Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Why the idea of “SMALLER GOVERNMENT” is a myth

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 2, 2012

I never cease to be amazed at the silliness, tomfoolery, and outright stupidity – that’s being kind to so describe such behavior – that some elected fools… er, officials assert.

The Seat of Government

The Seat of Government (Photo credit: Ewan-M. via Flickr)

For example, one of the most popular, well-known and oft-repeated mantras of the TEA Partiers and other radical Republicans make is one of “smaller government.”

Allow me to be uncompromisingly forthright – also known as wholly blunt: That’s utter bullshit.

Even a country bumpkin with a 6th grade education ought to be able to figure that one out. (And according to the 2010 Census, slightly over 87% of the American population has at least a 12th grade/high school education.)

Here’s why I write “that’s utter bullshit.”

When Geo. Washington, B. Franklin & others were around and making new laws to govern our nation & people, we couldn’t go to the moon, much less see Mars clearly enough through a telescope to map it’s surface. We had no cars, no Interstate highway system, no telephone, no telegraph, no television, no Internet, no cell phone, no mega-stores, no electricity, no dams, very little -if any- international trade, no FedEx, no big old jet airliners, no mega-giant luxury cruise ships, no Wal-Mart, no McDonald’s, no grocery stores that have enough food to feed an army, etc.

It’s ludicrous to imagine that as people and inventions increase that laws and the size of government would decrease. To assert an inversely proportional relationship between population and law or government is blatantly stupid, because at some point – according to that theory – government would literally disappear.

It defies logic.

It’s contradictory upon it’s face.

More People = More Laws = More Government

Let’s use a farm model.

To increase cattle production, one needs more cattle, and more cows. One bull might not be able to service the entire herd. More birthing cows need more barn space. More cattle need more feed, water and space to roam. More feed needs more storage. To have more water, one needs more pipe and more space. More cattle produce more waste. More waste needs more space. So the farmer may need more land.

All the rules that govern the production and management of cattle will increase. And then, to sell the cattle, and butcher them… more anything requires more of everything! One or two cows -perhaps even four, or five- may be a relatively simple task, but 10,000 head of cattle is an entirely different matter altogether.

It’s not to say, however, that government cannot improve efficiency. I realize also that The Cato Institute – a libertarian think tank – makes an argument against governmental efficiency, asserting that there is no such thing.

I beg to differ.

A 2008 research article entitled “Tax competition and governmental efficiency: Theory and evidence” by Maksym Ivanyna of Michigan State University, concluded that “The main result of this paper is that if the governments of 2 countries are different in their efficiency (i.e. one of them is able to produce more public good out of the same revenue) then the more efficient government charges the higher corporate tax rate. It can do so, because besides the high rate rate it offers the potential investors a qualitative public infrastructure, which reduces the cost of their production. At the same time, less efficient government is not able to compete in the level of public good provision, so it chooses to attract the firms with low taxes.

One need only examine the numerous significantly positive effects upon the Southeast United States with the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The regular flooding of the valley wrought problems for the residents by devastating fields and crops. The isolated and rural nature of the area meant that access to healthcare was extremely limited and because of that, disease could spread. One person could become infected with smallpox or malaria and an entire city or region could be devastated. There were few opportunities for commerce and farmers had limited access to markets.

The TVA brought not only rural electrification, but increased barge traffic which was utilized heavily by farmers. Then, mills and warehouses were constructed along the river’s banks. Commerce increased, which required traders and bankers. Merchants and stores increased. Access to healthcare increased and the overall health of the region improved. Flooding was decreased and not only was the productivity of the farmland improved, but the farmers were no longer subject to the significant losses of life and property that accompanied such flooding.

Consider also a more modern example – the Eisenhower Interstate System.

The system was the brainchild of President Dwight David Eisenhower – a former five-star United States Army General and Supreme Allied Commander during WWII. While the roadway was originally imagined to be used as escape routes for cities during attack or siege, it has become a veritable conduit for interstate commerce.

Consider also the even more modern example of the Internet.

Originally designed as a means for military communication, it has made many people very wealthy and businesses built upon the idea of the Internet have supplied and continue to supply businesses and industry at home and abroad.

So for anyone to assert that government does NOT produce anything, does NOT produce any product, good or service is not only ignorant, unlearned and just plain stupid, it defies logic, reasoning and is utterly contradictory to truth.

In other words, it’s a God damn lie.

And people that promote God damn lies are God damn liars.

Amen.

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