5 Stupid Ideas You Won't Believe the Government Actually Thought Of

08/22/20158 Comments

Ever wondered about the mating habits of Japanese quail on cocaine? What would happen if you nuked the moon? If a cat could be used to guide a missile? Well, don't worry: The government has already looked into it for you. Join James in this week's subscriber newsletter as he takes a look at the stupidest ideas ever cooked up by government. Also, explore recommended reading and viewing on the gold standard, libertarian debates, taxi drivers vs. uber drivers and more.

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  1. I can already hear how my friends would respond to these examples. The people who made these mistakes were stupid. Therefore, we need to vote in smarter people to the government, not those troglodytes from the opposition party.

    People tend to believe that the character of the person in power determines the outcomes of that power. It’s a tough thing to show that the system of power itself produces these ridiculous outcomes. That documentary “Pandora’s Box” was a terrific attempt at such an explanation. Still, people believe they can will things into reality and, having lost the traditions of voluntary cooperation, see government coercion as the only option.

  2. paul823 says:

    Thanks James, nice article.
    Just a question for the Americans here, it was mentioned in this article that you guys ‘pay taxes’. Is this something that you have to do once a year? I’m asking because here in the Downunder Land of the Worlds best Nanny-Police State the tax is pinched out of our weekly pay packets automatically?

    So just curious how other governments do it.


    • It sounds as if it’s similar to your situation (here in the states) Both Federal and State taxes are automatically deducted from our paychecks via our employers. Our employers even pay taxes on having us as employees. As well as the taxes we pay when we engage in virtually any transaction of any kind. A tax on fuel/gas/diesel; sales tax (not in every state); if you own property/real estate you pay a yearly property tax; an inheritance tax; a runny nose tax, a squeaky shoe tax; an excessive emotional response tax; a lack of emotional response tax; a breathing tax; a tax tax… just to name a few, some obviously satirical.

  3. Knarf says:

    Pigeons, how quaint. A disembodied brain suspended in circulating fluid has much better G-tolerance, and the neural-to-digital interface can be designed to deliver limitless simulated pain or pleasure to incentivize training.

    Have you signed your organ donor card yet?


  4. How I know we’re winning:

    It’s becoming increasingly easy to laugh at tyrants.

    As always, James, Great work. Thanks for the links.

  5. Man of the World says:

    Fork me this is funny.

  6. stayinga says:

    I don’t know if the F35 was a stupid idea or the most brilliant military industrial program ever created. Apparently, they took the lessons from the failed F22 and decided to have multiple participants engaged to support the project. Support was so strong it carried it through years of delays and cost over runs. Its only not that sales and support is dropping off. And even if it gets cancelled defense contractors are so incestuous everyone still wins with the next attempted fighter.
    This, in spite of the failure of similar multi-role fighters, such as Top Guns F14 Tomcat from the TFX program. The F14 was developed after the Navy withdrew from the TFX programming which was producing a multi-role fighter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics%E2%80%93Grumman_F-111B). Lockheed even partnered with the Russians and used their failed Yak 41 designs and testing to develop their own version (http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/aircraft/types/yakovlev-yak-41-freestyle.htm). The British built two huge aircraft carriers with no other provisions for fighters except the STOVL F35B ( http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/mar/24/prince-of-wales-aircraft-carrier-makes-little-sense-report). They now have no aircraft for their brand new carriers.

    If you really investigate how the F35 is pushed through governments it becomes incredibly easy to see the corruption. Here in Canada our government started to approve the purchase until an auditor general report revealed the program was underfunded by about $25 billion ( http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_201204_02_e_36466.html). These are supposed to be our leaders and have the inside information to make decisions on military purchases yet they couldn’t identify the risk of under budget and years behind schedule. Most people would have started a new competition.

    So, stupidity or genius??

  7. Duck says:

    “…Studying the Mating Habits of Japanese Quail on Cocaine…”

    I wonder if some of the coke was diverted for ‘human experimentation’ ?

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