An unflinching critical analysis of government is contained in this work, which distills complex economic and political issues for the layperson. Combining an economist's analytical scrutiny with an historian's respect for empirical evidence, the book attacks the data on which governments base their economic management and their responses to an ongoing stream of crises. Among the topics discussed are domestic economic busts, foreign wars, welfare programs such as social security, the arts of political leadership, the intrusive efforts of governments to protect people from themselves, and the mismanagement of the economy. Though focused on U.S. government actions, the book also makes revealing comparisons with similar government actions abroad and in China, Japan, and Western Europe. This book furthers the disscussions in Higgs' bestseller Crisis and Leviathan.