Let's Have a War! Jack Up the Dow Jones!

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The week's most sanguine commentary on Iran surely comes from Jonathan Hoenig, the clownish fund manager who has the audacity not only to call himself a libertarian but also to come from my alma mater. On Monday's episode of "Your World with Neil Cavuto," Hoenig delved into his knowledge of economics and philosophy to come up with a sure-fire plan for economic good times.

I think when it comes to Iran the problem is we haven't been forceful enough. Frankly, if you want to see the Dow go up, let's get the bombers in the air and neutralize this Iranian threat. We've gone to the negotiating table, we've danced around with these people. That's not going to help this country nor this stock market.

The video's here, under "Stocks tank on Iran and inflation worries."

NEXT: Anecdotes, Aggregates, and Anguish

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  1. Spoken like a truly dangerous, nosy, pushy, let’s-not-just-tinker-with-the-world,-let’s-fuck-with-it neo-con.

  2. There’s too many of us!
    There’s too many of us!
    There’stoomanyofus, There’stoomanyofus!

  3. Well, I’m convinced. I want to give that guy all my money to manage.

    It’s been rumored for a while that there’s a Fox News business channel in the works. This is a sample of the sort of insight we can expect. Fox’s stock/business shows on the weekend are hilariously bad.

  4. Burns: Smithers, we’re at war!
    Smithers: I’ll begin profiteering, sir.
    Burns: And hoarding. Leave it to the Democrats to let the Spaniards back in the pantry.

  5. Do we also get to “give guns to the queers”?

  6. an attack on Iran would either severely reduce it’s oil export ability or ensure that it reduced it as a punitive measure. This would likely jack oil up to at least $100/brl and probably cause the Dow to reach under the skirt of 10,000, not just 11,000.

    And this guy’s a fund manager?

  7. an attack on Iran would either severely reduce it’s oil export ability or ensure that it reduced it as a punitive measure. This would likely jack oil up to at least $100/brl and probably cause the Dow to reach under the skirt of 10,000, not just 11,000.

    And this guy’s a fund manager?

  8. an attack on Iran would either severely reduce it’s oil export ability or ensure that it reduced it as a punitive measure. This would likely jack oil up to at least $100/brl and probably cause the Dow to reach under the skirt of 10,000, not just 11,000.

    And this guy’s a fund manager?

  9. He’s angling for a gig as Treasury Secretary in the Jenna administration.

    I see the liberal stock market is going down today because it’s a Bush hater.

  10. This guy probably should have a job alongside the reason server hampster, look what it made me do.

  11. I guess chewy really wanted to make his point……Weigel’s alma mater is Northewestern….I guess they do let anybody in (insert grin)!

  12. The fiction that war “helps the economy” has been a favorite of the left since forever. Now this jackass comes along and ensures that this old saw will live another hundred years.

  13. I guess the guy manages a fund with lots of oil stocks in it and WANTS to drive the price of oil over $100/barrel.

  14. We can start with McJonsey.

  15. Blah. I’ve been listening to “Don’t Know Much about History” in on CD in my car for the past couple of days. “We only have war to help business interests” is a pretty fair summary of Kenneth Davis’ view of the world.

  16. Although to be clear, I think the guy may have been making an argument about uncertainty rather than ‘war profiteering’ per se. People can work around a known expense like Iraq easier than they can an unknown like Iran’s bluster.

  17. Love the Fear reference. Maybe you could work the Circle Jerks into a title soon?

  18. let’s start a war!
    start a nuclear war!
    at the gay bar
    gay bar
    gay bar!

  19. “I think the guy may have been making an argument about uncertainty rather than ‘war profiteering’ per se. People can work around a known expense like Iraq easier than they can an unknown like Iran’s bluster.”

    Even if he was, it doesn’t make it any less morally reprehensible. Whether you’re slaughtering people from the sky in order to “profiteer”, or you’re slaughtering people from the sky in order to eliminate uncertainty in the stock market, you’re still murdering people. But split hairs if you must.

