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We all want big government

Hoplite

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I see a lot of people chanting about how they dont like big government and how terrible big government is, yet nobody really seems to see that we actually LIKE big government.

Libertarians want less government; government should only protect the rights of citizens! Except that someone to enforce the law to protect the rights of the individual and the government needs power to do that. So you need to give power to the government that it may effectively protect the rights of the individual.

What's more, I've seen many people identify as libertarian and claim this massive amount of support for it....but the polls dont really ever show it. The most a Libertarian candidate for president has ever received in terms of votes is 1.1% and the actual membership of the Libertarian party is less than 200,000.

This tells me that people may believe libertarian, but when it comes time to actually vote, they vote Democrat or Republican. Im sure there are people who vote Democrat or Republican with a libertarian mindset, but because our tendency is towards more government I'm less inclined to believe that.

I say that we want big government because the progression of politics in the US is towards bigger government. Granted we are slower about it than other countries, but we're still going that direction and it's at a consistent rate. If this was genuinely something that people didn't want, they wouldn't vote for the people who expanded the government or they would recall representatives who said they wouldn't expand the government but do anyways.

We ALL want big government, but we want big government to act like our own personal attack dog; we want it to work for us then go sit in the side yard when it's done and stay out of our way. People get bent out of shape when big government starts working for someone else.
 

Westpac Pirate

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I would like my gov. to operate within it's financial means. Like myself with little to no debt. Don't know about attack dog but certainly protect all citizens. IMHO the stronger we are the better defense of the nation. I believe in some cases we have tried to police too much for political reasons. A good defense is the best offense.
 

rivrrat

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No, we do NOT all want big government. Not in the slightest.
 

Tucker Case

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I see a lot of people chanting about how they dont like big government and how terrible big government is, yet nobody really seems to see that we actually LIKE big government.

Libertarians want less government; government should only protect the rights of citizens! Except that someone to enforce the law to protect the rights of the individual and the government needs power to do that. So you need to give power to the government that it may effectively protect the rights of the individual.

What's more, I've seen many people identify as libertarian and claim this massive amount of support for it....but the polls dont really ever show it. The most a Libertarian candidate for president has ever received in terms of votes is 1.1% and the actual membership of the Libertarian party is less than 200,000.

This tells me that people may believe libertarian, but when it comes time to actually vote, they vote Democrat or Republican. Im sure there are people who vote Democrat or Republican with a libertarian mindset, but because our tendency is towards more government I'm less inclined to believe that.

I say that we want big government because the progression of politics in the US is towards bigger government. Granted we are slower about it than other countries, but we're still going that direction and it's at a consistent rate. If this was genuinely something that people didn't want, they wouldn't vote for the people who expanded the government or they would recall representatives who said they wouldn't expand the government but do anyways.

We ALL want big government, but we want big government to act like our own personal attack dog; we want it to work for us then go sit in the side yard when it's done and stay out of our way. People get bent out of shape when big government starts working for someone else.
I don't.

I'm very consistent in my Anti-Federalist views. I want smaller governments and legislative diversity.
 

Z3n

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I see a lot of people chanting about how they dont like big government and how terrible big government is, yet nobody really seems to see that we actually LIKE big government.

Libertarians want less government; government should only protect the rights of citizens! Except that someone to enforce the law to protect the rights of the individual and the government needs power to do that. So you need to give power to the government that it may effectively protect the rights of the individual.

What's more, I've seen many people identify as libertarian and claim this massive amount of support for it....but the polls dont really ever show it. The most a Libertarian candidate for president has ever received in terms of votes is 1.1% and the actual membership of the Libertarian party is less than 200,000.

This tells me that people may believe libertarian, but when it comes time to actually vote, they vote Democrat or Republican. Im sure there are people who vote Democrat or Republican with a libertarian mindset, but because our tendency is towards more government I'm less inclined to believe that.

I say that we want big government because the progression of politics in the US is towards bigger government. Granted we are slower about it than other countries, but we're still going that direction and it's at a consistent rate. If this was genuinely something that people didn't want, they wouldn't vote for the people who expanded the government or they would recall representatives who said they wouldn't expand the government but do anyways.

We ALL want big government, but we want big government to act like our own personal attack dog; we want it to work for us then go sit in the side yard when it's done and stay out of our way. People get bent out of shape when big government starts working for someone else.
Did you ever consider that libertarianism is not solely a concept of the political right? Maybe that's why the "vulgar" libertarians don't get a lot of votes.
 

