. . . there are a lot of people who believe that war is an economic benefit and remain convinced that World War II actually ended the Great Depression. Hardly! . . . Many Americans still believe that FDR ended the Great Depression, with World War II providing a big help. The war did nothing to help, and all of FDR's economic policies, which were a continuation of Hoover's mistakes, were responsible for prolonging the depression. This same criticism can be made of the economic policies of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama that have prolonged the current Great Recession. . . . The average person, who does not work in the arms industry, pays the bills and reaps no direct economic benefits from war. 
It has been argued that war is a major reason, if not the most significant reason, especially in the past 100 years, that the material advance has been so great. But could it be that this is in spite of the coercive investment of the state in war that the benefits to society have continued? The material benefits may well have been even greater without the death and destruction of the past 100 years of wars that should not have been waged. . . . War is always an economic negative. Even a purely defensive war destroys wealth.
Liberty, markets, property, honest money, and peace generate prosperity. In contrast, war distracts from wealth creation, consumes wealth, and undermines liberty. I see no evidence that war in any way contributes to prosperity. Absent war, prosperity would occur anyway and to an even greater extent. With war there is always less wealth overall, though the war profiteers always benefit. 
1. Ron Paul, Swords Into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity (2015), p. 99.
2. Ibid. pp. 80-81.