Posts Tagged ‘federal crime’

On Government

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

One of our all-time favorite writers, P.J. O’Rourke, has an intriguing little article in World Affairs Journal today, called “Innocence Abroad: The Tea Party’s Search for Foreign Policy.”  Go ahead and check it out, we’ll wait.  As the title suggests, he finds a seeming contradiction between the movement for limited government and the necessity of a strong, centralized foreign policy.

We don’t see the contradiction, frankly.

Regardless of political stripe, Americans tend to believe that the role of government is to do those things we cannot effectively do for ourselves.  We differ on where to draw the line, but the basic idea is the same.  Of course, we have many different levels of government in this country — localities, counties, states, and the feds — so the question breaks down to what should be the role of each level of government.

The essential answer is that each level of government should be responsible for those functions that the level below it cannot carry out.

That means individuals are responsible for most of their own doings.  Government is not necessary, and so has no role there.  Ditto for stuff that can be taken care of by family and community.  Government first gets involved in (more…)