The Modern Socialist: Opinion: Brandon Payton-Carrillo: What is the Purpose of Government?
This is the perfect question to be asking and debating, because it goes to the heart of a big debate America has debated as a country for at least forty-five years. With the creation of the Great Society, to President Richard Nixon’s Federalist approach to domestic issues. To get government power out of Washington and back to the states. To President Jimmy Carter’s New Democratic approach to get more power back to the people. And of course the debate just getting bigger with President Reagan, President Clinton and of course today with President Obama. That is why do we have a government and different levels of government and what is it exactly do we need, not want government to do for us in a civilized society.
Why do we have a government and what we need it to do. Depends on who you ask anywhere from Socialists on the Far-Left let’s say who have the biggest role for government and tend to have programs and taxes that are designed to solve all of our problems for us. To Libertarians who aren’t quite Far-Right, but have the smallest role for government for us. To Liberals and Conservatives who are somewhere in the middle. But with different roles for government in our lives and what we need to pay in taxes.
My role for government as a Liberal I believe is pretty simple. To do for us what we can’t as people do for ourselves, or do as well for ourselves. The obvious things being law enforcement, national security, foreign policy, smart regulation of the economy. But not running the economy which is different. A public education system, but not an education monopoly for the broader public. These are a few examples but my role for government doesn’t get much bigger than this.
My basic idea for government is to protect and expand freedom that individuals have to run their, or govern even their own lives, not to take someone else’s freedom from them. But to be able to manage their own economic and personal affairs. So for people who do not have freedom, but need it and deserve it, help them help themselves so they have the freedom to take care of themselves. And to protect freedom for those who already have it and still deserve that freedom.
I’m not anti-government even at the federal level and not pro-government at any level. But the role of government is to protect and expand freedom. That also includes protecting workers and consumers from predators with smart regulations. But again not designed to run companies, but to protect people from those in companies who would hurt us. Only having the government that we need and not the government that we want. Which are different things.