January 4

Ep. 0047: It’s 2015 – So where’s my hoverboard???

Not to mention my flying car, my Mr. Fusion (to power my flying car with garbage), and some of the other future technologies depicted in the 2015 of the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II.  (I admit I was inspired in part by the many internet memes floating around about this topic.)

The short answer: the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) consumed the money, resources, and brainpower to do such things as make better implements for killing and spying.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • Some of the technologies depicted in Back to the Future Part II‘s fictional portrayal of 2015
  • The question of why we don’t have as much improvement in transportation and energy technologies as the film depicted
  • Prof CJ’s answer:  the state, especially the MIC, removed those resources (financial, physical, and human) from the consumer economy which might have led to those types of developments, and used them to make more effective means of killing and surveillance
  • Some specific instances — ranging from the space race to the nuclear arms race to the modern ‘war on terror’ and surveillance state — of massive money and resources diverted to the garrison state
  • Frederic Bastiat’s conception of ‘the unseen’ and ‘the broken window fallacy,’ and how this analysis helps us understand how the MIC displaces resources out of the economy in a zero-sum game of opportunity costs
  • How even Dwight Eisenhower of all people understood this
  • The effect all this has has on average Americans’ wages, which have been stagnant or declining for about four decades
  • An acknowledgement of the damage done to the economy by other state activities, and Prof CJ’s argument as to why the MIC is the most damaging of all

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Posted January 4, 2015 by profcj in category "American History", "Podcasts


  1. By Alison Bruce on

    Regarding the supposed uselessness of the space program to the average American: https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2008/tech_benefits.html

    I’ll concede the wastage involved in the Cold War and NSA… although if they used the heat generated by the computers spying on Americans to generate power, how cool would that be?


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