By Casey Ward | United States
What’s the difference between a minarchist and an anarchist? Six months. The joke may be hilarious, but it is not always true. Many people continue to claim that they want smaller government. However, with the long arm of the law transgressing further upon our rights every day, this entire country should be outraged. Almost everyone is, to some extent, but not enough.
The issue lies in our selective outrage. Most of the modern Democrats argue for social freedom (with exceptions) while modern Republicans lean towards more economic freedom (with exceptions). At the same time, most support government monopolies over industries like police, legislation, and the military.
The question everyone should be asking is why: why do we allow government endless power? Often the answer is because people never knew any other way. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became president; less than a year later, he started a poorly justified war and used his presidential power to enact the first federal income tax in order to fund it. This was a disastrous precedent. Lawyers and Congressmen often uphold the decisions of the past for fear of losing confidence in their future rulings. However, just because something happened once, does not mean that that something was right or reasonable.
A Dangerous Future
Nonetheless, from that day forward, presidents have acted as if the government’s power is plenary. In Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.’s book, “Against The State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto”, he goes back to the Great Depression and explains how even after it, FDR’s endless social programs remained in place. These may have looked life-saving at the time, but now, social security is overbearing. It even threatens to enslave the future with debts they never incurred.
The Disasters of Social Security and Regulation
As a result, many politicians call social security “the third rail”. If you touch it, you’re dead. Or, at least, your political career is. This is simply kicking the can down the road, but politicians and Americans alike seem to be able to live with.
To add a degree of relatability to the government’s market interference, examine a study by the Journal of Economic Growth that details these effects. This study details the frightful reality that government cripples GDP per household. Without added regulation since 1949, the study estimates, the average 2011 figure would have been an exorbitant $384,857, nearly four times higher than the recorded $107,857. Clearly, the economy has many more regulations now than then. Going back even further to fewer regulations, this figure would only increase more.
Even with the 81,000 pages of regulations added in 2015 alone, the hope of a free society is not completely gone. As Thomas Paine said, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” So we shall work in the direction we know is right. After all of the alphabet bureaucracies are revoked and regulations nullified, maybe then we will see that individuals are efficient enough to make a more prosperous world. Finally, this may give ourselves deserved credit and end the reliance on an ever-watchful state.
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