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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Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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