Want an Activist Government? Then Make it Work

Do they want to just watch rich people get money taken from them because it makes them feel good or do they want the government to serve the needs of the people? The two are not the same.

Recent polling shows that Americans prefer a government that provides more services rather than less, including increased federal spending. My answer is maybe. As Trump’s election shows, this sentiment is likely starkly divided by state. More important is the question that is asked. Do Americans want more spending and government just for its own sake or do they want a government that works better? What is the root of the grievance?

There are few things that the government, especially at the federal level, does well today. The criminal justice system is burdened by arcane policies that often create more crime and prisoners than it deters. Our military can defend the country well, but most of its time is tied up playing an international game of risk driven by activist elites. American education ranks at the bottom in the developed world and is in no small part responsible for the immature and mindless screaming match that has become our political dialogue. However it does rank at the top in per student spending. American infrastructure is often sorely lacking in comparison to its peers. And the newly semi – public healthcare system was designed without addressing two of the main cost drivers that make American healthcare so much more expensive than in other developed nations; litigation and administration.

The debate should not be about more or less government, but rather about better government. And better does not always equal more spending. It means using our resources wisely. Ending our permanent state of war and mass incarceration would be a good start. Want free college? Ok, great. Then live at home and go to college in a monotone office building near you rather than $150K safe space that helps you find yourself in the hills of California or support a 100,000 seat football stadium. Want cheaper healthcare? Fine. Stop suing doctors into oblivion and creating layer upon layer of administration.

America almost certainly already has the necessary resources to give its citizens a government that works. More of what we already have won’t do anything except clog the arteries of efficiency.

Proponents of a more activist government, namely Democrats, are going to have to ask themselves what they really want out of government. Do they want to just watch rich people get money taken from them because it makes them feel good or do they want the government to serve the needs of the people? The two are not the same. (The right suffers from similar dissonance wherein they confuse security with kicking sand in the face of Muslims.)

Supporters of an active government often point to the efficiency of public solutions in Europe as a model. If we use northern Europe, with its healthy respect for competitive markets and budgets that are paid for, then there is a way forward. But if we use southern Europe as a model, we will soon find ourselves bankrupt and with a government that continues to be increasingly unresponsive to the needs of Americans. Unfortunately, America is on the latter path.

About The Fighting Voice of Reason (35 Articles)
Tired of hearing only the craziest opinions and solutions on both sides of the political aisle? So are we. And like you, we believe that millions of Americans are reasonable people who want reasonable solutions to political problems. We are open to and believe that solutions exist from the right, the left, the middle and everywhere else in between. Our goals are: 1) To start and engage in vigorous conversation that promotes reasonable dialogue and outcomes. 2) Aggressively fight back and counter blatant political illogic and un-truths. Whether they are coming from the left or the right, pure ideologues or political establishment hacks, we believe that the American people are tired of being drowned and out and pushed around by the most unreasonable among us. Enough is enough. It is time for Americans to get loud and push back.

3 Comments on Want an Activist Government? Then Make it Work

  1. America’s domestic enemies, those liberals you’re writing of, have already answered that question repeatedly. The want the successful and the productive – yeah, I admit that those are overlapping but separate groups – penalized, stripped of the earning, and enslaved to the needs, desires, and whims of the eater class. I think years of “income inequality!” and “It’s not fair!” made that point so abundantly clear that I wonder that you can approach this topic as you did,

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    • Sorry for the late reply. I wonder that you can approach a topic as narrowly as you are approaching it. What would say of the social democracies of northern Europe? They have generous benefits, but no one who has ever been there would seriously say that they are failing states that enslave their citizens by stripping them of the fruits of their labor. They have competitive and successful markets. Holland, Denmark and Switzerland are three notable examples. Now their model may not ultimately fit what we want here, or it may. My only point is that if we continue down a path of government involvement, then we might as well make it work. You approached this through ideology instead of pragmatism. The obsession with ideology over solutions is a major reason why we can no longer get anything done in America.

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  2. Perhaps not the best three examples – Holland has the advantage of comparably vast natural gas resources which massively fund its economy but has an unemployment rate greater than the US; Denmark is based on petroleum exports and “Big Pharma” – with less crazy regs than ours; and Switzerland IS moving towards being a failed state, with its economy tanked and not recovering well to this day from the global recession and has gross unemployment and “underemployment.”

    But I will also say this about those Northern Europeans: They do have the advantage of not being as materialistic as Americans. Therefor, they are happier with less stuff than we are, which stabilizes their economies and societies. Essentially, they never adopted or accepted the Keynesian economic theories that lead to cries about “economic inequality.”

    As for ideology vs pragmatism – That’s a dangerous argument. Most truly effective pragmatic solutions to societal or macroeconomic issues would be found by many to be reprehensible; indeed, many already have been found to be so.

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