A Simple Argument for Good Government

The founders, probably not thinking about adding a “right to free alcohol and tobacco” to the bill of rights.

1. Small government is less likely to do evil to you than big government, so small government is better.

2. People who struggle through life encourage the growth of government.

3. Therefore, given (1) and (2), it is better to help people not struggle through life.

4. Two of the primary causes of people struggling through life are coming from broken homes and living life irresponsibly.

5. Therefore, given (3) and (4), it is better to discourage both of those things.

6. Government can choose to do things that limit broken homes and living life irresponsibly.

7. Therefore, given (5) and (6), government ought to actively seek strong families and moral, responsible living.

While most conservatives likely agree with everything, many libertarians accept premise (1) but reject the conclusion (7), despite agreeing with many of the items along the way.

This line of reasoning is one of the reasons I am a conservative myself, and not a libertarian. Large government is directly tied to the needs people have and for which they then petition the government to address.

A village in a valley that floods might petition the government for something they can’t build by themselves (a dam, for instance). A child who is practically abandoned by his parents due to divorce and subsequent demands on the parents needs help in many areas of life, and so the government steps in in the name of benevolence. An adult who engages in behavior which result in disease and a broken life needs government assistance. Big government thrives on human need.

What is better is not having policies which encourage the situation in the first place. Unfortunately, a large government wants to increase in size, and so doesn’t discourage the situation. A government can’t stop a valley from flooding by changing the laws of nature, but a government can certainly prevent divorces by making them hard to get instead of more simple and convenient than filling out warranty paperwork for a refrigerator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *