A common refrain regarding the coronavirus. “This is our World War II,” say media mavens and politicians . . . who have never had to endure anything like World War II.
The utter vapidity of the “war” response was explained very well by Peter Schiff on a recent episode of The Tom Woods Show. Schiff is famously bearish on the American economy, which he has argued for years is addicted to debt and consumption but not production and responsibility. He notes how different this new “war” is.
Folks today, he argues, have no more idea how World War II was won than how the economy works.
- Politicians increased taxes during the war.
- Americans were not bailed out: they had to struggle to survive, even on the home front, as
- they had to do without creature comforts. Taxes on goods and services sky-rocketed, to pay for the war . . .
- in which many young men died.
- Middle-class wealth was tapped like never before, to win the two-front war, and one mechanism to aid the effort was the withholding tax . . .
which now we are talking about suspending.
What is widely being proposed today is not the “socialism” of war, where lives and wealth are conscripted.* What is being proposed is the “socialism” of bailouts and sugar-plum fairies, where consumers are coddled.
And unlike in World War II, Schiff contends, there is no vast private wealth to tax to pay for what is deemed necessary. Instead, we have debt.
It is indeed a strange war where we fight the threat of any harm coming to us, or any sacrifice required.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* We should oppose the conscription of individuals, as was done in the First and Second World War as well as Korea and Vietnam. Not only does it violate the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition against involuntary servitude, it was not needed then, nor is it now. More on this later in the week.