Keynesians turn to Alien Invasions to Fix the Economy and to Stop Global Warming

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 19th, 2011

Paying them to Dig Ditches, then Paying them to fill them back In

Leave it to a Keynesian to find the silver lining in a war of annihilation (see The Dimlight Zone posted 8/17/2011 on Investor’s Business Daily).

“If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack,” Krugman told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, “and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat, and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months.”

Where did Krugman get his idea for “Up-in-the-Sky-Side Economics”? He told Zakaria, “There was a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode like this in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace. Well, this time we don’t need it; we need it in order to get some fiscal stimulus.”

And Paul Krugman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.  Not for his theory on space alien threats but for something about New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography

He’s Ivy League.  A Keynesian economist of the first order.  And an Orwellian socialist, apparently.  For in Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four, that was a key party tenet.  Perpetual war.  To unite the people against the common enemy (which often changed if one of their two possible enemies was losing too badly).  And to consume the products of state labor.  To provide permanent employment for the people.  (Sort of like paying them to dig ditches, then paying them to fill them back in.)  Building the things of war.  While they lived in desperate privation of the necessities of life.  A dark existence indeed.  But they kept the people occupied.  And obedient.

World War gave the U.S. a strong Export Market During and After the War

Being in favor of war spending is a bit strange.  Considering the Left’s vehement opposition to the Iraq Way, the War in Afghanistan, the Libyan War, the Vietnam War, etc.  All of these were quite costly.  And required enormous war production.  Creating near-perpetual jobs for people in the war economy.  There was a whole lot of deficit spending going on.  Just like you’d think an Orwellian socialist would like.  But no. 

Contrary to Keynesian belief, these wars did not stimulate the economy.  They were in effect paying people to dig ditches and then having them fill them back in.  Just moving money around in the economy.  Not creating anything new.  Unlike the war he refers to in that article.  The good war.  World War II

World War II was a different kind of war.  It was a world war.  Much like World War I.  Where the world’s economies were left in ashes.  Unlike America.  Who was unscathed during these wars.  Was ready and able to rebuild the world after these wars.  And feed it, too.  So not only did we have a strong export market during the war (we were the Arsenal of Democracy), we had an even stronger export market after the war. 

That’s what makes a war profitable.  When someone else pays for it.  Which is why the previously mentioned wars did not stimulate economic activity.  The United States paid for them.  Not other people.  It was just moving money around in the economy.  Not creating anything new.  Just digging ditches.  And filling them back in.

Before acting to Save the World a Keynesian would Consider its Impact on the Next Election First

Besides, do we really want Keynesians fighting our wars?  For they are more concerned in winning political battles than military ones.  No matter the costs.  Whether it threatens the fiscal solvency of the country.  Or military strategy (see Bad luck? Bad faith? by Charles Krauthammer posted 8/18/2011 on The Washington Post).

The charge [wishing to see America fail for their own political gain] is not just ugly. It’s laughable. All but five Republican members of the House — moderate, establishment, Tea Party, freshmen alike — voted for a budget containing radical Medicare reform knowing it could very well end many of their careers. Democrats launched gleefully into Mediscare attacks, hardly believing their luck that Republicans should have proposed something so politically risky in pursuit of fiscal solvency. Yet Obama accuses Republicans of acting for nothing but partisan advantage.

This from a man who has cagily refused to propose a single structural reform to entitlements in his three years in office. A man who ordered that the Afghan surge be unwound by September 2012, a date that makes no military sense (it occurs during the fighting season), a date not recommended by his commanders, a date whose sole purpose is to give Obama political relief on the eve of the 2012 election. And Obama dares accuse others of placing politics above country?

Let’s just hope that when the aliens attack we don’t have Keynesians in power.  For with them it’s about the money and the power.  And political expediency.  Who would, in the face of an alien evasion, dither about what action would benefit them most in the next election before acting to save the world.

Global Warming bringing the Final Frontier to Us?

Paul Krugman isn’t the only one thinking about alien invasions.  Climate scientists are, too (see Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists by Ian Sample posted 8/18/2011 on the Guardian).

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by a Nasa-affiliated scientist and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.

This isn’t hyperbole from Al Gore.  It’s NASA affiliated.  So this must be serious stuff.

The authors warn that extraterrestrials may be wary of civilisations that expand very rapidly, as these may be prone to destroy other life as they grow, just as humans have pushed species to extinction on Earth. In the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to protect other civilisations.

“A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions,” the report states.

“Green” aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. “These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets,” the authors write.

Talk about taking it up a notch.  And this after those emails leaked from the University of East Anglia.  Showing that they fudged many of the numbers they used to sell global warming.  So they changed tack.  Propose absolute gibberish that is completely independent of data.  And sanity.  Thus making it impervious to attack.  Or scientific scrutiny.

Who would have thunk it?  That global warming would bring the final frontier to us.  Where others would travel here.  In their quest to explore strange new worlds.  To seek out new life and new civilizations.  To boldly go where no man has gone before.  And possibly bring a cook book with them entitled To Serve Man

I wonder how many Trekkies were in that group at the Pennsylvania State University.

Long Lines of Communication and Costs make the odds of an Alien Invasion Slim

Let’s apply a little historical perspective on this.  Why did Napoleon not conquer Russia?  Because Russia is a very big place.  It stretched Napoleon’s lines of communication to the breaking point.  He could no longer support his Grande Armée.  And the Russian winter only compounded his misery.  He had no choice but to retreat.

Why did Hitler not conquer Russia?  Ditto.

Now let’s look at some economic history.  Why did NASA cancel Apollo missions 18, 19 and 20 to the moon?  Because they were too costly.  Why have we not landed a man on Mars?  Because it’s too costly.  Why did we cancel the Space Shuttle program?  Because it was too costly.

Put long lines of communication and costs together and what do they tell you?  The odds are slim for an alien invasion.  Because you have to benefit somehow for the costs you expend.  Hitler wanted living space.  Grain.  And Caucasus oil.  His hatred of Jews, Russians and communists was one thing.  But killing all of them meant little if he didn’t get the living space, grain and oil.  That was the desired payoff for his investment in the invasion of Russia.

“There is Nothing more Dangerous than a Wounded Mosquito”

Granted, this is pure speculation, but let’s assume invading aliens are like all other conquering people history has known.  That is, they want something.  Something real.  Food.  Resources.  Whatever.  And if they are able to conquer the space-time continuum, they’d be pretty darn smart aliens.  And resourceful.  They could probably do just about anything when it came to food and resources.  Probably even make a clothes washer that can fold and wrap clothes in a plastic wrap.  And if we become an annoyance they could probably dispatch our world before we could put the first thoughts of a starship on a drawing board.

So there is little point in expending any time, effort or money in preparing a defense for an alien invasion.  And there is little chance that our so called global warming is going to bring a Death Star to our corner of the universe.  Such talk appears to be a ruse to increase government spending.  What some would call ‘grasping at straws’.  Just another way for the Keynesians to continue their failed policies. 

The Obama administration has shown the futility of Keynesian economic policies.  And it has wounded the Keynesians deeply.  But like the mosquito, we should be careful.  For as they said on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “There is nothing more dangerous than a wounded mosquito.”  They will find other ways to tax and spend.  No matter how silly, ridiculous or costly it is.

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