The first question that needs to be asked is, “Are we a government or are we a state?” According to FEE, The Foundation for Economic Education, “A government is the consensual organization by which we adjudicate disputes, defend our rights, and provide for certain common needs.” Whereas, “A state, on the other hand, is a coercive organization asserting or enjoying a monopoly over the use of physical force in some geographic area and exercising power over its subjects.‖” With that understanding, it begs a second question, “When does a government get so big and powerful that it becomes a state?” Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Since we elect politicians who are just as self-interested as the rest of us, it should be no surprise that they are probably not going to act in the interest of the public. This could explain voting patterns, lobbying efforts, deficit spending, corruption, the expansion of government, and the opposition of lobbyists and members of Congress to term limits.
The bigger a government gets the more corrupt and inefficient it gets. It seems that when an issue arises in the country and the government does not know how to handle, it must form another agency. According to the Federal Register there are around 440 federal agencies in the Federal Government.2 The programs these agencies administer often overlap, leading to fragmented, duplicate, and inefficient efforts costing billions of taxpayer dollars.
In September 2015, CNS News reported that there were 21,995,000 people employed by the federal, state and local governments in the United States.3 Compare this to just 12,329,000 people employed in the manufacturing sector. The Federal Government overtook manufacturing as a U.S. employer in 1989 and has continued to grow while manufacturing jobs continue to decline.
The bigger the government grows the less citizens trust it. They simply don’t trust that a new law was made fairly or independently or in some cases even democratically. They doubt that the result was based on facts and question the conviction of politicians. Voters distrust government so much that they are not willing to accept the results of virtually any decision made by the political process. Why? Maybe it is because the government is becoming more obtrusive in our lives. It exercises power over us by limiting or even eliminating choices that used to be taken for granted.
Interestingly, there is a dichotomy that exists among our culture. There are those that are deeply concerned over a growing and overbearing government and then there are those that want the government to take more control. The latter believes that government should redistribute wealth and provide more for its citizens. Free health care and free college are two examples that come to mind.
Throughout history, no free nation has ever thrived when it went from a capitalist democracy to a socialist state. Yet, most working examples of socialism today are supported by capitalism and visa versa. The imbalance between the two determines whether people are going to have the ability to make more choices or fewer choices. Those that favor socialism should consider these words from Winston Churchill, ―”Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
Americans have a choice on November 8, 2016. They must decide who, but more importantly what kind of government they want to have. America is in decline like all nations in the past have that subjected themselves to more and more socialism. When a government becomes a state there is no return without misery and devastation. Let’s hope Americans are smart enough to make the right decision.
1. David Boaz, 1 April 1997, FEE – Foundation for Economic Education, ―What Big Government Is All About‖ https://fee.org/articles/what-big-government-is-all-about/ 2. Federal Register – The Daily Journal of the United States https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies
3. Terence P. Jeffrey, 8 September 2015, CNS News, ―21,995,000 to12,329,000: Government Employees Outnumber Manufacturing Employees 1.8 to 1‖ http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/21955000