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Craig Yirush
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Does it teach humility? If so, how do you square it with this from a previous post: "To me economic science represents a golden key that unlocks all the mysteries of the universe. Once in possession of that key, the owner can understand the way the world works -- not just market behavior proper, but all of human action and interaction from the most base to the most sacred." A bit of hyperbole which makes Gary Becker's absurd claims for the explanatory value of economics look mild.
I don't find this argument convincing, for there are lots of examples in recent history of military spending being cut drastically - after WWI, after WWII, after the Korean War, after the Vietnam War, after the Cold War. If the military-industrial complex (cue evil mood music) had the rent-seeking power of, say, the agricultural lobby, surely there would never have disarmament on such a scale. As for the psychology of fear driving up spending on weapons, how then to explain the supine response of the western democracies to the rise of Hitler in the 30s? (to take but one example from 20th century history in which people were not scared enough, despite eloquent warnings from Churchill and his allies. Indeed, far from being aided by rent seeking arms manufacturers, those who warned about the dangers of fascism were accused of being tools of the munitions industry and thereby discredited).
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2013 on Why We Fight at Coordination Problem
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Jan 18, 2013