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Thomas Woods Explains How to Roll Back the State

November 1, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

LRC yesterday posted this transcript of this podcast with Senior Fellow Thomas Woods.

Among other things, Woods notes the tactics employed to ensure that military spending keeps flowing without fail:


I was so impressed with what you had to say about the Military-Industrial Complex.  It seems to me you’ve got, within the Libertarian/Rothbardian/Ron Paulian view of this, you know, just a particularly effective take-down of that bunch.

WOODS:  …What they’ll typically do is, first, they introduce some weapons program. And this isn’t even prescinding from the morality of these programs, some of which I do get into towards the end of the chapter.  But basically, they introduce one of these programs and they way over promise regarding what it can accomplish.  Oh, it’s going to be great.  It’s going to be stealthy.  Nobody’s going to be able to see it.  Be able to bomb people like crazy from great distances and won’t be able to hit it and everything.  And then it’s going to turn out to be, you know, the size of Wymoing so that the only way for it really to be stealthy would be to rip enemy pilots’ heads — eyes out of their heads.  And it’s not going to be able to do what was promised.  And, in fact, the costs will wind up being much higher than the initial projection.  Well, this is a very — this isn’t unusual.  This even has a name.  It’s called frontloading.  So they over promise what it can do; they under promise what it’s going to cost.  And then you figure, all right, this will come to light and it will all come to an end.  But by then, they’ve done the second scam, which is political engineering, where they make sure that all the jobs associated with this particular program are spread out among so many congressional districts that it becomes politically impossible, once the taxpayer spigot has been turned on for this program, ever to turn if off again, no matter how absurd the program is, no matter how obviously unworkable it is, no matter whether the enemy it was designed for even exists any more.  And this is just one aspect.  And then I just talk about how it hurts firms that have the Pentagon as a client because they become weirdly unable to complete in the normal economy anymore because of the perverse incentives of the Pentagon, …read more


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