INTERMEDIATE

Ratchet Effect

A term coined by economist Robert Higgs that describes the problem in governance that arises when government intervention increases during crises such as wars, natural disasters, or economic depressions.  After the crisis government meets resistance in reversing the intervention, creating a situation where government intervention rarely returns to pre-crisis levels, which lead to a constant ratcheting up effect in growth of government intervention over time.

 

Robert Higgs - Liberty and the Long Run Growth of Government

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Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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