Most people want to the do the right thing, I feel. Almost everyone wants to make the right decisions, help others, help themselves and their families. Almost no one is pure evil. We just have different ideas about how things should work.
How do we take care of the people? Who should do it? Some people advocate for a more and more social role for the Government. More welfare, more wealth distribution via taxes on the rich, more Government control of healthcare, the list goes on.
I get that. In some ways I even agree. I agree that wealth inequality needs to be addressed, healthcare and education should be better, and the poor should be helped, but is more Government the answer? The truth is Government has in many ways become too large, too corrupt, too debt prone, too powerful, and too entangled into our everyday lives to help. There are too many alliterative motives in place. The worst part is that many of us have invited it, begged for it even.
The Price of More Government is too High
The more we accept from Government, the more dependent we become, the more the Government can get away with. This is happening already. Already the Government is building the biggest data center in history aimed at tracking and monitoring every phone call, every email, every Google search, and every other piece of electronic communication there is. All in the name of fighting terrorism, really?
Additionally we see legislation almost daily, sneaking by on major holidays, giving the Government control over internet communications, ability to kill and detain Americans without trial indefinitely, and more. (SOPA, PIPA, NDAA) There are even rumors of the Government using Google and Facebook to gather information on US citizens.
Two issues come to mind when I think about all this. One, how can give so much responsibility to a Government that is doing all of these things? Two, what are the dangers of becoming completely dependent on the biggest and most intrusive Government in world history?
Higher taxes doesn’t mean giving to the poor, it means giving to the Government
I’ve argued before that higher taxes do not address wealth inequality. I hear over and over that the rich should “pay there fair share”, but what I never hear is the Government promising that money to the poor. Why are advocates of higher taxes for the rich so adamant? In truth 95% of those additional tax dollars will likely go toward war, pet projects, and pork barrel spending. Why do we deny this? Money from the rich will surely be transfered directly or indirectly to the pockets of the rich all the while financing more war and more sacrifises to our liberties – data centers aren’t cheap.
Smaller Government, not Anarchy
Having said all that, I’m not against the Government. I still enjoy my roads, I appreciate public parks, I am thankful for our national defense, and all the other legitimate services the Government provides. I just ask for a balance. A balance between every individual doing their part and accepting responsibility for themselves, their family, and their community – and not passing the buck or expecting the Government to take care of it for them.
It is an important fact that every ounce of responsibility we allow the Government to accept for us is another ounce of opportunity, privacy, and liberty we willingly forfeit. That’s the trade off. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”