Comments on: The Big Smothering State Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:23:32 +0000 hourly 1 By: OneOfTheSheep Sun, 05 Aug 2012 20:14:41 +0000 Somehow this got cut off from the preceding:

4. The obvious conclusion is that yes, government is the administrative necessary by which the “needs” of “We, the people” are met. Unfortunately, until and unless there is meaningful dialog, debate, and ultimately consensus among “we, the people” as to those NEEDS our productivity can sustain equitably over time, there can be no limit to the size of our government and no limit to the taxes that will be extracted to support it.

By: OneOfTheSheep Sun, 05 Aug 2012 20:12:45 +0000 @LEEDAP,

The reasons I AM convinced that smaller government is the answer are these:

1. It is easier to increase efficiency and effectiveness in any organization, including “government, comprised of less people.

2. The cost of maintaining any organization, including “government, is less when there are less people whose salaries and related expenses must be paid by taxation.

3. The “vested interests” of “big government”, whose salaries and related expenses are extracted by coercion from citizens, are inherently at odds with the best interests of those “governed”. Thus the saying: “I wouldn’t mind paying taxes so much if the money went to a FRIENDLY government”. ;<)

4. The obvious conclusion is that yes, government is the administrative necessary by which the “needs” of “We, the people” are met. Unfortunately, until and unless there is meaningful dialog, debate, and ultimately consensus among “we, the people” as to those NEEDS our productivity can sustain equitably over time, there can be no limit to the size of our government and no limit to the taxes that will be extracted to support it.

By: sjtom Sat, 04 Aug 2012 21:16:52 +0000 I had a friend who wanted to operate his own small business; several simple hot dog carts. He finally gave up his dream when he ran into the overwhelming amount of asinine rules and regulations and fees and whatnot. Our government, both federal and local, does everything it possibly can to kill small business.

By: LEEDAP Sat, 04 Aug 2012 19:43:51 +0000 Let’s not mix up the great thinkers of the past with the practical evolution of modern governance. At the time of Locke, Smith, Hayek and to some degree, Marx, the idea of “the will of the people” was still nascent. So a plausible theory was as powerful as historical practice. But today we have a great deal more experience with self government and those who are guided by idealistic theory often fail to account for the data we have gathered and the norms we have come to expect. So I challenge you, dear reader, to paint us all a picture of smaller government with fewer financial, environmental, and social regulations. What will the world be like in twenty years when the dominance of the corporation has risen and replaced the manager of the commons and our shared infrastructure. What will the world be like when only the rich have good roads and schools and drinking water? Who will the police and the military protect?

American exceptionalism shall lead us down a similar path as those great societies that rose to build Parthenon and the Taj Mahal past, but failed to evolve. Idealism blinds us to the conditions that exist in the present and relies on the past to construct our future.

As with the Greece of today, bigger government is not the answer. But look to China’s increasing power and try to tell me that big government cannot manage an economy. It’s a bit more complicated than a simple but plausible theory with a history of thought behind it, but without facts to support it or evidence to prove it. So I’m sorry. I’m not convinced that smaller government is the answer.

By: Samrch Sat, 04 Aug 2012 00:20:24 +0000 Most individuals lack to power to get lot of what they need
without the state like roads, trade policies, and police. Also most are not expert in the more technical products they may buy and need regulation to protect them for example health care (most never took a single course in medicine and if they did do not have the power to get most of information they need like tests of drugs) other such things are buildings (they need building inspectors and codes).

Business owners would like to be king in realm and just like to make regulations after they see something killed some of their best workers.

The politicians are not judged harshly enough for failed regulation or ones that needlessly costly. When was last time you saw a politician kicked out of office because an engineering disaster on their watch caused by dumb or corrupt regulators or regulations.

By: paintcan Fri, 03 Aug 2012 13:40:42 +0000 @usagadly – you say “A key distinction I think you miss is that of a freely adopted government with a territory and population that is self-defined and a government as an independent entity conceived of, as in medieval times, as a “corporate” state, primarily a “property” owner, whether commercial, slave-owning, employing, or real estate holding, free to “hire and fire” and independent of the human beings under its control.”

I’m not sure where you are getting this model for the Medieval or feudal government?

In medieval society – the king theoretically owned everything and even the titles of Dukes (at the top), and a variety of subcatagories of Nobility, were granted and could be withdrawn at his discretion.

But it was not until the age of the absolutist governments – Phillip II of Spain, Henry XVIII of England, Francois I, and especially the Bourbons of France, etc. that Kings really had the control of the nobility and created strong central governments. They did that to stabilize the definitions of their territories and to reduce the threat of civil war. But this is a very short description of what was going on. Louis XIV fought expensive wars with the Dutch because, even though the territory was “French” the Dutch were making commercial use of the north of France that meant they profited more than the state from the production of the region.

Medieval towns did not actually always own the land on which they were built. They obtained charters from the Dukes who governed provinces. Dukes are a political role created by the emperor Diocletion during the waning years of the Roman Empire. They might even have paid a rent of tribute to him. Everything else within the town walls and its environs might be a variety of freeholds and or long-term leases. The English still live with this legacy in the City of London. Both the Dukes of Bedford and Westminster actually have title to large parts of the City of London and the City of Westminster. They can hold control of 999-year leases. Subleases were written over the centuries in 99-year (and other) spans, as I understand it. Freeholds also exist but I don’t know much about how they were originated or who has them.

