Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI:

If big government doesn\’t do what it says on the tin then why have big government?

3 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. We can live with small government, just like we can survive with small tumours.

    But they grow.

    You got an answer to that Tim?. As Stephen Molyneux points out–the US was crafted to have the world’s smallest possible govt (and that was betrayed right from the start) and now they have the world’s largest and one of the nastiest (and getting nastier all the time).

  2. Hmm, I’m not so sure that America was ever crafted for small government. The problem with this analysis is that America has a constant tension between the State and the Federal; it was crafted for limited Federal government, but not small government in general. Under the original interpretation of the Constitution, Maryland or Ohio can be Nazi, or Communist, or anything else. Just so long as the Feds don’t get involved.

    So it’s more of a local big government system. The USA might be supposed to be “small government” but that doesn’t apply to the States. Which is a bit like those people who oppose the EU having power, because they want all the power in Westminster, to be used indiscriminately. As Sean Gabb said once somewhere, half of UKIP just want out of the EU so they can ban tits and bums on the telly without interference from a higher power. The USA isn’t so much a tale of government growth, as a tale of power transference from the States to the Federal level. Tyranny always seeks the highest level.

    And what this means really is that localism is not much use to Libertarians. If I’m not allowed to smoke, it matters not very much to me whether it was banned by Brussels, Westminster or the biddies on the Parish Council.

  3. “So let’s limit government to only those things that must be done by government: where it is both necessary that they be done and also that the coercion of either the law or taxation is necessary for them to be done.”

    Well yes, and I think that (to take an extreme example), Stalin would not have have disagreed with you there.

    The debate, surely, is about what things are “necessary to be done”.

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