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Monday, July 26, 2010

Series on massive national security state makes clear: like all monolithic, centrally planned juggernauts, it doesn't work

Life in the USSA

( -- by David R. Henderson --

Last week, the Washington Post ran an excellent three-part series on the growing national security state. The series, written by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, was titled “Top Secret America,” and the articles were titled “A Hidden World, Growing Beyond Control,” “National Security, Inc.,” and “The Secrets Next Door.” This series, said the Post‘s editors, was based on two years of reporting. As good reporters, they focused mainly on the facts. Those facts themselves are pretty scary.

The reporters didn’t draw any big conclusions from the facts. Yet, the whole series is an excellent illustration of two of the main themes in the life work of the late economist Friedrich Hayek, who shared the Nobel Prize in economics in 1974. One theme, which he emphasized in his 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, is that when government grows and takes on more power over our lives, it threatens our freedom. The second theme is that central planning of an economy doesn’t work. Although Hayek never applied his insights about central economic planning to central anti-terrorism planning, the reasoning, as we shall see, is the same. So is the bottom line: It doesn’t work...MORE...LINK

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