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.

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