Re: Fw: [LAPD] Government Spending and Public Choice Theory

Michael Lorrey (
Sun, 22 Feb 1998 20:38:11 -0500

Paul Hughes wrote:

> James Daugherty wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: The Libertarian Alliance <>
> > To: LAPD List <>
> > Date: Sunday, February 22, 1998 1:13 PM
> > Subject: [LAPD] Government Spending and Public Choice Theory
> >
> > |
> > |By Paul Marks
> > |
> > |Economic Notes No. 42
> > ||
> > |In the United States in 1960, defence spending was 12.1% of total
> > |output and federal welfare spending (pensions, unemployment benefit,
> > |etc.) was 4.8%. In 1980 defence spending was 7.3% of total output
> > |and federal welfare was 12.6%.
> This is the most rediculous figure I have ever seen!! I am falling out of my
> chair right now with laughter!! Annual spending in 1980 on defense was
> approximately $250 billion. Are you actually telling me that over a quarter
> of a trillion dollars was spent on welfare during the same year? Unless of
> course you do consider all the subsidies that corporations get (i.e.
> corporate welfare) as part of this welfare figure.

If you think this is funny, look at social security spending. Those that claim
'entitle'ments are increasing and reproducing, and the bureaucratic overhead to
administer these programs is likewise expanding. Yet at $250 billion, we can
barely afford to launch a short term campaign against a rather minor threat
(Iraq). In any event, if social security taxes weren't confiscated by the feds
and substituted with treasury bonds, we would still have a $300 billion deficit.
With the earned income tax credit acting as a front end welfare measure,
basically exempting any one with at least one dependent if they make less than
$30,000 from paying anything, there is a significant amount of anti-productive
influences in the tax system today. Really James, I am surprised you've bought
the welfare establishment's con about 'corporate welfare'. If the government
wants to pay me to conduct research and development for technology or equipment
they want, nobody is giving me anything for free. Welfare is when you take money
from someone and give it to someone else. Failing to take money out of my pocket
that I earned fairly is not welfare, it is my money. When are people going to
gripe about the bureaucracy welfare, which is the keeping of millions of useless
people in unproductive government jobs, merely to keep them from going postal on
their neighbors or congressmen.

> > |
> > |The wholehearted supporter of Public Choice might say that this is
> > |because more people believe that welfare spending will benefit them
> > |than believe that defence spending will. But the whole point of the
> > |libertarian economic case is that such things as the surge of "Great
> > |Society" welfare programs benefit no one with the possible exception
> > |of the people who administer them, that such spending increases the
> > |very poverty it is supposed to reduce.(2)
> And this isn't the case for the military-industrial complex who has reaped
> trillions of dollars is capital during the same time period?! The same
> companies who were padding their books with $1000 screws!? Give me a break!
> > |
> > |Partly, this is because these schemes increase the number of poor
> > |people, which in turn leads to even more welfare spending. It is
> > |like the rolling of a snowball down a steep slope.
> I'll agree with you here. Over the long haul welfare does nothing but
> increase dependency and decrease innovation both in peoples lives and that of
> corporations who are not truly competing in the free-market.
> My only contention to the argument against welfare though, is we need to
> consider humanitarian alternatives for peoples lives as the become
> increasingly superfluous in an automated high-output economy.
> Paul

   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
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