The New Way to Fight a War

by Peter Schiff
Euro Pacific Capital

While the country and the stock markets reel from the impact of the Coronavirus, many economists and politicians are calling for the government to fight the pandemic as if we had to fight the Second World War all over again. In his address from the White House on March 18, President Trump made this comparison explicit when he said that we must sacrifice the same way our parents and grandparents fought the War in the 1940s. The President likened himself to a “wartime president” as he invoked the Defense Production Act, a Korean War era measure that allows the president to exert tremendous authority over key industries deemed important for the war effort.

Although it seems absurd to compare a war and a virus, there are some similarities in the way WWII and Coronavirus are impacting the economy. Both are unexpected international events that shattered Americans’ sense of isolation and fundamentally altered the U.S. economy almost overnight. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the Coronavirus both too the country by complete surprise, and in both cases politicians can argue, correctly, that the crisis was not America’s fault.

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