Sunday, June 20, 2021

Government should have less control

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 19, 2021)

If you're going to tolerate politicians, and a political government for them to operate in, what should they be allowed to do?

Not much.

Their ability to control anyone should end at government employees. The rest of us shouldn't be touched by their policies and rules.

How would this work? Government can allow its employees to do this or that, or prohibit them from doing these other things-- but anyone not employed by government isn't government's business. If you believe this would make government pointless, welcome to my world.

Beyond this limitation on who it controls, what would I accept government doing? I would accept it acting as an advisor to society, as long as it was funded by donations rather than through taxation.

Here's what I mean.

I've criticized the political Covid-19 overreactions many times, but only because government approached it like a control freak.

I wouldn't have much of an issue with government warning people about a new cold virus spreading; one which seemed to be slightly more dangerous than most. I wouldn't have been bothered if they had made suggestions and recommendations based on what they believed were the best ways to avoid harm. Advice, not rules.

If they wanted to work on a vaccine or an experimental gene therapy to combat the disease, to calm those who were scared of it, I wouldn't stop them.

Once anything becomes a mandate, though, I'm out.

The same goes for fighting crime.

Make recommendations and give information, but don't try to forcibly remake society in a way they imagine would make things better. If your idea has to be forced on society, you've failed.

Prohibition, of every kind, only makes crime worse every time it is tried, whether it is trying to limit access to alcohol, drugs, or guns. If you want to make matters worse, try a new prohibition or double down on one which is already failing to improve the situation.

Other problems require the same approach. Government could still help those in poverty, but any real solution requires staying out of economic matters, not giving handouts. Get government out of the economy and the problem would largely solve itself. Poverty wouldn't go away, but it could shrink to currently unimaginable levels, levels where those who need help could easily get all they need.

This is the kind of government I wouldn't object to very much.


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