Lately, I've heard them repeating this old lie : "War is Good For The Economy".
Unless you are a shareholder in Exxon-Mobil, Bechtel, Halliburton et.al., how exactly has the current war helped you financially? Lower prices? Rising equity in your home? A stable job? Better, safer schools for your children? Improved healthcare? Lower crime rates? A stronger dollar?
How has the war helped you, personally?
A dithead might point out that there have been no terrorist bombings here since 2001. That's irrelevant- we have moved the mountain to Mohamed, so to speak, as we approach 4,000 war dead...besides, with our money spent and our National Guard deployed internationally, we can barely protect ourselves from the weather and our own crumbling infrastructure. Why would terrorists bother to do what we are already doing to ourselves?
(Then there's the impending Bay Area earthquake...in fairness, seismology is non-partisan. When this happens, there will be no one party or person to blame. It will be Hayward's fault.)
Rush likes to claim that he "Rules the Country", but a Jew named Bernard Baruch once wielded more power and influence than Rush could ever hope to attain...Rush's influence extends mainly to uneducated white trash ; Baruch served as adviser to Presidents, including two Presidents that actually won wars: Woodrow Wilson and FDR.
Baruch, among many other things, was a member of the National War Labor Board during WWI and WWII... Baruch , as a businessman himself, was not generally in favor of meddlesome government intervention in industry, but he understood that in times of war and crisis, the interests of business ( and labor) should be secondary to the health and preservation of the nation and it's principles, a philosophy that stands in direct contradiction to the current Bush Regime policy of protecting corporations (the telecom scandal for example) from the citizens.
During WW II Baruch advocated recycling as a method to conserve resources, he proposed price controls to keep inflation in check, he endorsed using collective bargaining as a means of maintaining balance between labor unions and their employers and he was one of the first financiers to speak about developing domestic alternatives to foreign oil, mainly the development of corn-based alternatives...this new source was to be used to manufacture synthetic rubber tires, tires being in high demand during both wars...Baruch lost that particular battle and oil, not ethanol became the primary ingredient in synthetic rubber; petroleum alternatives remain underdeveloped to this day.
To help prevent Federal bankruptcy during WWII, Baruch suggested a "pay-as-you-go" approach to government spending, prophetically arguing that a huge National debt would be threat to National security. He stated that the practice of 'free enterprise' would not serve the country well during the war and that victory should be placed ahead of profit.
America did win two World Wars while following Baruch's advice on collective bargaining, price and wage controls and 'green' (a term that hadn't been coined yet) resource management.
What kind of man was Bernard Baruch? Probably not the kind that Limbaugh would support.
At WWI's end in 1919, Baruch personally paid for a train ticket home for each of the hundreds of women who held wartime jobs in his Washington DC offices, giving each woman a postcard to mail to him upon their safe arrival home- by today's standards, this gesture might seem condescending and sexist, but in 1919 there were precious few ways for a single woman to make money in an American city (women were not even allowed to vote until 1920) and Baruch didn't wish to see his disbanded clerical staff forced into the "street life", so he paid -out of his pocket- for their safe return home.
Limbaugh, on the other hand, used his maid to score Oxycontin for himself.
And of course, there's fellow neo-con spokesmouth Bill O'Reilly, sued for making obscene calls to female staffers...those two guys would hate probably hate Bernard Baruch even if Baruch were not a Jew.
In WWII , the War Labor Board help introduce some labor practices that were unheard of at that time. One of those ideas was that of "equal pay for equal work".
The War Labor Board (WLB) and its predecessor, the National Defense Mediation Board, had a profound impact on relations between employers and unions during World War II. The WLB—made up of representatives from government, labor, and management—provided protection for unions from hostile bosses, increased the wages of the lowest-paid workers, helped set industry-wide wage patterns, and established methods of resolving shop floor disputes. Although the WLB operated in routinized and bureaucratic ways, its decisions could also carry powerful ideological messages. That became clear in the following document, which insisted upon the policy of equal pay for equal work—a seemingly self-evident principle that was not standard practice in American industry. This board decision mandated equal pay for women.From a 1943 opinion set forth by the NWLB:
the National War Labor Board abolishes the classifications “colored laborer” and “white laborer” and reclassifies both simply as “laborers” with the same rates of pay for all in that classification without discrimination on account of color. The Negro workers in this classification are hereby granted wage increases which place them on a basis of economic parity with the white workers in the same classification. This wage increase is made... with regard simply for the democratic formula of equal pay for work equal in quantity and quality in the same classification. This equalization of economic opportunity is not a violation of the sound American provision of differentials in pay for differences in skills. It is rather a bit of realization of the no less sound American principle of equal pay for equal work as one of those equal rights in the promise of American democracy regardless of color, race, sex, religion, or national origin.
Conservatives- many of them Democrats- didn't like these ideas. During the next twenty years, a great many Democrats, most of them Southern, would leave their party and join the GOP, helping give rise to what was known as the Southern Strategy , among other things...
There have been other, better known figures who have warned us of what would happen if the War Business eclipsed the business of war. The most famous of those is none other than Republican President and retired Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower, a man who left office with deep misgivings about the Cold War and the industry that helped maintain it.
Ike's 1961 farewell address should be required reading in the American classroom:
We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.
Any failure traceable to arrogance or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us a grievous hurt, both at home and abroad.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
I can think of many adjectives to describe persons who happily call themselves 'Ditto Heads' but
"alert " and "knowledgeable" are not on that list. I actually visited Limbaugh's site and found that links to much of the source material Limbaugh uses for his blathering are available only to those who are willing to register themselves as Ditto Heads...I thought that the suppression of information was considered un-American, but what the hell do I know?
I am not a dithead.