Big vs Little

There was a nice little debate on ABC this morning. I generally don’t watch the morning shows. But, this one pitted hard lefties Barney Frank and Robert Reich against Paul Ryan and George Will.

I thought George Will summed up things for the right very succinctly.

WILL: I want to thank Bob and Barney for shouldering the Herculean task of arguing that government today is too small, too frugal and too modest. I think big government harms prosperity. It harms prosperity by allocating resources not in terms of efficiency, but in terms of political power that directs the allocation. I think big government harms freedom, because it is an enormous tree in the shade of which the smaller institutions of civil society cannot prosper. And most of all, big government today harms equality. It harms equality because, by concentrating power in Washington, in big government, it makes itself susceptible to the rent-seeking by big, muscular interest groups. The only people who can come to Washington and bend the government to private purposes.

Get the government out of our lives more and more, and you’ll find that freedom and the market allocations of wealth and opportunity prevails.

Jefferson understood — Jefferson understood that you can have a government with minimal attention to the absolute essentials we have talked about. Of course, we want government to build roads, we want government to defend the shores, we want the government to deliver the mail. But after it does the essentials, understand what Ronald Reagan did. When Ronald Reagan said we’re going to have less government — under Reagan, respect for government, something we all want, respect for government rose as government’s role declined.

It’s the monolith versus the millions. The millions are always more efficient and can do more faster.

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Update

Here is a link to more of the debate. Will was strong in his advocacy for the little guy.


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