The hidden danger of big government

| August 16 2012
Christopher Cook

This video is a good followup to the previous post, which discusses the power of special interests to manipulate big government. Unfortunately, big government has many other problems, including a fundamental and fatal flaw: Big government is a special interest unto itself.

 

2 comments
old movie lover
old movie lover

Question: What about big corporations, which most of this discourse about the dangers of big government either explicitly or implicitly supports? Aren't big businesses a special interest (and powerful ones at that)? Aren't big businesses primarily interested in protecting their OWN bottom lines and the bottom lines of their shareholders (which is not necessarily correspond with the needs of the general population)?

 

I'm not saying that "Big Government" is inherently a virtue, but there is a curious lack of discussion about what is really underlying these incessantly anti-government discussions -- a shift of power to major corporations, who are just as (if not more) dangerous to individual well-being as any state can be. (For anyone who questions this claim, always remember that [especially prior to the ACA] it was more profitable for your health insurance provider to deny you coverage when you were sick than to treat you).

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@old movie lover We don't disagree as much as you might think. This is essentially public choice theory in action: http://www.westernfreepress.com/2012/05/24/schools-of-thought-in-classical-liberalism-part-3-public-choice/

 

Interest groups (business, labor, farmers, etc.) go to government looking to get laws, rules, and regulations passed that are favorable to them. They look to get government to change the playing field in their favor (and often to the detriment of their competition). They have "concentrated" interests; thus, by playing off politicians' desire to get reelected, a small interest group can disperse costs among all of us taxpayers, and we don't notice. This is one of the biggest ways that government grows and grows. Yes, big business is one of those groups, and this is no more acceptable to us (read: conservatives and libertarians) than labor or agriculture or any other special interest group using government to get a leg up. These rent-seekers and free-riders don't create new wealth; they move existing wealth into their pockets by gaming the system. That is not acceptable. Big government doesn't keep big business in check, it helps them destroy their competition!  (Massive corporations LOVE regulations; it's the mom and pop that can't afford to comply, and so their competition withers on the vine.) Get rid of big government, and then NONE of these interest groups get to game the system at our expense. We all have a level playing field, and we only advance by creating wealth and making people's lives better, whether we're in business, labor, or any other endeavor. Let my people go!