Chapter

Seeking Security in the Postwar Era

Price Fishback

in Government & The American Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226251271
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226251295 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226251295.003.0017
Seeking Security in the Postwar Era

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When World War II ended in 1945, the United States entered a new era in its economic and political history. The size, scope, and power of U.S. governments greatly exceeded their magnitudes in the “good old days” before the onset on the depression. This chapter discusses the search for security in a complex world that has led to continued expansion of national defense and the regulations and social insurance programs designed to protect the populace against adverse outcomes. It first examines the erosion of constitutional checks and the expansion of rent-seeking and then looks at the emergence of the military-industrial-congressional complex. It also considers government funding for military purposes, research and development in the late 1940s and 1950s, the role of the military in the development of the Internet, and other government policies toward innovation. In addition, the chapter discusses the rise of the welfare state, government regulation of certain economic and social activities, Great Society regulations, Richard Nixon's regulatory expansion, environmental regulation, deregulation in some industries, and the link between the growth of government and government budgets.

Keywords: national defense; United States; World War II; social insurance; rent-seeking; military-industrial-congressional complex; welfare state; Great Society regulations; Richard Nixon; government policies

Chapter.  20072 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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