Friday, October 09, 2009

Most Profitable Way to Peace

Like most people, I was surprised to hear that Barack Obama, the same man who increased the number of American soldiers in the war in Afghanistan while also fighting a war in Iraq (granted he didn't start it) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today. Not only has this president not decreased US military action, he has missed out on the most profitable way to peace, free trade. Despite common misconception, war is not good for the economy. World War II didn't get us out of the Great Depression and spending taxpayer money on bombs certainly isn't going to get us out of the Great Recession. What helped Americans get richer after World War II was the increase in global trade, something Obama has been criticizing and limiting. Nations with mutually beneficial trade don't fight. Make trade, not war.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I completely agree with your concerns about Obama's neglect of free trade.

    Completely disagree about Obama's handling of the wars. I would like to know what you would have him do, as immediate withdrawal would send both these countries (which we invaded, and thus have a responsibility to) into chaos or even civil war. Remember Obama has kept his promise about standing down in Iraq, and has recently chosen to pull back in Afghanistan rather than send more troops as his generals have recommended.

    Also I'm not sure why anyone would care what the most profitable way to peace is, unless they're just evil. Let's just go for the most effective way to peace!

    As for the Peace Prize, I'm struggling to see how this is as big of a deal as everyone's saying it is.

  3. I'm not saying Obama is a war mongerer, but it's a stretch to call a president currently fighting two wars a peacemaker.

    I want Obama to do in Afganistan what I wanted Bush to do in Iraq, let the people decide whether they want us to be there or not. If they say yes. then it's a humanitarian, not imperialism.

    But that's not what this post was about. Plenty of partisan hacks were talking about how Obama doesn't deserve this because of Afganistand and Iraq, but few were mentioning his protectionism.

    I think it is important to care what the most profitable way to peace is. I understand it's uncomforatble to discuss selfish benefits when we are fighting for peace, but it's neccessary. Free trade results in less war AND it makes us and our trading partners richer. Who wouldn't desire that?

  4. Dang there are tons of misspellings in my last comment. Why doesn't Firefox auto correct always work in comments and why can't I copy and paste somewhere that does?

  5. I agree with you on protectionism, but to be fair, that's only half of what this post was about. Or so it seems to me.

    On profitable peace - It's not that we don't desire it, it's that it's irrelevant. I like the free trade arguments for peace not because we profit in the process, but because they ensure lasting peace for the most people.

    On Firefox - Don't know. I'm using Chrome and it works.

  6. Is this irrelevant?:

    The elimination of tariffs and other protective barriers globally would:

    * lift at least 500 million people out of poverty over 15 years;
    * create long-term economic benefits to developing countries of $200 billion per year; and
    * enable industrial countries to convey about twice as much gain to developing countries as they currently provide through foreign aid—at a benefit rather than cost to their own consumers.


    The fact that it's the "most profitable" method of peace is what's irrelevant. If you want to start a conversation about world peace, "here's how we can make a ton of money" is not the greatest way to start.

  8. But if you have two methods to peace, one that is guaranteed to increase wealth (free trade) and one that doesn't (trying to start a democracy in the Middle East), I choose the first.

  9. Or maybe this is the reason:

    That Nobel was not a gesture of Obama-worship by left-leaning Norwegians. It was the very opposite: It was a pre-emptive strike against Obama, an attempt to neutralize him. How can a Peace Nobelist strike Iranian nuclear plants? Or wage a protracted war in Afghanistan? Or tell the Palestinians, “Sorry, that’s the best offer, take it or leave it”? The hope of course is that he cannot.

  10. Haha right. If that's what they're trying to do, they're gonna be sorely disappointed. Haven't they heard of America?

    I find this more likely.

  11. On your second-to-last comment, I choose the one that's most effective.

    But that may mean we choose the same thing. Nation-building hasn't been going so well.


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.