Most people believe that we need government protection. Democrats want government to protect us from corporations, poverty, and ourselves. Republican want the government to protect us from foreign nations and criminals.
The great danger in seeking protection from the government is that once a regulatory role is given to the government, the bureaucracy entrenches itself and is nearly impossible to roll back. This bureaucracy is generally recognized to be at best quite inefficient, and at worst, outright evil in it’s selfish attempts to protect itself.
Countless examples illustrate this process, but here is one from each side of the political aisle.
After 9/11, America passed several laws to try to give us greater protection. Twenty years later, we have spent trillions of dollars funding TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. Our safety levels may be slightly higher, but I don’t think anyone would agree to the cost per person we have paid… At least $6 extra on every plane ticket and $2,166 per person per year in America for the military.
The FDA was founded in 1906 after muckraking journalists had found a few deaths from people who died from contaminated drugs. Since then, the FDA bureaucracy has grown enormous and enormously powerful. In just the last ten years, the FDA has seen it’s budget double from $2.6 billion to over $5 billion. The FDA is supposedly protecting us from bad products, but in reality is protecting big companies from competition and doing everything it can to grow it’s bureaucracy further.
The Covid vaccine was actually developed in just two days many months ago, but the FDA required extensive testing which caused many months of delay. The vaccine needed that testing, but I think people should have had the option to take it early if a company was confident enough to sell it. Nearly 2 million people have died worldwide now, if very high risk populations had been allowed to take it early we could have saved many of those. We allow people to do things we KNOW to be bad for their health (smoking, alcohol consumption, gambling), so why not have the freedom to try a unproven vaccine if you thought it was worth it?
Freedom is the ability to choose what you wish to do, even if other people think that might be bad for you. The government as a whole has grown and grown from what originally was a small and limited government offering Americans an amount of freedom that was nearly unprecedented in history to a bloated behemoth that regulates and controls almost everything you do and spends 38% of the GDP generated on your behalf.
We now live in a nation where we have a massively bloated military, and dozens of agencies that try to control your behavior. This has allowed special interests of all kinds to flourish – companies (like Comcast) lobby for government benefits (like telecom monopolies) instead of competing to make customers happy, politicians pander to massive government employee unions to get votes, and the military ends up being used foolishly in foreign disasters over and over again. Instead of working hard, companies and people are asking politicians for handouts. Corruption grows at an unprecedented pace.
Have you ever seen a government agency give back any of it’s budget or regulatory powers?
Thomas Jefferson – “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”