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The Web Cliffology

Defining The Role Of Government

by C. Moult, Publisher,

There is an ongoing debate on what the size and scope of government should be.  On one hand, some people believe in limited government while on the other hand, some people believe in more government.  This article will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the two beliefs and make recommendations on what the balance should be.  Let us first start with the idea of limited government then move on to discuss big government then explain what the advantages and disadvantages are with respect to the application of both beliefs. 

            Limited government means that government plays little or no role in
the society in which it is implemented.  Before getting into great length, let us ask ourselves this question: should we have some government or no government at all?  Having no government at all would mean that the people have all powers and are free to exercise whatever decisions, acts, or even violence that they please.  There is a downside to this if we want to promote a civilized society in which we are all govern by the same general principles, ambitions, deeds and behaviors.  Too much freedom can be counter-productive in which the same freedom that allows us to build a great business or empire, will give others the freedom to destroy your enterprise or hard work if they are so pleased.  Some examples of good restrictions and laws are: copyright laws, environmental protection and laws against theft, etc. These are examples of why some regulations or restrictions are important for growth, harmony and shared sacrifice in the form of a decent governmental structure. Based on these examples, there is no doubt that having some government is important. The question is not whether or not we should have a government, but how much of it we should have.  Limited government by definition is a government that only reaches where people cannot do better by themselves and a government by the people and for the people.

            With respect to big government or too much government, there is hardly a positive finding in this application.  Too much government is mostly a negative thing.  Even if the government is working on behalf of people who want big government, it is counter-productive to the ambition, self reliance and the individual responsibility that all people should have.  The government should want to see people individually taking responsibility for their own lives and striving passionately for success in many shapes and forms.  This equals more tax dollars for the military and other programs that are necessary to keep up with the world.

           The role of government should be about balance.  The government should not be too big, neither should it be too small.  If people and businesses were 100% responsible and thoughtful in every way, shape or form in respect to each other, then there would not be much of a need for government.  There are other things that businesses usually do not do such as spending money to reinvest in communities.  Businesses today are mainly about profits, but though profits usually create some jobs, they do not extend much into the communities by way of building and promoting schools, infrastructure, bridges and highways which are some of the very things that can help businesses become even more profitable.  Because of this, the need for government becomes a bit more necessary in which government can pick up the tab for what businesses either cannot or will not do.

            To balance our economy, there has to be an emphasis on education, infrastructure, regulations and freedom.  The government can use the quote from the first republican president of the United States to create this balance and determine what the size and scope of government should be. Lincoln said, quote: "government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more." We need a balance between regulations and freedom in order for a civilized society to work in an optimum way.  As stated earlier, too much freedom can be counter-productive and too many regulations can also be counter-productive.  Some great examples of what the role of government should be are: creating and maintaining a military, laws that protect us against each other such as environmental protection that will keep us safe from the irresponsibility of some big businesses, laws against theft that will keep people and businesses safe from others who want to steal and laws and regulations that recommend farmers to produce healthy foods (free from pollutants) if they intend to sell it to others.  Most people agree with these laws (the very things that businesses do not provide).

            Social programs in many ways do for people what they cannot do better by themselves such as the military. If we thought that it was best that every man be responisible for himself if we were under attacked by another nation, then we would do that. Instead, we created a social military system that everyone pays into with the shared goal of protecting our country.  The interstate highway and bridges were created so that people can get from one point to another expiditedly and efficiently.  With this system, businesses benefited and experienced huge growth.  It is for the same reason why we created the railroad system and everyone contributed for the shared goal of being able to travel more efficiently from one place to another. 
             The main political fight with respect to social programs has to do with education, unemployment, and a social safety net for poverty and low income people.  If we feel that we are responsible for the success of other people even though self reliance and individual responsibility is important, then we are more incline to support the idea of a safety net.  If not, we would tend to think that if a person cannot survive under the individual responsibility and self reliance clause, then that person deserves to suffer and potentially die as a result of that belief.  If we are truly ambitious, the latter should not be how we look at life in which we share the same planet, continent, country, state, county or community because the lack of success from others means the lack of being the best we can be.  Let us face it, in life, there will always be less fortunate people among us and the question should be how to deal with it.  The most effective way to deal with this is in a way in which we all benefit when we help.  A person who refuses to help himself will be a lost cause, but a person who is less fortunate who is willing to help himself if he is provided with the resources, should be helped.  We should look at each person from the moment they enter into this world as a human capital, a potential to become the next president, or the next great business man or the next best scientist or engineer no matter what financial status he was borned into.  Since the less fortunate will always be among us, we should look for every possible way to get the best out of them because doing so in a thoughtful and responsible way, will benefit all of us.  This is where the government can play a role in providing the resources for these folks to get ahead if they are willing to do so.  Providing these resources, however, should be done in a cost effective and well streamlined process to get the best bang for your buck.

