Full body shiver… I really loath the sentence I’m about to type. In fact, I hate it so much, I’ve retyped it almost a dozen times; and there is no better way of articulating the disturbing truth: Paul Krugman was right.
Okay. I’ve showered. Also, I have slept on this thought. And yet, it’s still haunting me. The Left’s most adored “economist”, who has managed to turn being wrong into a career option, actually stumbled across a small kernel of truth in an otherwise typically inarticulate column. The King-of-Keynes managed to write a completely, and unavoidably, coherent thought last week. I now have reason to believe that if you give a typewriter to a room full of monkeys, they will eventually type the work of Shakespeare.
In a column published in the New York Times on August 17th, Krugman wrote at length about the folly of Putin’s interest in overthrowing the pro-western Ukrainian government. Almost every war of the 20th century, Krugman points out, made no economic sense whatsoever. The general point articulated isn’t enough to merit a Nobel Peace Prize; but it is borderline insightful. Wait… Don’t rush to sign me up for Code Pink just yet… I still have a few thoughts on this topic; and, unlike our loveable progressive hack over at the New York Times, my points are not the amalgamation of anti-war clichés.
Pondering why wars still happen, despite the obvious cost in lives and treasure, Krugman begins his pontification with a quick (albeit half-blind) trip through history:
Once upon a time wars were fought for fun and profit; when Rome overran Asia Minor or Spain conquered Peru, it was all about the gold and silver. And that kind of thing still happens.
I don’t know that “fun” was a huge factor when Caesar was conquering Gaul… Heck, I’m not even sure that profit was a driving motive. Many generals (such as Caesar) fought to buy the loyalty of the army, so that they might have a little momentum in their hostile trek back across the Rubicon. (The die is cast!) But still; Krugman made a decent point. In days of yesteryear (I actually crafted this whole sentence around that phrase) war could be quite beneficial, financially speaking, to an emerging empire.