Be careful not to attack Tyler Cowen’s message about War

Tyler Cowen has a post at the New York Times about how war can rejuvenate the economy in various ways. We need to be very careful not to jump on him and accuse him of being a war-monger.


I remember when many people jumped on me for recommending a recession based on Christine Romer’s speech. The idea was to start things over right because they had not been done right after the crisis. The idea was to re-break a bone that had not set properly. It is good medicine. The idea is similar to what Tyler Cowen now says.


I also remember that Alex Tabarrok attacked me too. He writes for the same blog where Tyler Cowen writes many times, Marginal Revolution. I can only hope that Alex will not jump on Tyler for his current post on war.


We all need to understand the deeper message in Mr. Cowen’s post. There is a natural process of renewal. Just look at how in winter, nature loses all it produces in spring and summer. The whole process has to start over again. Is war like winter? There is a deep philosophical idea here.


If we get really philosophical, my personal view on war is that it is good that we have had a long stretch of relative peace. And I hope it continues. The alternative to war is social understanding. We must understand the value of labor, even unskilled labor. We must understand the social cost of each person. There is too much ideology on private interests and not enough on social interests. This ideology is tearing down society and the economy.


No more war. No more suffering. Let’s just get it right. Raise labor share!… and keep raising labor’s share no matter what economic hardships we have to encounter in the path. Eventually we will get back to a healthy economy for all.

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