Freeman

November 1986

Volume 36, 1986

FEATURES

Underground Government

NOVEMBER 01, 1986 by HANS SENNHOLZ

n a similar way, when constraints on government pose a major threat to politicians, government employees, and powerful interest groups that benefit from political largess, government goes underground. When budget cuts threaten the position and incomes of politicians and bureaucrats they react by going "off-budget." Whether they are committed philosophically to expand the political arena or just defend their economic existence and life style, off-budget operations are an important procedure for achieving their goal.

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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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