Description

Scott talks to Ryan McMaken about the true costs of America’s “national security” state, both in dollars and in secondary effects on the daily lives of Americans. Even though the official number is quite a bit lower, McMaken has estimated the true cost of the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus at close to a trillion dollars per year, since we should be factoring in things like Department of Energy funding that goes to nuclear weapons, medical costs for the VA, and the budgets of Homeland Security organizations. This whole system has other, even more insidious effects, that most people don’t notice, including a general slowing of the economy due to inflation and artificial interest rates, a more dangerous world where America makes enemies by picking fights where it doesn’t have to, and the slow militarization of our entire society.

Discussed on the show:

  • “The Trillion-Dollar Military Still Isn’t Enough for the War Party” (Mises Wire)
  • “Historic Asset Boom Passes by Half of Families” (WSJ)

Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. He has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/ScottWashinton BabylonLiberty Under Attack PublicationsListen and Think AudioTheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.

Donate to the show through PatreonPayPal, or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

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discussions

  • What role (if any) should the gov’t play in the continued funding of cutting-edge scientific research? According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development), approximately 10% of all R&D conducted globally is directly funded by governments, with approximately 60% done by private industry and 20% by educational institutions. Granted, this number probably doesn’t take into account indirect gov’t funding through tax subsidies and incentives. That 10% goes towards projects on the cutting edge of science, such as NASAs various space ventures and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (funded through the governments of the member states). Proponents of big gov’t science, such as Neil Degrasse Tyson, have stated in the past that projects like these are unlikely to be privately funded due to their high risk, high cost, and lack of return on investment. Gov’t, claims Tyson, is required to make the initial step and take all the risk so that private firms can follow in its wake with a clear picture of the requirements of such endeavours. TAM 2011: Our Future in Space Would such high risk, high cost projects be possible without gov’t backing?

    Jump to Discussion Post 10 replies
  • Suppose a group of Ancaps are on the verge of overthrowing a government somewhere and imposing a libertarian social order. Suppose there was a debate in the US about whether to use the military to help them, stop them, or do nothing. Which do you choose and why?

    Jump to Discussion Post 8 replies
  • It can be a challenge to keep up with all the taxes one needs to pay throughout the year, and than to deal with all the paperwork that needs to be filed can be frustrating. What would be a good way to simplify the Tax Code? Below is a list of some of the taxes that we the people need to pay, or at least we experience their effects at one time or another. -Medicare, Medicare, Social Security, Federal Inocme Tax, State tax, Local Tax, Corporate tax, Sales Tax, Property Tax, estate tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, gift tax, tariffs on imports and exports, etc. Would a simple flat or consumption tax do the trick?

    Jump to Discussion Post 2 replies
  • Venezuela has the highest violent crime rate in the world. Though it is not moral or justified, people choose violence over starvation when there are no alternatives. Of course, “we” libertarians all know that this situation was created by government/s coercion’s consequences, but so few among the greater population seem to recognize that. It seems like a similar fate faces the whole world.

    Jump to Discussion Post 3 replies
  • This is a question that libertarians and constitutional conservatives have different views and answers on. Some libertarians are anarchist and want no state to exist per Murray Rothbard. Others prefer a LIMITED govt that only provides certain services like police, courts & military per Ludwig Von Mises; or even don’t a very limited welfare state per F.A. Hayek or the Chicago School of Economics. This forum is to sort out how limited govt should be according to what libertarians and anarchists think.

    Jump to Discussion Post 46 replies