December 14, 2015

“How big should government be?” [Darleen Click]

“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

~~Robert Heinlein

Posted by Darleen @ 10:42pm
28 comments |

Comments (28)

  1. Not only do I not want to be subject to someone else’s control, I don’t want to be bothered with controlling/nannying other people.

    I think the latter is an overlooked component of the matrix here.

  2. Big enough to force 18 yr. old female waifs onto the selective service rolls; from thence to training in the combat arms; from thence to the front lines of World War II to kill and perish in the meat-grinder of modern industrial warfare. Howzat for big?

  3. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number.

    “GOD, save us from all true believers!” One of my Dad’s more fervent audible prayers.

  4. Prager forgot the the centrists: all those people who want government to be big enough to do things that they like and/or personally benefit from, but not so big as to do things that they don’t like or wouldn’t benefit from.

    Seems to me that we need to swing the discussion away from big vs. small government and back towards citizen vs. subject/client.

  5. government should be unobtrusive

  6. Until it needs to be obtrusive.

    ISIS isn’t going to blow itself to hell, you know.

    (Actually, come to think of it, maybe it would.)

  7. This is kinda a two pronged question. The FEDERAL government should be the minimum size necessary to fulfil its constitutional duties. LOCAL government should be as large or small as the locals want it, providing they don’t violate individual civil liberties.

  8. When I had jobs supervising people I never had the desire to control them, it is probably why I was not popular with the higher ups. I felt my job was to train, schedule, make sure they had what they needed to do their work, and answer questions. It was up to them to do the job and not for me to to control their every move.

    Even if you think some control is necessary, think about riding a horse. You may need to guide it in the right direction but, you do not need to tell it how to walk.

  9. Sorry bear person, I don’t need the government supervising me or guiding me. I need the government to ensure individual liberty and oversee a level playing field. After that they should be unobtrusive as a parlor maid.

  10. Lee, you’re comparing workplace controls to government interactions with citizens. A business must have top-down controlling structures or it will be ineffective and lose in a competitive marketplace. ‘Flattened’ corporations may allow some feedback bottom-to-top, but structure and control is still very necessary. Unless you’re a one-man outfit; in which case your self-control had better be excellent.

    I like to visualise government as practicing animal husbandry. Given the size of the USA herd, we’ve seen those who constitute the Ruling Class become more and more rigid and controlling, especially at the federal level and in the macroburgs. Unfortunately we can only expect it to get worse as population densities increase.

    In the past, those of us who chafe at these yokes could go elsewhere. Harsh environments are still the best places to be if you don’t like crowds.

  11. Pingback: Watcher of Weasels » Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Reassurance Edition

  12. Pingback: Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Reassurance Edition | Viewpoints of a Sagitarrian

  13. My senior year at a non-coed Catholic high school, we seniors were all carted off into the hills to a retreat with the girls from a Catholic high school in Santa Rosa. We were profoundly supervised, but that’s not my point.

    One of the exercises was to guide a blindfolded fellow student around the place, to do things like bounce a ball to a clapping staffer or greet a dog, those kinds of things.

    I managed through premeditation, focus, and luck to guide the hottest girl, and I don’t know how I knew to guide her with gentle nudges (maybe it was the profound supervision…), but it established trust and made the exercise go well for both of us.

    When it came time to change places though, the formerly guided weren’t allowed to guide their former guides — and my guide was heavy-handed with a tendency to oversteer.

    My conclusion: Some people just don’t know how, and even those that know how won’t necessarily get the girl.

  14. What I especially liked about bg’s remark was “. . . you do not need to tell it how to walk”, induces the thought that no-one would know how to tell it how to walk. That’s Hayek’s whole point, if yet in this case in regard to a horse rather than more complex human beings.

  15. Prager forgot the the centrists: all those people who want government to be big enough to do things that they like and/or personally benefit from, but not so big as to do things that they don’t like or wouldn’t benefit from.

    What goes missing is the form (by which is meant here absolute adherence to checks and balances), whether the government is large or small.

    So what goes missing is Madison’s teaching in Fed. 10 and 51. It’s the fucking form, not the size that’s critical — although Madison makes use of the proposed size of the Republic to argue for the efficacy of its form.

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is theft; piracy; brigandry; although committed by men and women in suits: it is the perfect embodiment of injustice done against the people and tax-payers of the United States while claiming to be done in their name. It is the complete opposite of the aim of the Constitution of the United States.

  16. Come on, sdferr, you know Obama’s smart enough to tell it how to walk. Just ask him…

  17. Pingback: Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Reassurance Edition | Nice Deb

  18. Thanks, sdferr, that was exactly my point and I guess I did not use the right words to please mr. bascom.

  19. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
    of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
    under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
    The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may
    at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good
    will torment us without end for they do so with the approval
    of their own conscience.”

    –C.S. Lewis.

  20. Pingback: Our Watcher’s Council Nominations — Reassurance Edition | therightplanet.com

  21. Sorry bear, I’m getting uppity these days. I’m even starting to get sick of the use of “leader” in describing our elected officials. Mostly I’m sure due to our current elected officials “leading” us in directions against the will of the people, like in open borders and the whole climate change boondoggle.

    Our elected officials are supposed to be representatives, public servants doing the will of the voters, not authoritarians deciding how the voters should live.

    Now naturally there is a sense in which the president is the leader. He is responsible for preserving the constitution and is the leader of the administrative branch of government towards that mission. He is the leader of the armed forces. But, he is NOT the leader of my pursuit of happiness.

    If you weren’t drawing a parallel between employers and government, I apologise. If you were, Ill stick to my point.

  22. Well said and I wasn’t. Just typing fast while working and not structuring very well.

    My first paragraph was about my lack of desire to control others.

    Second paragraph was better summarized by sdferr by mentioning Hayek and government’s “knowledge problem”. Even if an elected “leader” thinks it is his job to guide people to certain outcomes, he is a fool to think he knows how that outcome can best be achieved.

  23. Pingback: Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Reassurance Edition | www.independentsentinel.com

  24. Pingback: Watchers Council Nominations – Reassurance Edition! – Grumpy Opinions

  25. Pingback: Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Reassurance Edition | NoisyRoom.net

  26. Pingback: Trevor Loudon's New Zeal Blog » Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Reassurance Edition

  27. Pingback: Watcher’s Council nominations for December 16, 2015

  28. “The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

    Bobby Heinlein was so spot on.