Steve Horwitz has written an excellent article in which he claims, credibly in my opinion, that the United States is now a police state. Read the whole thing. It isn’t long.

And while you’re at it, read my article from a year ago, “Life in the USSA.” In his Thanksgiving 1981 interview with Barbara Walters, President Ronald Reagan, speaking during one of the warmer parts of the Cold War, told Ms. Walters that the biggest threat to our freedom was not the Soviets but our own governments. How right he was. The same applies to our own governments vis-a-vis terrorists today. Of course, the irony is that with his stepping up of the drug war, Reagan took us a step or two closer to the police state.

Three weeks after 9/11, I began a fall quarter class at the Naval Postgraduate School in which, on my first problem set, I stated Bush’s view that the terrorists were after us because of our freedom. This, I said in the question, is an hypothesis. How would you test Bush’s hypothesis, I asked. What data would you look for? Only about 2 people out of 50 refused to play, writing, essentially, that I was unpatriotic for questioning “the commander in chief.” The other 48 did play. I’ll never forget one of the answers. I wish I had photocopied it. The student, a U.S. military officer, wrote, “Congress and the President are busy, with the USA PATRIOT Act and intrusive security at airports, getting rid of our freedom. So if the President’s hypothesis is correct, there will be no more attacks.”