            Finally, for those who expect businesses to be the dominant force in the economy, then people will have to expect more from businesses in the form of reinvestment in the communities, building bridges, highways and building schools, etc.  Therefore, if businesses cannot or will not provide all of the things that are necessary for a balanced economy, then government will rightfully take its place where necessary.  The premise of this article fits within the notion of a balanced government that only does for people what they cannot do better by themselves and nothing more.  The government should constantly make sure that it does not overreach in any way, shape or form.  The idea of individual responsibility and self reliance is very important, but as we succeed individually, we should come together in the end and look for ways to make our country and society even better by reinvesting it. As a reminder, public and private investments tend to spur growth most of the time as long as it is done in a well thought out and effective manner.

The Importance Of Education And College

by C. Moult, Publisher,

Our society is filled with many types of jobs that require knowledge and skill. Some examples are: engineering, accounting, finance, law, and other socially structured positions. In many parts of the world, the determinants of getting an education may come down to how you would like to be viewed (status), your ability to pay for the education (wealth), and the pressure that the workforce places on individuals to obtain proper schooling (influence). There is no doubt that getting some level of education is absolutely essential for one's upward mobility in the society to which he resides. Some levels of
education for example: reading, comprehension, communication and math are viable to a person's survival in a socially economic world. With that said, getting at least a high school education in today's world is essential.

            Most of today's political arguments surrounding education have to do with whether or not getting a college education is necessary. Many of these political debates stem from whether or not the country can afford to fund the education system and pay for teachers, building maintenance, etc. These are reasonable political arguments to be had. Nonetheless, our workforce heavily favors getting a college education as oppose to not getting one. There is no doubt that an individual can achieve great success without getting a college education. In part, because he or she was born into a wealthy family or that he or she is highly entrepreneurial or just pure luck. These things are great, but will more and more entrepreneurial spirited people create the diverse workforce that we need to stem growth and keep up with the ever changing, technological and competing world that we live in today? The answer is: to an extent, but we would lack diversification in math, science and other skills that we need to compete in an ever changing global economy.

            In today's political environment, there is a push on the left for more investment in college education while on the right there is more of a push to cut spending on college education. Both of these principles have both merits and concerns based on the premise of some advantages and disadvantages stated earlier in this article. It comes down to which of the two principles you can afford to give up the most. On one hand there can be waste in funding an education system and on the other hand you can be failing to maximize the acquisition of human intellect and skills that are necessary for diverse growth.
            A country that is trying to compete with the rest of the world should not let getting an education become a luxury whether we are dealing with schools that are private institutions or schools that are public institutions.  The bottom line is that no matter what we do,  among us, there will always be people who are less fortunate than others.  There will be people who are more able to pay for an education than others, but that does not mean that we should not put in place resources that will give low income people a shot at getting higher education.  The goal is that from birth, we should look at people as prospects, as human capital, as potential and no matter what their financial status is, we should look for ways to get the best out of everyone.

            In keeping with the topic of this article and despite upsides and downsides, there is more of an importance to push for getting a college education. Make no mistake, going to college is not for everyone! But for those who are motivated and willing to put a good college education to good use, those people should not be restrained from going to college because the country benefits from those people. We can have it both ways in which we motivate our people to develop a business mind where many of these people may or may not go to college while encouraging others to go to college or technical school to obtain skills (math, science, medical research, etc) that they may not otherwise have obtained without the help of these institutions.

            Finally, one of the greatest things about the opportunity of getting a good education is that it can allow one to rise up above the ashes and become someone important and beneficial to society even if he or she was born in poverty.