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The #1 Government Expense in the 20th Century

Written by Gary North on December 22, 2011

When we think of the cost of government, we think “taxes.” The better-informed person adds “regulations.” The very well-informed person adds “recession and inflation.”

This is chump change.

The heaviest costs are war and genocide. When governments kill legally innocent people by the millions, they destroy productivity. Nothing matches this destruction of value.

The 20th century was the most costly in modern history. The latest estimate of historian J. R. Hummel is 265 million lives.

Think of this. The agony inflicted on the dying. The pain felt by the the victims’ families. Taxes are nothing compared to this. Yet most people do not even think of this as a cost of running governments.

The public blames tyrants, not civil government as such. But some kinds of civil government enable tyrants to rise to the top and do their evil work. Economist F. A. Hayek wrote a chapter on this in 1944: “Why the Worst Get on Top.” It’s in his book, The Road to Serfdom. The book is worth reading. Chapter 10  is the book’s best chapter.

Let us hope that such tyranny does not come into power again.

Continue Reading on www.hawaii.edu

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2 thoughts on “The #1 Government Expense in the 20th Century

  1. shawnforfreedom says:

    who wrote this ? well i give credit that someones wheels are spinning. and yes the most valuable resource is definitely not gold oil or any fancy commodity . it truly is the human mind. and no we are no overpopulated. however if you have lots of people ,for instance n.korea and no freedom you do have starvation. and freezing brrrr do you know how many n.koreans freeze and starve each year ? i would say 100,000 's of thousands . why socialist communist policies like regulation taxation etc. so its all a big nasty answer. my answer is the united states constitution which gives fairness and freedom better than anything on earth. ron paul would restore this to america better than any other person , i believe. lets give him a chance . he has proven himself with a lifetime of fighting for the constitution and america respect. non-wavering and good.
    the world has suffered enough under totalitarian communistic crap ,killing 100's of millions ron paul would restore our founding freedoms and be a shining example of freedom to the world. obama said quote "the constitution should be changed to what we should do " that is wrong ,he wants to change it so people cannot be free, this is evil. fight to elect ron paul !!!!

  2. shawnforfreedom says:

    who wrote this ? well i give credit that someones wheels are spinning. and yes the most valuable resource is definitely not gold oil or any fancy commodity . it truly is the human mind. and no we are no overpopulated. however if you have lots of people ,for instance n.korea and no freedom you do have starvation. and freezing brrrr do you know how many n.koreans freeze and starve each year ? i would say 100,000 's of thousands . why socialist communist policies like regulation taxation etc. so its all a big nasty answer. my answer is the united states constitution which gives fairness and freedom better than anything on earth. ron paul would restore this to america better than any other person