  20. People can work around a known expense like Iraq

    You better smile when you say that, pardner.

    War, like all government activity, enriches specific interests but impoverishes the nation as a whole. (Degrees of enrichment and impoverishment vary by case.) Unless Herr Hoenig has contacts with Uncle Sam already locked in, he’s foolish to be making this argument.

  21. “…all government activity, enriches specific interests but impoverishes the nation as a whole”

    Remind me, is this the part where I kneel, or beat my breast three times?

  22. Hilarious! “Let’s get those baaamers in the air!” He sounds like a neocon Woody Allen

  23. I’d like to be in the Jenna administration.

    Giggity.

  24. A couple of points:
    1. Though he is very hawkish on Iran, Hoenig is generally libertarian-leaning. He advocates open borders and free market economics, and has worn a Jon Galt t-shirt on the air on at least one occasion.
    2. The Saturday “business block” on Fox habitually takes the hot news story and tries to wring some connection to the stock market out of it.
    3. Does anyone else see the resemblance between Hoenig and Alfred E Newman? (sp?)

    BTW, I completely disagree with the notion of military action against Iran at this time.

  25. I believe Hoenig is a hardcore Randian, which is why he calls himself a libertarian. He’s pretty pro-capitalism, John Galtish. Hence the pugnacity.

    I think he’s pretty funny, especially when he spars with Wayne Rogers on Cashin’ In on Sats. As far as ridiculousness goes though, this ain’t nothing — my favorite is when he said immigrants, illegal or otherwise, don’t send money back to family in Mexico.

  26. Ferengi Rules Of Acquisition

    34. Peace is good for business.
    35. War is good for business.

  27. Though he is very hawkish on Iran, Hoenig is generally libertarian-leaning.

    I’m curious; has anyone ever discovered anything less libertarian than a person who’s “libertarian-leaning”?

  28. …has anyone ever discovered anything less libertarian than a person who’s “libertarian-leaning”?

    Yet probably describes – from my observations anyway – at least 2/3 of the people who post here.

  29. Greetings.
    This is the Secretary of War at the State Department of the United States.
    We have a problem.
    The companies want something done about this sluggish world economic situation.
    Profits have been running more than a little thin lately and we need to stimulate some growth.
    Now we know that there’s an alarmingly high number of young people roaming around in your country with nothing to do but stir up trouble for the police and damage private property.
    It doesn’t look like they’ll ever get a job.
    It’s about time we did something constructive with these people. We’ve got thousands of ’em here too. They’re crawling all over.
    The companies think it’s time we all sit down, have a serious get-together, and start another war.
    The President? He loves the idea! All those missiles streaming overhead to and fro. Napalm. People running down the road, skin on fire.
    The Soviets seem up for it. The Kremlin’s been itching for the real thing for years. They want a little going away present for Mr. Breshnev.
    Hell, Afghanistan’s no fun.
    So whadya say?
    We don’t even have to win this war.
    We just want to cut down on some of this excess population.
    Now look. Just start up a draft, draft as many of those people as you can, we’ll call up every last youngster we can get our hands on, and give ’em an hour or two to learn how to use an automatic rifle and send ’em on their way.
    El Salvador? How ’bout Northern Ireland? Or a “moderately repressive regime” in South America?
    We’ll just cook up a good Soviet threat story in the Middle East. We need that oil.
    We had Libya all ready to go and Colonel Khadafy’s hit squad didn’t even show up. I tell ya, that man is unreliable.
    The Russians had their finger on the button just like we did for that one.
    Now just think for a minute. We can make this war so big. SO BIG. The more people we kill in this war, the more the economy will prosper.
    We can get rid of practically everybody on your dole queue if we plan this right.
    Take every loafer on welfare right off our computer rolls.
    Now don’t worry about those demonstrators. Just pump up your drug supply.
    So many people hooked themselves on heroin and amphetamines since we took over, it’s just like Vietnam. We had everybody so busy with LSD they never got too strong. Kept the war functioning just fine.
    It’s easy. We’ve got our college kids so interested in beer they don’t even care if we start manufacturing germ bombs again. Put a nuclear stockpile in their back yard and they wouldn’t even know what it looked like.
    So how ’bout it?
    Look. War is money.
    The arms manufacturers tell me unless we get our bomb factories up to full production the whole economy is going to collapse.
    The Soviets are in the same boat.
    We all agree the time has come for the big one, so whadya say?!?

