07 May 2011

War Is Not Conservative

Foreign Policy 3 Comments

Brad DeLong linked to an interesting post by Karl Smith, which showed that total government employment has apparently gone down the last few quarters. (Note that I am not familiar with these data, so I can’t say whether they are accurate.) I wanted to see how much of the effect was due to state and local cuts, so I just asked FRED to show me the Labor Department’s tabulation of official federal employment. Check this out:

So I will admit that–if accurate–the employment growth under Obama is less than I would have thought. However, what’s more interesting is the incredible explosion going into World War II, and how Bob Higgs’ “ratchet effect” is in full force.

War is the health of the state. Tom Woods is right: If you believe in limited government, you should oppose the warfare state as much as the welfare state.

3 Responses to “War Is Not Conservative”

  1. Yancey Ward says:

    Looks like to me it has gone down due the census being done, and nothing else.

  2. Yancey Ward says:

    But yes, you can see where every war since WWII started, but one. 1940-42, 1950-51, 1962-1964, and you can even see the Reagan build up in the Cold War. Only the wars after 9/11 don’t seem to show in federal employment, though they most definitely show in budget.

  3. CMP says:

    “the employment growth under Obama is less than I would have thought.”

    If NGO’s and our massive mercenary force were added in, I think you would see what you expected to see.
    Hasn’t Hillary been given massive numbers of mercs in Iraq the last couple years.

    FDR had neither in any numbers I don’t think.