Saturday, July 9, 2011

Big Government Can Do Big Things - What makes a strong country?

We hear a lot of rhetoric these days about shrinking big government and "getting government out of the lives of the people". Do we even know what we are agreeing to when we say "Yeh!" to these coined statements made by platitudinal politicians who don't believe in their own words? For most of the supporters of this view I doubt whether they have put much thought into these ideas, except for immediate anger over paying taxes or receiving a traffic ticket.

Is having a large central government detrimental to keeping a nation strong or having large government revenues harmful to a country's economy? People need to sober up and take a thoughtful second look.

When government is regulated by a constitution and its police force and judicial systems are independent of government interference then it is essential in order to make a strong nation that it has a strong centralized government with the financial wealth to be able to make big decisions. Why, you ask. There are many reasons.

The most important reason is to protect the nation from foreign forces, both militarily and economically. The reason for a strong military is obvious and needs little explanation. To have strong financial resources at a government's disposal is important to pay for policing and it's military.  Infrastructure is also an important factor here. Without access to a good transportation grid that's well maintained, a  country cannot get its goods to market. Without consistent delivery and access to electricity or other power sources a country would fall into the category of an undeveloped nation and quickly slide into poverty.
When government does not have the financial power to be able to stand up to Banks, or other forms of private enterprise then the people become vulnerable to the folly of that enterprise. As an example, when the government bought G.M. it saved approximately 1 million jobs and helped to stabilize the automotive industry. This could not have happened if the government did not have the financial resources to do this. If the government was too weak financially when 911 occurred then the government would have been helpless to do anything about it and Al Qaeda probably would have struck the U.S. again in some grandiose manner. If the government did not build the Hoover damn then there would have been little economic development in the Southwest of the country. If the government did not finance education then the majority of the people in the nation would be illiterate.

T he country doesn't need unbridled capitalism as there was in the late 1800's, nor does it need government controlling all of the industry.  Most countries thrive when there is regulated capitalism and occasionally the government intervenes to set direction or to avert disasters that can impact its people. In a democratic nation the government represents the people not itself or big business. Politicians who want to reduce the size of government significantly would like to go back to the days of the Industrial Revolution but do they really want to eat their food uninspected or do they want no regulations on Nuclear Power Plants. No Hoover Dam, N.A.S.A. or interstate highways?