Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remembering "The Government"

When our current Congressman was first elected in 1996, the Republican Party National Platform promised the following:

As a first step in reforming government, we support elimination of the Departments of Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Education, and Energy, and the elimination, defunding or privatization of agencies which are obsolete, redundant, of limited value, or too regional in focus. Examples of agencies we seek to defund or to privatize are the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Legal Services Corporation.

There is a political theory behind these (unkept) promises. It is also an economic theory. It is capitalism. It is anti-socialism. It is the belief that competing individuals in a Free Market provide a higher level of services at a lower price than a government monopoly.

Kevin Craig is a radical (consistent) capitalist. He believes that there is no human action, no necessary social service or function, that cannot be better provided by the Free Market than by "the government." He would keep the Republican promises and abolish those government agencies. He would then start working to abolish all the rest.

Some fear that this would lead to "anarchy." That word summons up all kinds of pictures of disorder and chaos. As government has increased its control over education, schools have become increasingly disorderly. Competition would allow pro-order forces to have more impact, providing parents with better choices. Schools which were more orderly and produced students with higher test scores would out-compete government schools. But the government does not allow "anarchic" competition.

Kevin Craig wants to abolish all government monopolies and allow competition in every area of life. Go ahead: call him an "anarchist." He doesn't care.

Kevin Craig wants to keep cutting government bureaucracies, without stopping, until you to live another 100 years and experience this conversation with your great-great granddaughter:

Her: Gramps, what's a "government?"
You: A "government" is a group of people who impose their will on others by force.
Her: Do we have a government in America?
You: Well, we used to. I don't know if we do anymore or not.

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