Eric Phillips


Eric Phillips, writer and graduate student in economic history, discusses his article “Military Spending and Bastiat’s ‘Unseen;'” the opportunity costs (in terms of dollars and innovation) when money is taken from the private sector and spent on national defense; why frightened Americans support enormous military budgets far in excess of what’s needed for defensive purposes; Obama’s defense “cuts” that are just reducing the rate of increase; and the high unemployment rate for young veterans, despite election year jobs programs targeted specifically for them.

MP3 here. (20:15)

Eric Phillips is a writer from Philadelphia, currently studying economic history in graduate school. He is the founder of the blog Notes & Observations. His articles have been featured on,,, and in Taki’s Magazine.

11 thoughts on “Eric Phillips”

  1. America is in decline almost across the board. There are now alternative sources in the world for trade, finance, technology and products. And America is losing more and more ground in all those areas each year that passes. So this means that America is losing more and more influence in the world and can no longer pull the strings like they use too. The only area where the US has kept most of it's dominance is the military. That is one of the few area's where the US dominance is still prevalent in the world. Today there is no military power or a combination of military powers that can defeat the US militarily. The effect of that is that the military has become the favorite tool of the American leaders to deal with both international and even domestic problems and increasingly a source of pride for the American people. This has shown on both the domestic and international fronts. Domestically despite the catastrophic fiscal and economic situation, the budget for the military has barely been touched. And also increasingly the news media, entertainment media and the politicians are singing praises of the military in chorus. Even Obama is joining in the fun. When he said in his latest state of the union address that the military should be an example for the rest of the nation. Internationally the military has become the most important asset and tool for the American foreign policy, from Asia to the Middle East to Africa. Rather it's the constant threat of war against Iran and Syria or the pivot towards Asia against China and the drone bases and special operations forces popping up like mushrooms from Africa to the Middle East to Central Asia. And even in Europe where the American presence is drawing down, still an expanding NATO and the missile defence shield is the main avenue in confronting and dealing with Russia. In the mean time the economic situation in the US it self is getting from bad to worse. The reality is that unless and untill the gigantic debt burden that is now bearing down on the US economy is dramatically reduced the US won't have a genuine economic recovery. And right now the overall debt burden on the US is on the increase. This means that the US and the rest of the world is simply waiting for the next leg of the economic collapse that would make the 2008 crisis look like a picknick.

  2. Devils advocate

    Eric Phillips
    “Every single dollar the government spends it has to extract from our private economy, as the government doesn’t produce anything… And where it gets money is from taxation, from borrowing it or just print the money. So, when they tax the public or inflate the money supply they are taking money away from the private sector, their taking money away from people who produce things to create this giant military.”

    Empire USA has all its wealth only because it has all its military. For the cost of our military is paid for out of the plunder we extract from the nations we invade and occupy. For Iraq is now using dollars again, is trading its oil for war materials made in USA again and until peak oil has come and gone, such enrichment for our Empire will never end.

    For Empire USA is ruled by our voting majority, the 51% most educated and wealthy who own all the wealth we plunder as they make sure that the lower half of American society is kept locked into a starvation minimum wage. For half the wealth owned by our voting majority would never be, without our military plundering from sea to shining sea.

  3. I like what Mr. Phillips had to say but I have never heard one of Mr. Horton's guests say "you know" as much as he did.

  4. We owe reparations to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some economists or team of economists should calculate what is owed, including the opportunity costs and interest on the opportunity costs.

  5. You get the government you vote for. The masses have only themselves to blame for this. Any vote for either the republican or democrat wings of the war party is a vote for war, death, destruction, misery, and poverty.

    Since the masses don't get the message, they will certainly get the bullet………….

    1. The only ones who vote in America, surely they are the 51% most educated and wealthy who always vote for wars of plunder. So, if we could get all the non-voters to vote, the 49% laboring-class who only want a living wage, as a write-in President would not Ron Paul get twice as many votes as the other two candidates?

  6. Elli0t-wo
    di d u hear Rense in terview with tarply? You still think Paul will save you?
    2 vote = 2 abdicate
    why would a sovereign abdicate unless his IQ = 70 and EQ = 50.1
    US needs q the ta any vet with balls left in the US or are there only cowerd civilan killers and drone driveres?
    There are enough light-poles to accomodate every israil-firster in both senate, the house, congress and ju(den)ciary.

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