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The Nature of Government

posted Sep 9, 2012, 2:06 PM by Angelica Wolf   [ updated Nov 9, 2013, 3:37 PM ]
As far as government being our provider and caretaker, I believe our founders would have said that government is a necessary evil and therefore it should be strictly limited. This is why our Constitution spends less time talking about our rights but instead spells out exactly what government can do and especially it's limitations. They understood that it is the nature of government to grow and become more intrusive in the lives of those it is supposed to serve. I believe they also understood that power always seeks more power. People in Congress believe they need to "fix" things. Worse, some actually believe they can. 

When you speak about Waste in government, you are beginning to understand its true nature. It cannot be efficient. Those who hold the purse strings will never value the money as much as those it is being taken from simply because they did not earn it. This is basic human nature. We do not value things that are free. No matter how much money you throw at a social problem, it will never change human nature. As Ronald Reagan once famously said, "Liberals fought the war on poverty... and they lost." When government talks about providing free healthcare, free education, free food, etc. they're not being honest. None of these things exist for free. They are taking the hard work and diligent effort of one individual and giving it to another. To some degree, most of us can agree on some redistribution of wealth. We need roads, schools, hospitals, technological development, a strong military, etc. to keep our union strong. However, in an effort to grow itself, government is becoming the universal feeding trough of the masses. Every country that has tried this has gone bankrupt. When people are seeing most of their wealth confiscated and given to others who didn't earn it, they simply stop producing or they leave. Either way, we lose. As Vladimir Lenin once wrote, "The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation."

We would always do well to remember that our goal should be to keep government as small and unobtrusive as possible. If we keep on promising everything to everybody to get votes, the takers will eventually outnumber the producers. Alexander Tyler, a history professor at University of Edinborough in his essay The Fall of The Athenian Republic wrote, "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship." (emphasis mine) Tyler wrote those words in 1787. Our founders wisely feared what government could become if human nature was left unchecked.

© 2011, Angelica Wolf


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