Did World War II really end the Great Depression?
According to the economic historian Dr. Robert Higgs:
"Yes, national output as conventionally measured did grow hugely during the war... [G]ross domestic product (in constant 1987 prices) increased by 84 percent between 1940 and 1944. What the orthodox account neglects, however, is that this "miracle of production" consisted entirely (and then some) of increased government spending, nearly all of it for war materials and equipment and military personnel. The private component of GDP (consumption plus investment) actually fell after 1941, and while the war lasted, private output never recovered to its pre-Pearl Harbor level. In 1943, real private GDP was 14 percent lower than it had been in 1941. If a nation produces an abundance of guns and ammunition, it does not thereby achieve genuine prosperity .Those who lived through the war ... forget the scarcity of decent housing, the hassles in commuting to work, and the severe rationing or complete absence of basic consumer goods...Because of the many other ways that the well-being of consumers deteriorated during the war, which the official data fail to capture, actual wartime conditions were even worse than [the] figures suggest." 
Economist Steve Horwitz conducted research in which he finds:
"Whatever the war’s effects on seemingly booming conventional macroeconomic aggregates, it entailed a retrogression in the average American’s living standards, and that disconnect should alert us to those aggregates’ limitations...The notion that World War II is responsible for ending the Great Depression has met growing skepticism among economic historians. Although the wartime economy saw increases in conventional measures of macroeconomic performance, the letters, journals, and newspapers of the era indicate years of continued material deprivation and hardship, rather than rising living standards for the average American." 
Socially useful production is driven by voluntary exchange. In the case of WWII, the government directed resources to be used towards the production of things which private citizens would never have bought (such as tanks and missiles), making such resources unavailable for the production of goods and services private citizens actually wanted, leading to intense rationing. While WWII was a necessary war, it is foolish to believe that wartime spending is good for the standard of living of the average American.
 http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=915 #libertarian