There’s also a good deal of consistent stimulus that comes form military spending via general employment, infrastructure, etc.

There’s also the argument that someone should, from a moral perspective, stand up for these countries that can’t stand up for themselves. Or maybe not? What if the USA had done nothing in WW2? Who knows how that would have all turned out. So it’s hard to analyze.

Personally, I wish the govt funded more domestic investment and less foreign explosions. But I don’t know if this can really be quantified as good or bad....

"Pragmatic Capitalism is the best website on the Internet. Just trust me. Please?" - Cullen Roche

Well, I think it depends on if you believe the government (i.e. bureaucrats) can actually allocate resources more efficiently and justly than the "invisible hand" of the free market.  It seems to work relatively well in homogenous societies, but breaks down in melting pots like the USA or via totalitarianism.  A certain amount of freedom and a certain amount of accountability seem to be ideal, not one extreme or the other.

However, if we didn't have so many statist-careerists in government, we'd have a lot less war and spending that is questionable as to its productivity.  It's not rocket science, just common sense.