Friedman and Randian SKYSCRAPERS!

Here’s the thing about this—we used to be able to build some impressive stuff quickly as well.

  • Empire State Building: 410 days.
  • Rockefeller Center (14 buildings): nine years—of which Radio City Music Hall was done in the first two years and 30 Rock in three.
  • Golden Gate Bridge: four years.
  • Hoover Dam: five years.
  • North American P-51 Mustang fighter: 119 days.
  • The Pentagon: two years.
  • Manhattan Project: three years.
  • Gateway Arch: two years.
  • Apollo Program: eight years.

Note, some of these are private, some are government-built, some are private contractors building for the government. So that’s not the key vector, is it? So, Friedman, what’s the key factor here? Might it be regulation and the ability of small groups to tie up large projects through politics? If so, how do you square that with your advocacy of an increasingly large, progressive state? Or do you think our already large state just needs more power and will? If that’s the case, how do you disentangle yourself from association with the Continental, particularly German political-philosophical schools who followed that to some very troubling ends in Germany, Russia, Italy, etc.?

Or is the answer to explicitly clear out the political/bureaucratic obstacles in the way of ambitious projects, or some other Classical-Liberal solution? Inquiring minds want to know.