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Artificial Inputs

Kevin Carson has another great piece up (shock) at C4SS:C4SS

Now we can add border militarization to America’s list of “moral equivalents of war” — all of which involve tightening state control over the public and funneling billions in loot from taxpayers to corporate interests. As part of the US Senate’s “Immigration Reform” package, the border control budget will increase by $38 billion over ten years — including the cost of funding a whole slough of choppers from Northrop-Grumman and Sikorsky.

One of the most important functions of government is buying up industrial output at taxpayer expense, and putting otherwise idle production capacity to use, rendering naturally scarce and costly inputs artificially cheap to big business at taxpayer expense.

Consider all the “industries” whose primary “customer” is the state, whose products are bought involuntarily by taxpayers, and whose “users” are a captive clientele of inmates, students, soldiers, etc., with no say in anything. We already had the Military-Industrial Complex, the War on Drugs and associated Prison-Industrial Complex, not to mention the post-9/11 National Security State. The Border War adds billions more to the bottom lines of military contractors and private prison corporations.

It’s Economics 101 that when you subsidize something, people consume more of it. When you subsidize certain inputs, the dominant business model shifts to adding more and more of these artificially cheap inputs. The result is a model of industrial growth based on adding more and more energy and natural resource inputs. The state bankrupts itself because demand for these subsidized inputs outstrips government’s ability to provide them.

Read the entire post.

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