By Hugh Rockoff

ISBN-10: 0521676738

ISBN-13: 9780521676731

ISBN-10: 0521859409

ISBN-13: 9780521859400

ISBN-10: 1139046535

ISBN-13: 9781139046534

ISBN-10: 1139368419

ISBN-13: 9781139368414

How did financial and fiscal elements verify how the United States waged battle within the 20th century? this significant new publication exposes the impact of economics and finance at the questions of no matter if the country may still visit struggle, how wars will be fought, how assets will be mobilized, and the long term outcomes for the yank economic system. starting from the Spanish-American struggle to the Gulf battle, Hugh Rockoff explores the ways that warfare promises specific possibilities for knowing the elemental rules of economics as wars produce significant adjustments in financial and monetary coverage and so supply a wealth of data approximately how those regulations truly paintings. He indicates that wars were extra expensive to the USA than such a lot american citizens detect as a considerable reliance on borrowing from the general public, cash production and different options to finance America's battle efforts have hidden the real fee of war.

* unearths how America's present wars are financed and the way the present economy displays the results of previous wars
* exhibits how the extremes of struggle can remove darkness from the fundamental ideas of economics
* because the first booklet to supply an monetary and monetary heritage of America's twentieth-century wars, it is going to support scholars, reporters, enterprise humans and lecturers position America's contemporary wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya into historic point of view

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Extra info for America’s economic way of war : war and the US economy from the Spanish–American War to the Persian Gulf War

Example text

Better access to job markets for women, the elderly, and minorities may increase productivity. Defense of the principle of free trade may increase access to world markets. Suppression of Communist revolutions may protect American property. But in each 40 The economics of war case the benefits are hard to measure. The non-economic benefits of wars, such as protection of human rights, moreover, lie along a dimension different from the economist’s usual profit and loss calculations. In the end, when it comes to putting numbers to wars, we will stick, as economic historians usually do, to measuring mainly the fiscal costs of wars.

In effect, this approach asks the following question: suppose the nation was to purchase a bond, the interest from which would have paid the future veterans’ benefits, how large would that bond have to be? But, of course, veterans’ benefits are never funded in this way. They are, to use the modern jargon, an unfunded liability, another hidden cost of war. America’s nineteenth-century and colonial wars America’s twentieth-century wars were the offspring of the wars that it fought in the nineteenth century and, on occasion, of wars that it fought during the colonial era.

We might want to ask how much it would cost today to create an army that had the same edge over the Spanish military as did the US army and navy of 1898. Wages are another commonly used inflator. The use of wages has a long and distinguished history. This is how Adam Smith justified using wages to compare values at different points in time: Equal quantities of labour, at all times and places may be said to be of equal value to the labourer. In his ordinary state of health, strength and spirits; in the ordinary degree of his skill and dexterity, he must always lay down the same portion of his ease, his liberty, and his happiness.

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America’s economic way of war : war and the US economy from the Spanish–American War to the Persian Gulf War by Hugh Rockoff


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