Should we make Government Better, or Smaller?

The concept of Reinventing Government, from the 1992 book by the same name, offers no clue about what government should or shouldn’t do.

Should we try to make government better, or smaller?

Should the state introduce more creative lottery games, or get out of the gambling business altogether?

Should it improve profit margins in state-controlled liquor stores, or privatize them?

Should it try to create jobs through economic development programs, or remove regulations, taxes, and other impediments that prevent the private sector from creating more jobs itself?

Our Founding Fathers saw good government as the protector of our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness―not the supplier of our entertainment, alcohol, and employment.

Legitimate questions about the role of government get lost in the zeal to simply make it better.

About Steve Buckstein

Senior Policy Analyst and founder.
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5 Responses to Should we make Government Better, or Smaller?

  1. Larry McClanahan says:

    Q: “Should we try to make government better, or smaller?”
    A: Yes.

  2. Mark A says:

    Larry – I had the same reaction when I read the article – one can do both, and as a former public servant (now called public employee – and I think the distinction is important), I believe a smaller government would help it become better – more focused on core functions & more responsive and accountable to the public.

  3. Neil Huff says:

    I would be quite content-and shocked- if they would simply adhere to the US Constitution in letter and spirit. That would stop Washington and state govts from
    poking their noses into areas of our lives the Constitution does not explicitly permit.

  4. Neil Huff says:

    Do you think perhaps there is a relationship between the growth of govt, accompanying regulation and enforcement and public employee unions? Common sense and our growing knowledge of how these unions operate certainly suggest such a relationship. As I spent many yrs outside the USA I have no idea when and how public employees (i.e. public servants) managed to obtain the right to form unions.

    It certainly seems to have been a very bad idea, putting these organizations in a position to do precisely what we see happening, effecting a political agenda that guarantees them an ever expanding jobs sector. One- need we say it- that produces no wealth or general economic benefit for the nation. In fact quite the opposite.

  5. Neil Huff says:

    A point. According to some economists, Obama’s job creation program has generated new jobs. but 71% are in government. This adds some weight to my assertion above regarding the way a unionized public sector is a self aggrandizing entity.

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