  30. I’m curious; has anyone ever discovered anything less libertarian than a person who’s “libertarian-leaning”?

    Yes.

  31. Tim Cavanaugh,

    You and Rousseau have more in common than you might think. 🙂

  32. “War, like all government activity, enriches specific interests but impoverishes the nation as a whole.”

    I don’t think you have to be a raging commie like joe to wonder if this is not the case. To pick an obvious example, didn’t the construction of the Erie Canal have tremendous wealth-building effects?

  33. I remember buying the Repo Man soundtrack on cassette.

    Damn kids.

    Harrumph.

  34. The fiction that war “helps the economy” has been a favorite of the left since forever.

    I’m pretty sure there are plenty on the right that feel this way too. My proof would be…oh I don’t know…maybe our current situation in Iraq.

  35. Anybody who does not believe that US Social Security should be drastically cut is no libertarian.

    Anyone who believes the US military should be drastically cut is no libertarian.

    We should be clear on who the real libertarian is. It’s me.

  36. Anybody who does not believe that US Social Security should be drastically cut is no libertarian.

    Anyone who believes the US military shouldn’t be drastically cut is no libertarian.

    We should be clear on who the real libertarian is. It’s me.

  37. first repetition is incorrect. got it right the 2 time. thanks 4 your patience.

  38. Jello,

    That screed sounds a lot better when you can hear Maggie Thatcher pleasuring herself in the background!

    God, I love (some) 80s music.

  39. Dave, are you kicking people out of the club again? This isn’t a tree house, gurlz are allowed.

  40. Timothy-

    I say we form an army to retake the clubhouse.

  41. Ira Weatheral,

    Welcome back. 🙂

  42. PL,

    Why thanks, I didn’t know others noticed one way or another.

  43. I remember buying the Repo Man soundtrack on cassette.

    If you were a real punk, you would have dubbed a copy from someone else. Preferably, a 20th generation or so copy.

  44. Ira Weatheral,

    Well, I noticed (and I imagine others did to). Anyway, again, welcome back.

  45. Next, Dave will demand to see our decoder rings.

  46. The leaders of Iran think it is their religious duty to ease Israel off the map. They are working hard to get or make nuclear weapons.

    Suppose Iran is serious?

    What to do? What to do?

  47. Nevvile Chamberlain was a man of peace.

    He had the papers to prove it.

  48. My comment was intended more as defense than offense if you take my meaning.

  49. Is it morally permissible to kill people you don’t know to save a more numerous cohort you don’t know.

    Fer instance, would a war against Germany in 1936 which would have overthrown the German government, as admitted by the head of that government, been a good thing to do if had had eliminated the deaths of 10s of millions?

    The trouble always is that hindsight is 20/20.

    Fortunately the peace makers prevailed in 1936.

  50. M. Simon,

    Welcome back.

    ___________________

    Why are all the old regulars returning?

  51. we form an army

    statist

  52. M. Simon,

    A certain line of philosophers – generally referred to as “humanists” – thought so. These include Grotius, Hobbes and Locke. Indeed, I think Prof. Tuck would argue that a whole line of what we might call intellectual heroes of liberalism favored interventionism against regimes which committed significant evil acts against their domestic population.

  53. Phil,

    I still pop in from time to time.

    Having been a Libertarian from about 1980 to 2001 I’m interested in the moral certainty of Libs. No longer being a Lib I have lost some of that moral certainty.

