I, and many Conservatives as well, have always believed the economic benefits of World War II to be an indictment of President Roosevelt's failed "New Deal" 1930's policies. It took the largest war in history to finally lower the unemployment rate in, what, eighteen months - while FDR's policies failed in eight years...
Liberals have also adopted this view, attempting to use it as justification of John Keynes and his economic ideology that FDR followed so religiously. Their case is weaker, because it wasn't government that got the unemployment lower by stimulus, but the nationwide war effort to defeat our enemies on both sides of the ocean.
And it wasn't by building new bridges, or constructing hydroelectric dams, but by fulfilling the government's most important constitutional obligation: national defense.
The reason I bring this is up is because of Arthur Herman's article in The Weekly Standard on the subject, which while I don't necessarily disagree with, I think misses the real point about our economic state back in the 1930's/1940's, and how it took war to employ Americans that were left on breadlines during the "New Deal" craze.
Many people have many different opinions on World War Two's economic impact, but there's one thing no-one can forget: FDR wasn't elected to his third term in office on the backs of employed American workers, but on the fear of Nazi Germany and World War Two - just like our unemployment didn't fall because of the "New Deal," but because of Pearl Harbour.
What say you?
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