Originally Posted by badhatharry
Starwatcher's original statement was that small government doesn't give us vibrant small business but instead gives us Shell Oil. My response was that small government gives us many things. I said this mostly because I thought his statement ignored reality. Then you say that small government brings us economic feudalism and poor technological advancement.
I understand that we are all engaged in hyperbole here. But I will say this. Faith in government is just as ridiculous as how you describe faith in free markets. The government is the same collection of self interested people you find in the free market. If you think there is some magic about government which makes people act better than in business then I think you are deluded. Have a look at the latest financial crisis as a good example.
The reason people use the term small government, I think, is to distinguish it from the overreaching type of government that will exist (and exists now) unless people put their feet down and resist the urge of government to grow.
And as far as 'advancement'. I agree that the government plays a big part in it, but never alone. And then there is the larger question about whether all this advancement is all that wonderful. We can text but kids can't read or compute. But that's a discussion for another day.
PS. after reading your post again, I see that we are probably mostly in agreement. But regarding zealotry and excess being a downside. Perhaps it takes zealotry to get off the dime and make change...something we humans are adverse to.
Thanks for the thoughtful response, and we can disagree about zealotry. My take on it is that hyper-enthusiasm opens one up to passing misinformation if it re-enforces one's cause, or point of view.
Microchips were developed to reduce weight, and reduce the amount of rocket thrust required for space exploration. Government inspired, private industry supported, this kind of research and development has not only kept the US in the economic and scientific lead for decades, but helped bring an end to the cold war, regardless of who thinks we may be worse off as a result.
My main point is in my signature, both sides of these arguments posit slippery slopes to destruction. If we are to move forward, I consider it very important to sideline counterproductive and non-fact based rhetoric.