    So I like to discuss such questions.

    Take social security or welfare. I look at welfare as a bribe to the folks on the bottom to keep them from revolting. An ancient tradition. If it is not too big a bite it works.

    SS should be replaced gradually. Big disruptions are a bad thing in politics or economics.

    Like all revolutionaries Libs have trouble with incremental gains.

    Libs also have trouble with the alpha male question. Especially if the alpha male calls itself a country.

    Libs are (for the most part) absolutists. Real life is not that way. Except fot the leaders of Iran and such. You can see where that leads. In the case of Iran it looks like war or revolution. In the case of libs .3% of the vote.

    Other than the lack of flexibility I think the lib position has a lot to offer.

  54. Phil,

    Evidently a lot of Libs here think that threats against those outside Iran merit dismissal.

    There is recent historical precident that I have alluded to (in order to avoid G’s Law). Threats can turn into action.

    It is the eternal Lib argument “It is just normal international political threats, they haven’t done anything to us – yet. Let us wait.”

  55. M. Simon,

    Threats can turn into action.

    Or not.

    Anyway, there is a vast array of classical, medeival, renaissance and enlightenment thinking on what constitutes a just war. I’d study that before I’d come up with a provisional philosophy on these matters.

  56. PL,

    While there is indeed a vast array, it was all written in the context of the fastest travel being horseback and one of the most dangerous weapons being a sword. Recognizing this change of capabilities of warfare is a prerequisite before visiting, revisiting or invoking any of that vast array.

  57. I’d study that before I’d come up with a provisional philosophy on these matters.”

    hahahaha,

    What specifically should he read before he embarrases himself further?

  58. kwais,

    If that statement caused confusion, my apologies. My point was that these issues are far more complicated than the reductionism practiced by both camps.

    chewy,

    Recognizing this change of capabilities of warfare is a prerequisite before visiting, revisiting or invoking any of that vast array.

    Actually, I would think that the technological changes would make one more circumspect about one’s certainty, not less.

  59. kwais,

    BTW, since when did politely suggesting an individual might need more knowledge on a matter become an automatic insult in libertarian circles?

  60. Tim Cavanaugh writes: “The fiction that war “helps the economy” has been a favorite of the left since forever. Now this jackass comes along and ensures that this old saw will live another hundred years.”

    I seem to recall that well-known liberal Larry Kudlow pushed this line before the Iraq war.

  61. Jon H,

    What war helps is government corruption.

  62. chewy,

    Upon further reflection I am going to disagree with you. The material changes haven’t effected the questions about just war theory one whit. Of course they may shortened the window in which those questions may be asked, etc., but the questions remain the same.

  63. The 20th century has been defined as the American Century and the 21st century will be NOT be defined as such.

  64. Tim Cavanaugh writes: “The fiction that war “helps the economy” has been a favorite of the left since forever. Now this jackass comes along and ensures that this old saw will live another hundred years.” I seem to recall that well-known liberal Larry Kudlow pushed this line before the Iraq war.

    Certainly a lot of post-WW2 economists like Keynes and Galbraith figured that WW2 was good for the economy. And some economists (probably liberal ones at that) using that example suggested that an occassional war was good for the economy.

    But just bacause some lefties wrote that doesn’t mean that they were the only ones to think or practice it. I think it’s pretty obvious that the right of the last 30-40 years has embraced the notion that war is – if not good for the economy – certainly good for certain sectors of it.

    It ain’t just about terrorism, you know. What’s the second thing Bush said after 9/11? “Keep Spending.”

  65. Phil,

    Because the destructive power is vaster action must be swifter. In some cases pre-emptive.

    In this day and age it is probably not a good idea to threaten your neighbors.

  66. There are no just wars.

    Wars are all about power and control.

    That said I’d rather America had it for the next 50 years. By then India might be in a position to help. BTW because of our alpha male nature there will always be #2s and #3s trying to knock off #1. It goes with the territory.

