That government which governs least, governs best. This well-known wisdom from Thomas Paine has been lost on succeeding generations that see an ever-growing federal government as the way to impose favored outcomes on markets and individuals. Blayne Bennett from Students for Liberty hosts the latest Econ 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, explaining the damage that big government does by crowding out private markets and redirecting resources into non-productive and counter-productive uses:
This truly is Econ 101, but the concepts here are so simple that many people ironically cannot grasp them. Government has no competition to force efficiency, and in fact has many influences on operations that preclude efficiency. “Investments” in public-sector growth inevitably produce less than similar investment in the private sector. The profit motive and competition forces efficiency in the latter, while both are absent in the former. Transferring capital from the private to the public sector guarantees a lower rate of production. That is one reason the founders attempted to limit the federal government’s jurisdiction, so that capital could only be seized for those purposes that only government could reasonably accomplish — field an army, a navy, conduct foreign policy, and limit responsibility to only those public works that relate to the federal government’s jurisdictions.
What we have learned since Paine’s days is that the government that tries to govern more tends to do it badly — and that the trend increases in direct ratio to the expansion. Now all we need to do is apply that lesson.