Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How Big Should Government Be?

Many people ask me - or accuse me, as the case may be - if what I really want is no government. Because I express more than my fair share of disdain for the State, and all its programs, taxes, regulations, rules, wars, and other intrusions on individual liberty and basic human rights, I must in fact be an anarchist, who wants to abolish government altogether. So, is it true?

Well, I happen to agree with the late Harry Browne who once said something to the effect that asking, and answering, such questions at this point in time is meaningless because it's just not an option available to us. Government continues to grow (in increments), and as we persuade more and more people of the merits of liberty, it is very likely that government will shrink in increments, probably in proportion to the speed that the liberty movement grows.

But still...people insist that I answer the question: Am I really just an anarchist who wants no government at all?

To draw upon former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, for me, the "ideal" size of government is kind of like pornography: I'll know it when I see it.

So let's start shrinking government, and I'll tell you when to stop.

(Or...maybe I won't.)

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