A simple question: What "size" do think is appropriate for a federal government?
I'm probably correct in assuming everyone here agrees that governments are necessary to the survival of a society. However, how much government is necessary, and how much is too much? Personally, I don't think the question should be "how much government is too much?", but "how little government is too little?"
Is it really appropriate, or even necessary at all, that the federal government can prescribe to a person the medicine they take? Should the federal government be able to punish success, by means of an income tax? Why should the government be able to take money away from some and give it to others? Should the government have the authority to take away a man's only means of effective self-defense (guns)?
My basic views on an appropriate and moral government can be summed up with two quotations:
"But though men, when they enter into society, give up the equality, liberty, and executive power they had in the state of nature, into the hands of the society, to be so far disposed of by the legislative, as the good of the society shall require; yet it being only with an intention in every one the better to preserve himself, his liberty and property; (for no rational creature can be supposed to change his condition with an intention to be worse) the power of the society, or legislative constituted by them, can never be supposed to extend farther, than the common good; but is obliged to secure every one's property, by providing against those three defects above mentioned, that made the state of nature so unsafe and uneasy. And so whoever has the legislative or supreme power of any common-wealth, is bound to govern by established standing laws, promulgated and known to the people, and not by extemporary decrees; by indifferent and upright judges, who are to decide controversies by those laws; and to employ the force of the community at home, only in the execution of such laws, or abroad to prevent or redress foreign injuries, and secure the community from inroadsand invasion. And all this to be directed to no other end, but the peace, safety, and public good of the people." - Treatise Concerning Civil Government by John Locke (Source)
"Man's rights can be violated only by the use of physical force. It is only by means of physical force that one man can deprive another of his life, or enslave him, or rob him, or prevent him from pursuing his own goals, or compel him to act against his own rational judgement... If physical force is to be barred from social relationships, men need an institution charged with the task of protecting their rights under an objective code of rules... This is the task of a government - of a proper government - its basic task, is only moral justification and the reason why men do need a government... A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control - i.e., under objectively defined laws." - The Nature Of Government by Ayn Rand
7th December 2003
I don't regard a government as necessarily evil, but there are always politicians who follow their own agenda, so the basic components (judicative, executive and legislature) of a democratic constitution should be present to avoid abuse.
Once you have that you can entrust your government with many more options.
As for specific issues: Prescription of medicine is necessary to avoid abuse, but there are really too many different kinds of medicine to make a general statement.
Income tax: It is fair if those who have more pay more, but thanks to the wonders of math this is the case even if everybody pays the same percentage of taxes.
Guns: Yes, the government should be able to restrict the use of weapons. It's a decrease of rights for the individual, but the increase of safety throughout the nation makes it worth it.
Anarchy is retarded. If we didn't atleast have a military or police force, then the whole of the country would be a giant wildwest town. Is that what we want? No.
Anarchy must be the most stupid form of government that modern man came up with. People cannot run everything themselves and control themselves. Just look at Somalia, that should be proof enough that Anarchy is a stupid system. And Totalitarianism like we have in North Korea and Syria is just as bad. When the state has control of every public toilet in the whole country then people can't do anything without risking being kidnapped by the secret police in a black van, driven away and executed. I choose the third alternative, Democratic Socialism. As I'm currently growing up (strange expression :lookaround: ) in this system, like it and live a completely perfect life then of course I like it. However, I believe that this stance will change over time, when I'm grown up and live alone and are facing the hardships of life. But as of now, I like this as it is. Just look how much succes this system has brought to Northern Europe! :)
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
I'm going to go for a limited republic, (what'd ya' know, you convinced me, not here admittedly but still :).) However I'd add education as one of the services that needs to be universal. If education is always assigned according to one's parent's ability and will to pay for it true freedom becomes impossible and children become bound to whatever fate the resources of their parents have dictated for them. In effect it becomes no different to the feudal lord system where those in power are reasonably free to make things up as they go along. Maybe stupid people deserve what they get but people don't deserve to be stupid.
Can we get a Democratic Socialist Republic State?
I want military, police, judiciary, but also want healthcare, and education.
I also want the checks and balances to keep each group in check so no one circumvents the system and gains control.
Hmmm...maybe a three tiered system would work?
military, police and judiciary are the only appropriate powers of gov't, anything else works against liberty imo.
If I had it my way, we'd have a constitution that not only protected individual rights and freedoms, but clearly defined what exactly a gov't is supposed to do (even more so than the US's constitution). Gov't would be limited to just these areas, judiciary, military etc, and would also have a spending cap. gov't expenditures should never go over 4-6% of the GDP, except in war time or other emergencies (but even in this instance there would have to be some oversight). also, politicians would not be paid any money since being one would not be full time under my system, the legislature would only meet like once every two months or something like that to prevent them from passing lots of laws (emergency debates could be called however).
Someone voted for anarchy, isn't that cute. This poll should have been public.
Anlushac, sure, it can exist. However, the track record of states with those adjectives in there name hasn't been sterling, to say the least.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
USMA2010Someone voted for anarchy, isn't that cute. This poll should have been public.
Which is of course exactly the reason it should not be public :P
Anarchy is an ideal, everyone free to do what they like without anyone ruling anyone else. It's like people choosing communism and it working out, an admirable and nice thing if you can get it, you just can't actually get there from where we are today.
Oh I was joking.
When I see a modern anarchist, it is always the hooded punks who flip cars and burn crap. Idiots in other words. So whenever I see that stuff, I just have to stop and laugh.