“There is no more persistent and influential faith in the world today than the faith in government spending.” — Henry Hazlitt
Many people today believe that the government should be relied upon to improve the economy and improve the lives of American’s in general. Some may believe that this is the moral thing to do, or that it is moral to try to provide a fair standard of living for all citizens. Government officials are continually pushing for more regulations so that they can make things more “fair.” While many regulations may seem like a good idea, most of them are only a temporary fix and end up actually hurting more than they fixed. We have to realize that there are indirect and direct consequences for every government action. Today I challenge the political thought that more government spending and regulation are a good thing.
For over 50 years the city of Detroit has been run by Democrats. With the country’s highest property tax on homes, highest commercial property tax, second-highest industrial property tax, third-highest income tax, and the country’s only utility users tax (in Detroit you actually pay a tax based on how much you are charged in utilities), Detroit has become a model of the tax-and-spend methods that liberals get so excited about (NY Post).
So if Detroit was such a “model” city, what happened? Well, huge pensions for government workers, excessive borrowing, and corrupt politicians have badly hurt the city. Also, increasingly higher taxes forced out businesses and skilled workers over the years. Detroit once had a population of over 2 million, but now they are barely above 700,000. On an episode of “John Stossel” on the Fox Business Network, they showed how in Detroit homes are abandoned, basic city services such as garbage pick-up or snow plowing sometimes don’t show up, police can take up to an hour or more to respond to 911 calls, and sometimes 911 calls aren’t even answered. Now the city of Detroit is the largest US city to ever file for bankruptcy.
Let’s give one big round of applause for Detroit: The Big Government Utopia.
If you have already watched the video above, you saw what Puerto Rico has done to reign in government. Before this, one in every three workers worked for the state! People now get approval to start businesses much faster due to less regulation. Even though government jobs were cut due to high government debt, fewer regulations on business and lower corporate taxes brought in thousands of private sector jobs to make up for the lost government jobs. And that brings me to my next point.
When people talk about shrinking government and cutting government spending, the big government lovers are quick to say that it would be immoral. They say that it is good for the government to provide more jobs. Think of it this way: When driving down a road with construction, you can physically see the worker who is there working due to a government contract. We see the job that the government created, but what we cannot see are the other jobs that could have been created in the private sector.
Those in favor of bigger government love to play this game. They will always talk about the things that we can see and that have happened, but they fail to consider the things that they cannot see or the things that have not been permitted to happen because of their suffocating regulations. We must realize that there are direct and indirect consequences for every government action, and that when the government spends, there are a range of possibilities that weren’t allowed to come into existence. Government may say that their spending and regulations provide more security, but that is false. Just from the two examples in Detroit and Puerto Rico we can see what excessive spending and regulating does, as well as what happens when government is reigned in.
I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I do not believe that just because you are an American, you are entitled to certain things. That would be socialism. America is a country that gives its people an equal chance. If you are willing to work hard then you can achieve great things. If you aren’t willing to put in the work, then you should not expect the same results as those who do. For this, I am anti-big government. I believe in limited government, free markets, and individual liberty.
Thanks to capitalism and free markets, today we enjoy luxuries such as cars, computers, and smartphones. Because of free markets you can go to the grocery store and find hundreds of items available in abundance. The private sector operates more effectively than the public sector. It is more efficient and moral.
“It is intuitive to think public is better than private, but next time someone tells you that, tell them to think about this: public toilets.” — John Stossel
See you next week!