What Is The Role Of Government


If we erect government to resolve disputes, protect from fraud and safeguard Liberty, where do we get the idea that we need to redistribute wealth?

Why do we tax from some and give to others?

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6 comments
  1. There are a few reasons. The first is practical: social welfare programs were started by conservative parties in Europe to: a) deal with the deep inequities caused by the industrial revolution that they felt could weaken society by having some in abject poverty while others are extremely wealthy; and b) to undercut the socialists, whose response to those inequities was to forment revolution. If social welfare programs had been implemented, the Socialists may have succeeded.

    Relatedly, the constitution leaves government to the people, and the people have to decide if they think outcomes of market forces are good for the general welfare or not. If they decide that such outcomes hurt equality of opportunity or create unfair advantages, people can — within the framework of the constitution — choose to tax, spend, and even redistribute (though I personally don’t think redistribution per se should be the goal — the goal should be to assure all have real opportunity). So the bottom line is: a) protection against revolt; and b) a choice by the people of what functions they want their governments to fulfill.

    • pino said:

      Relatedly, the constitution leaves government to the people, and the people have to decide if they think outcomes of market forces are good for the general welfare or not. If they decide that such outcomes hurt equality of opportunity or create unfair advantages, people can — within the framework of the constitution — choose to tax, spend, and even redistribute (though I personally don’t think redistribution per se should be the goal — the goal should be to assure all have real opportunity).

      I’ve been thinking the past few days that before people try and debate what the Constitution says, it would be useful to understand what we want that Constitution to say.

      I want the Federal Government to enforce the “rules”. That is, to act more like referees. It would be small and would have no desire to make someone’s life better or worse. Only that fraud and Liberties be watched over.

      I fully acknowledge that in this scenario, there could and would be massive disparities in income and I think the Federal Government should not care about that in the least.

      As we get more local I would suggest that the people look after and tend to each other. If towns, cities, counties or states would like to enact welfare systems, they should be able to do so. If not, then not.

  2. Read up on social capitalism.

    Some taxes are necessary for roads, parks, national defense, etc. The government must also protect property rights and promote fair play.

    Admittedly, right now the government is mostly owned by the corporate agenda.

    • pino said:

      Some taxes are necessary for roads, parks, national defense, etc.

      Agreed. No one disputes that government has a role.

      The government must also protect property rights and promote fair play.

      Not sure what’cha mean by “promote fair play”. I don’t think that I would agree with that. UNLESS you mean that we punich non-fair play.

      right now the government is mostly owned by the corporate agenda.

      I think I’m mostly there with ya on that one. Can you explain further?

  3. “promote fair play”
    I meant via upholding intellectual property rights, upholding contracts, preventing monopolies, protecting the people in some areas such as the FDA (although the FDA screws up a lot too) and things like that.

    “Owned by the corporate agenda”
    I mean that politicians have there hands tied with conflicts of interest with corporations. They often rely on corporate donations and lobbying to get re-elected or receive money by some other means by the corps and become more tied to corporate interests than the people they are supposed to represent. For example, a congressman or judge may uphold the idea of eminent domain so that a giant Pharm company can move in on private property (actually happened).

    I don’t disagree that we are generally overtaxed though – sales tax, property tax, motor vehicle tax, state income tax, federal income tax, just to name a few…

    • pino said:

      I meant via upholding intellectual property rights, upholding contracts, preventing monopolies, protecting the people in some areas such as the FDA (although the FDA screws up a lot too) and things like that.

      Ahh, yeah. I agree. Protecting property is a massive plank in Classic Liberalism.

      I mean that politicians have there hands tied with conflicts of interest with corporations.

      Yes. I agree.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the block and the neighbors!

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