2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #316
Yes, we certainly do need government, but Thomas Jefferson once famously said that most bad government comes from too much government. So how much do we need? What is its place? For the federal government a great place to answer those questions is to examine Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution. Here our country’s Founders delegated specific powers from “We the People” to Congress, but those not delegated were expressly retained by the states and the people. So, for example, you can look in vain to find any provision for the federal government to be involved in things like education or healthcare. Yes, the states can be involved in those things, plus in areas like safety in the workplace, protecting us from wrongly being harmed or our property wrongly taken by others, child work and welfare laws, etc. So, yes, governments have a place in some areas.
But where have governments strayed that not only are ineffective, but often harmful? On that issue I quote Dr. Milton Friedman, who said that “We should judge our government programs by their results, not their good intentions.” Following that advice would bring about a positive revolution all around our country. Why? Because then laws that provide for things like rent control, which directly reduce the availability of housing, would be abolished. The same result would occur for minimum wage laws, which directly take away jobs from the poorest educated or skilled workers. And AB5, which was passed to strengthen labor unions but which seriously reduced employment for many willing workers, would be gone. All of these laws sounded good, but are harmful in the big picture. We have also seen egregious examples of governmental overreach in this recent pandemic, where many mayors and governors have issued unilateral decrees about what businesses and schools must be closed down, and what personal movements, behaviors and personal freedoms would be restricted! And most of the people in our country have acquiesced to those destructive, arbitrary and mostly unscientific rules, restrictions and mandates. Shame on all of us! These edicts have often deprived us of our Liberty! Government cannot effectively stop, start or run our economy or regulate our health, and it has no business trying! So in these areas, governments have no place!
Thought for the week: Lance isn’t a common name now, but in medieval times men were named Lance a lot.
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President
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