There are really only a few things the government is meant to do. First, it is meant to protect our rights — those of life, liberty and property. (Notice there isn’t a right to not be annoyed by that funny couple down the street.) Second, government is meant to enforce contracts, so that when someone gives their word, they can be held to it. And finally, it is meant to establish a very basic and level playing field, the “ground rules” that everyone plays by. This doesn’t mean equality of income or anything like that — again, that’s forcing others to uplift you — but it does mean transparent and universal rules, and equality before the law.
That’s more than enough to keep government’s hands full. And judging from our meteoric rise as a nation in the 19th century, it would leave us all much better off.
If we keep turning to government, if we keep using government force to get our way, pretty soon there will be nothing left — and what will be left won’t be natural.
Jeremy Kolassa is a freelance writer in D.C. and assistant editor of UnitedLiberty.org.