Remarkable things might be accomplished if the United States approached economic crises with the same resolution with which it confronts military matters.
The matter of budget deficits, for example, has lingered for two decades, accompanied by promises and pledges to do better but not by the sacrifices and spending cuts needed to do the job.Other economic "wars" have been declared but carried on with success that ranges from marginal to poor, including those on poverty, inadequate training, inferior quality, false advertising, phony guarantees, low savings rates...
Wars on waste in government have been talked about throughout the lifetimes of most adults, but when it comes to voting on cutting wasteful spending the very officials who led the charge at election time run for cover.
Wars against inflation are launched every few years, but most are abandoned before the job is done.
The war against pollution also may be flawed strategically in that new pollutions are developed as old ones are controlled.
Contrast the lack of commitment, that marks so many of these wars with the commitment of Uncle Sam and the rest of the international community for Iraq to leave Kuwait.
Meanwhile, some major economic battles are likely to suffer inattention.
The private-sector financial structure must be rebuilt. The nation's budgeting procedure needs overhauling. The country's physical infrastructure is in need of repairs. The imbalance of foreign payments continues.
A feeling exists among many American business people that they continue to be confronted by unfair international trade practices, especially from Japan. But unfair or fair practices, some American industries can't compete.
War could be declared on all these problems. And given the same commitment as that given military matters, it is conceivable they could be conquered rather than allowed to dangle like dead-weight anchors on economic progress.
It is one lesson that very well could emerge from the Mideast crisis, once it is settled. In effect, it could be the post-Iraqi peace dividend.