    JAB,

    I think your crystal ball is clouded.

  67. let’s get the bombers in the air and neutralize this Iranian threat

    Yeah, like the same way we “neutralized” the Saddam threat. The Iraq war has got to have boosted our economy.

    As my grandfather would have put it, these idiots are enough to scald the balls of a brass monkey. I wish I’d been old enough to ask him if ever actually tried it.

  68. Tim,

    The fiction that war “helps the economy” has been a favorite of the left since forever. Now this jackass comes along and ensures that this old saw will live another hundred years.

    Unfortunately there are more than enough jackasses in the universe to insure this idea of immortality.

    Curiously though, while wars themselves don’t help, pushing military technology in order to be ready for them has helped the economy, historically.

    The Bessemer Steel making process, for example, was developed by this Bessemer guy, who just wanted to sell his new, big bad artillery shell to the British government. One of his problems was that cast iron lacked sufficient ductility, so the cannon cracked every time it fired his shell.

    So he went and developed a way to produce steel on a large, cost effective scale. The railroad industry benefited immensely, for one, though I don’t believe Bessemer ever got the contract he wanted for his artillery shells.

    Many other examples like this exist in history. Somebody ought to tell Hoenig where he really needs to put his money.

    “Ah want Uncle Sam to develop me the biggest, bad-est bomber the world has ever seen….”

  69. Genghis Kahn at June 7, 2006 12:46 AM,

    As far as I can tell Saddam is no longer bribing the French. That sounds like a double win to me.

    It also looks like the Iraqis have a chance for a better life. Under Saddam no chance. Of course Sunni fortunes are down and they complain bitterly. Most unfortunate.

    Iran is in such bad shape that a little push could make that government fall. Heard about all the street protests there lately?

    Try Gateway Pundit and Regime Change Iran.

    It looks to me a lot like the situation before the fall of the Shah. For whatever reason the current government like the Shah’s has lost its nerve.

    Here is a link to an article on Iran’s economic situation with links to sources and other articles. They need a war as soon as possible to keep things together. Evidently whatever we do will be on our schedule, not theirs.

  70. As far as I can tell Saddam is no longer bribing the French. That sounds like a double win to me.

    It also looks like the Iraqis have a chance for a better life. Under Saddam no chance. Of course Sunni fortunes are down and they complain bitterly. Most unfortunate.

    All true. But has it benefitted our economy? Enough to offset the cost, even if you don’t count the casualties?

    I have very mixed feelings about Iraq, and negative feelings about hitting Iran at this point.

    I don’t agree with the line that Saddam was never a threat to us. His intentions were not good, and if sanctions were lifted he might have become a threat later (though this wasn’t the justification for invasion….). But I also doubt Saddam was the most pressing threat we faced.

    But I believe this is true about Iran.

    They need a war as soon as possible to keep things together

  71. I think I’m going to write a book:

    _Think and Grow Rich Through Military Technology Development_

    by Genghis Kahn. It ought to be a best seller.

  72. btw, if anybody here thinks Mexicans worry about getting caught for tax evasion then you’ve missed the boat.

    Ask one of these illegals about it. The IRS is generally polite enough to send you a letter and let you know they’re coming. The Border Patrol doesn’t.

    I believe my own observations over the articles written by all the “economists”, because I haven’t read an article yet that was written by somebody that has obviously spent any real time talking with these illegals.

    I don’t believe we can stop Mexican immigration because I’ve heard them talk about what it’s like to try and live and work in Mexico. The stories of abuse and horror are enough to break anybody’s heart.

    Their motivation is strong and should not be under estimated. Rather than trying to stop a will as strong as this, we really should be looking for smart ways to work with the situation.

  73. Their motivation is strong and should not be under estimated. Rather than trying to stop a will as strong as this, we really should be looking for smart ways to work with the situation.

    That is one of the most eloquent statements that I’ve heard about illegal immigration. Thank you.

  74. oops, wrong thread….but thanks thoreau

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