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| | |-+  Government: Good or Bad?
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Poll
Question: Is government in a free market economy good or bad?
Government is bad. Get it out of the way.   -10 (43.5%)
Government is good.   -13 (56.5%)
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Total Voters: 23

Author Topic: Government: Good or Bad?  (Read 589 times)
futurepres
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« on: January 28, 2012, 01:22:12 am »
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Title says it all
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Politico
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2012, 02:12:26 am »
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I agree with Adam Smith: The proper role of government is to provide national defense, law/order, and basic infrastructure. Whenever possible, these should be provided at the local/state level rather than the federal level since there is more accountability with less centrality. From my perspective, the basic infrastructure provision should only be goods/services with large positive spillover effects that markets do not really provide well, if at all (e.g., public highways, some natural monopolies specifically in utilities, certain areas of scientific/technological research, etc.).

I believe the only goals of monetary policy should be price stability with an implicit nominal anchor of 2-3% targeted inflation, and ensuring the stability of the financial system. Fiscal policy can help stimulate demand, but it is hard to trust that politicians/bureaucrats will spend taxes and borrowed funds properly (i.e., on proper basic infrastructure projects along with national defense). There is a reason why most politicians/bureaucrats did not get their start in business (i.e., the private sector), so keep that in mind the next time somebody suggests giving them control over more and more resources (whether it is Newt Gingrich speaking on behalf of colonizing the moon and putting mirrors into outer space, or Bernie Sanders calling for the nationalization of something or other).

With regards to the "efficiency/equity trade-off," the larger the economic pie is the larger the slice each one of us can obtain. Furthermore, a growing economy is a positive-sum game: Everybody can gain more without it necessarily being at the expense of somebody else. In comparison, when you have a stagnant economy, perhaps in the case of excessive government interference in the economy in the name of "equity," the economy becomes a sort of zero-sum game: You can only gain more at the expense of somebody else. You have to consider the deadweight losses and perverse incentives incurred whenever you argue in favor of a "tax-and-spend" course of action.

Results matter. Good intentions do not matter if they lead to poor results.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 02:35:15 am by Politico »Logged

"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

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Beet
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2012, 02:40:18 am »
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This debate is really getting tedious. As a liberal, I see government as a tool to be used when needed. You can debate where and when this tool might be useful, but I don't sit there and ask: Screwdriver: Good or Bad?
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Politico
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2012, 02:56:39 am »
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As a liberal, I see government as a tool to be used when needed.

Whenever a liberal calls the government a tool, all I can think of is the following proverb: "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 03:01:42 am by Politico »Logged

"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2012, 07:52:23 am »
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Definitely good overall, but every once in a while the drawbacks are glaring.
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 09:05:38 am »
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I believe the only goals of monetary policy should be price stability with an implicit nominal anchor of 2-3% targeted inflation, and ensuring the stability of the financial system.

It's nice to see a right winger come out in full support of the bank bailouts, auto bailouts, QE1, QE2, Glass Steagal, and the consumer protection bureau.

I was getting so sick of that Grover Norquist's "drown the government in a bathtub" garbage.
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Insane quote of the year-

"Every aspect of life in America is worse than when he [Obama] took over" -Marco Rubio
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2012, 09:39:33 am »
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There is a reason why most politicians/bureaucrats did not get their start in business (i.e., the private sector), so keep that in mind the next time somebody suggests giving them control over more and more resources (whether it is Newt Gingrich speaking on behalf of colonizing the moon and putting mirrors into outer space, or Bernie Sanders calling for the nationalization of something or other).

And there is a reason we never have had a highly successful business man also become a great president... particularly where financial matters are concerned.
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Insane quote of the year-

"Every aspect of life in America is worse than when he [Obama] took over" -Marco Rubio
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2012, 10:06:26 am »
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I agree with Adam Smith: The proper role of government is to provide national defense, law/order, and basic infrastructure.

"When the regulation, therefore, is in favor of the workmen, it is always just and equitable"  --Adam Smith
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Gustaf
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 10:22:10 am »
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Eh...that government is necessary to deal with a multitude of market failures and other stuff is pretty much beyond political debate.

Government can do a lot of harmful things to the economy, of course.
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ag
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012, 10:14:42 pm »

Neither, of course. It could be either good or bad, just like all other institutions that surround us. Most of the time, it is both and neither at the same time Smiley))

Anybody, who thinks they can give a straightforward answer to this poll, should really study some economics Smiley) Otherwise, I am going insist that all of you tell me whether you've stopped drinking half a gallon of vodka daily before breakfast. Yes or no? Smiley)))
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 10:18:21 pm by ag »Logged

Курица - не птица, Болгария - не заграница.
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Nathan
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 11:23:38 pm »
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Anybody, who thinks they can give a straightforward answer to this poll, should really study some economics Smiley) Otherwise, I am going insist that all of you tell me whether you've stopped drinking half a gallon of vodka daily before breakfast. Yes or no? Smiley)))

Of course not!!! I'm Russian-American. I have standards to uphold.
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A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
ag
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2012, 12:11:42 am »

Anybody, who thinks they can give a straightforward answer to this poll, should really study some economics Smiley) Otherwise, I am going insist that all of you tell me whether you've stopped drinking half a gallon of vodka daily before breakfast. Yes or no? Smiley)))

Of course not!!! I'm Russian-American. I have standards to uphold.

It's getting to be almost too many Russians here Smiley) But I am still pretty sure, I am the only Russian-Mexican around Smiley))
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Курица - не птица, Болгария - не заграница.
asexual trans victimologist
Nathan
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 12:16:27 am »
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Anybody, who thinks they can give a straightforward answer to this poll, should really study some economics Smiley) Otherwise, I am going insist that all of you tell me whether you've stopped drinking half a gallon of vodka daily before breakfast. Yes or no? Smiley)))

Of course not!!! I'm Russian-American. I have standards to uphold.

It's getting to be almost too many Russians here Smiley) But I am still pretty sure, I am the only Russian-Mexican around Smiley))

To be fair, I also have a lot of Italian and Irish in me. But the Russian side is where my family name and physical appearance come from.
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A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
realisticidealist
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« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2012, 03:22:09 am »
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It's like asking: people, good or bad? Your answer to that is probably similar to your answer to this.
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2012, 10:40:44 am »
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The economy is only an aspect of the government, so the question is somewhat dubious as and in the (economic) context phrased.  But as ag and others have said above, it is neither 'good' nor 'bad' (and after all those value-terms are only subjectively meaningful).
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 09:19:29 am »
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I don't believe Government is inherently evil, though I believe a lot of Governments we see in the world today are evil. I support a hands-off economic fiscal policy (laissez-faire) and such.
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