“War is the best thing for the economy.” That is a quote I remember my dad saying back in 1991 when the economy was in the crapper the last time. Unfortunately then, it did not work. I believe that the current administration is hoping the quote is true this time around. I don’t think so.
The last time the economy got a wartime boost was World War 2 (possibly Korea). So, what is the difference between then and now, and why won’t war help the economy? I believe the answer is in two very important reasons. The first reason is a difference in the public sentiment. The second is a direct spin-off of the first; a difference in the cultures.
The public sentiment during World War 2 was totally different from what we now have. There seemed to be [from stories heard from Grandparents] an air of community. The public was inspired to work to help our society. We were coming out of the Great Depression and people felt a call to help their fellow man. Unfortunately, war was the kick in the pants they needed. Had there not been a war, I think things still would have changed for the better (who knowsÖthing could have gotten tremendous). What really happened during World War 2 was a realization that there was a necessity as a society to help each other out, and that was the way out of the depression.
So, what is different between now and then? Our culture is not one that sees the need to help each other out. For as long as I can remember, we have been a ìme society.î The one with the most toys wins has been the motto for as long as I can remember. But that is not the biggest reason that war will not help our economy. Unlike World War 2, there is not the optimism that we will be better off when it is done. In fact, most people I talk to see no plus to an upcoming war. Add to that the culture of fear now breeding; people see only what they need. Fear and selfishness are the two major obstacles to getting our country out of the economic crapper. War will not help this, changing our way of thinking will.
We need to start going back to a grass roots economy, and stop relying on what the giant corporations tell us. Yes, there is a place for the big chain store (i.e. they usually have meds that the corner store does not). But (and this is personal experience here) one can usually find everything they need at the neighborhood corner store and most of the time at a cheaper price. Not only are you putting money back into your own community you are able to keep a little more for yourself. Tax breaks and relief only help if you have money. Meaning, those with low/mid range incomes usually get back a portion of what they have put in and in the mean time have to struggle to make ends meet. Those with the money also put in, but since they have the cushion the effects are lessened. So, cutting their corporate dividend taxes does what for the single mother struggling to raise 2 kids. Do I have a pat solution right now? No, but I am working on it.
What is the point? The point is we need to get over our blindness and fear and take a good look at what needs to be done here in The United States. War with an already impoverished country will not help us: it will only help to infect the wounds we already have. By taking the time to look at our own reflection will we be able to help not only ourselves, but realize how we can help others.