Conservatives regularly lament the size of government and its oppressive influence on business owners and regular Americans. But they are quick to dismiss the systemic inequality of opportunity that results as a myth, ignoring scores of cases like Meadows’s and Montesdeoca’s that prove otherwise. After all, it was the government, not opposition to free enterprise, that denied Meadows the opportunity to make a living by allowing established florists to restrict competition through onerous licensing requirements. And without help from a powerful government actor, Montesdeoca may have been robbed of his opportunity to keep pursuing a cosmetology license despite the altruistic nature of his actions.
The Left complains of the undue political influence bought by wealthy special interests, but it regularly trusts the actions and intent of the very government that is subject to that influence. Meanwhile, the Right complains that big government is overly intrusive and burdensome, but it denies the existence of the systemic inequality that results from its overreach. Maybe we should all focus on correcting our own hypocrisies before we turn to those of our political opponents.