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Quotation of the Day…

… is the closing paragraph of Robert Higgs’s excellent September 2006 essay “When the Government Took Over U.S. Investment” (footnote deleted):

In sum, most contemporaries greatly exaggerated the heroic achievements of the wartime socialization of investment, as have subsequent historians and economists. In large part, they simply failed to appreciate how much of the “capital” took strictly military forms. Even the industrial investments, however, proved largely ill-suited for making a valuable contribution to postwar civilian production: they were too concentrated in the wrong industries and in the wrong locations for postwar purposes. The wartime socialization of investment served a definite purpose in helping the U.S. military-industrial complex to triumph over the nation’s enemies in World War II, but beyond that, its achievements had little, if anything, to recommend them.