Any structures built on those sites revert to the original lessor at the end of the lease. A decade or so ago, a 200 year old hospital building across from the lower east corner of Hyde Park reverted to the Duke of Westminster. All of Bedford, Square and large parts of Covent Garden are built on land leased from the Dukes of Bedford over 300 years ago. They developed the land as Bedford Square, and the Covent Garden Market. They were responsible for the construction of Inigo Jones’, St Paul’s Church, in Covent Garden. Other than the Hospital reversion, this does not make the Dukes enormous amounts of money unless they also have actual buildings that they can rent out at current prices. The rents are still only paid in amounts determined centuries ago. And I think they are paid in Guineas, the currency traditional used by the nobility. It’s more or a ritual than anything else now.

New York City is actually almost as complicated for a few buildings. The Empire State Building had about three owners until recently. An insurance company owned the site, a Japanese business man bought the building and the Helmsley Corp. has a 99 year lease on the interior. All occupants sublet from them at a substantial markup. Donald Trump resented the lease because he bought the building from the Japanese businessman’s daughter who went to jail over a complicated issue related to the ownership of that building. Trump wanted to oust the Helmsleys’s on issues of maintenance of the interiors, but I don’t know what happened. I read a book about the machinations surrounding the Empire State Building, about ten years ago, and I think there may be many other mega buildings that are owned in the city with such varied subdivided ownership.

Governments don’t get smaller. They only change definitions and “redecorate”. The French revolution didn’t change France from being an absolutist central state. They were only able to replace the nobility who held key positions with occupants more representative of the “people”. They were never able to remove the influence of aristocrats but only to add more positions and to limit their control. In fact, the survivors of the Terror actually caused another minor revolution at the time of Louis Phillipe, or Louis Napoleon (I didn’t look this up now) when they sued the government for their lost estates. The revolution confiscated the property of emigrees, but so did the American Congress confiscate the property of Tories who fled to England. Martha’s Vineyard once belonged to the Duke of Kent, I think?

I’m sure you can find better information on Wikipedia about all of this.

The medieval towns were not independent of the persons under their control. It was the major businessmen who controlled them and everyone else had limited franchise or none at all.

I’m reading an article now about the fracking occurring in Pennsylvania. The state legislature has been under the control of big business since the robber baron years. The state legislature has written laws that don’t permit municipalities any right to prevent fracking. They have limited control of land use within their borders. PA also removes a great deal of local control over education. Because the Amish would have no public schools in their own areas if the choice was left to them,, the state was forced to write laws that over ride all towns. PA residents have no control over local school finding.

The issue of State’s Rights is a little suspicious to me and should be. Somebody is up to something and people would be wise to be skeptical. It could back fire on those who dream of greater “freedom.”

No one is ever “free. Laws govern every move you make and we are generally happiest when they are fair and more or less unnoticed. But the lack of them makes people very upset just as easily as too many. One can’t easily define “free”, “fair”, “equitable”, “transparent”, or even “just”. They are always a matter of working definitions. And they are prone to bending when the “people” are corrupt or hysterical or angry.

By: OneOfTheSheep Thu, 02 Aug 2012 22:10:31 +0000 While I have little faith in the overall “philosophy” of those who seem to flock to the Tea Party, it’s major goal of a smaller, less expensive government (of necessity, more efficient” both willing and able to “live within it’s means” is perhaps one of the lesser evil of today’s choices.

I can’t identify with the lust of “mainstream” Democrats and Republicans for ever-more tax revenue AND a ever-higher “debt limit”. This path, over time, ends ONLY with these United States becoming a “collectivist” nation.

By: OneOfTheSheep Thu, 02 Aug 2012 22:01:11 +0000 @Benny27,

People talk about things that threaten THEM. “Big government” is most definitely monolithic in the many, many ways it threatens individuals’ potential AND achievement.

The founding fathers understood this, and made their federal government structurally ponderous and resistant to change. I like the explanation: “Pro is the opposite of con, as in “Progress” and “Congress”.

While I

By: Benny27 Thu, 02 Aug 2012 21:49:48 +0000 I love how people talk about big government, as if it is a monolith. Somethings need to go, and some things are necessary. Also, Adam Smith and John Locke were pre-capitalist, in that they had no idea the power that “private individuals” (now giant corporations) would acquire. I think that a good case can be made that if these figures lived to today, they would be with the occupy wall street crowd, though certainly not the tea-party. They fought against centralized control IN GENERAL, it just happened that in their day, no one could imagine any form of central control other than the kings! Hayek, on the other hand is just a religious fanatic, sometimes proven partially correct by conscious manipulation by the super-rich.

By: ALLSOLUTIONS Thu, 02 Aug 2012 18:56:07 +0000 The facts: Unions and democrats are socialists. Marxism is a type of socialism.

All government is oppressive. It is too big and too powerful. Most government is unnecessary.

Democracy is not a good form of government; it may be better than other forms, but it is not a good form.

The facts no one wants to read.

Learn to think for yourself.

Censorship is evil.