Gipper

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If we can ever dismantle the corrupt duopoly of the two-party winner-takes-all system, you'll see a lot more libertarians come out to vote libertarian.

You may as well make the same argument against Greeners or Reformers.
 

jambalaya

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If we can ever dismantle the corrupt duopoly of the two-party winner-takes-all system, you'll see a lot more libertarians come out to vote libertarian.

You may as well make the same argument against Greeners or Reformers.
Agreed. This is the problem and our media is to blame for perpetuating the two-party system. Anybody with progressive views is going to be portrayed as a nut job. If you are not "sexy" enough then you are discarded. Very early on many candidates get excluded from debates and media coverage. There is nobody left who is not bought and sold and who will make government accountable. They are obligated way too much to their party to do so.
 

digsbe

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I am for bigger government in certain areas like with healthcare and social programs. However in other areas I support smaller government when it comes to business regulations and certain obsolete and stupid laws. I'm also for weeding out all the bureaucratic waste. Most people have a mix of where they want government to grow and shrink.
 

Ebylinia

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OP has a very collectivist view. Just because the vast majority of people like big government does NOT mean that ALL people like big government. I do not. Protecting the rights of individuals can and should be done with small government.
 

Ockham

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I'm fairly sure I want less government overall... less of a dependency & slave class would get people to work off some of that fat we have.
 

Deuce

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No, we do NOT all want big government. Not in the slightest.
Big is an arbitrary and relative term. In the grand scheme of things, the difference between American liberals and American conservatives is not very large. They each agree on a fairly large set of things the government should be doing, and each has some ideas for additional things the government should be doing that the other disagrees with. Conservatives want the government to stay away from our guns but tell us who we can marry. Liberals want the government to not tell us who we can marry but tell us which guns we can own. Which one wants a "bigger" government? How the hell do you measure the "size" of a government anyway?

We do all want a large government. Some of us just want it slightly less large than others. Yes, even libertarians.
 

rivrrat

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Big is an arbitrary and relative term. In the grand scheme of things, the difference between American liberals and American conservatives is not very large. They each agree on a fairly large set of things the government should be doing, and each has some ideas for additional things the government should be doing that the other disagrees with. Conservatives want the government to stay away from our guns but tell us who we can marry. Liberals want the government to not tell us who we can marry but tell us which guns we can own. Which one wants a "bigger" government? How the hell do you measure the "size" of a government anyway?
I don't give a **** what 'conservatives' or 'liberals' want. What I know is what *I* want. And it's decidedly NOT a big government.

We do all want a large government.
Wrong again. No, we do NOT all want a large government. You can only speak yourself.
 

rathi

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This forum does not demographically represent the U.S., so I would say that many people on the forum are sincere in there attack upon big government. However, the voting trends of the general populace are in favor of our current large scale programs. We have had decades to attack medicare or social security, and neither party has even considered it. Republicans may pay lip service to small government, but they haven't seriously attempted to cut major programs in more than 20 years. At the end up the day, they know that the elderly demographic is key, and they will tear you to pieces if you touch medicare. We have become entitled, and while Libertarians may fight their fight, the majority of the populace isn't with them.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Someone please define "big" government. Both quantitatively and qualitatively.
 

Kernel Sanders

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Nobody wants big government, but everybody wants their favorite part of government to be well funded. Given that The Government isn't one monolithic entity, each Senator, each lobbyist, each voter makes individual decisions to expand their pet projects. At the same time, it is rare that anything gets scaled back. The inevitable result, big government.
 

lizzie

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We ALL want big government, but we want big government to act like our own personal attack dog; we want it to work for us then go sit in the side yard when it's done and stay out of our way. People get bent out of shape when big government starts working for someone else.
No, that is not correct. You may want big government and 99% of the country may as well, but I don't want big government, nor does the rest of my 1%.
 

German guy

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I'd like to throw in just my two cents:

There seems to be much confusion about what actually is "big government". Many people claim they are in favor of small government, yet many get inconsistent when it comes to the exceptions (and no, I don't want to accuse anybody here, I don't know you well enough yet anyway to know, so it's just a general observation).

Some focus much more on the government's role in civil liberties, and they don't want their individualism being regulated: "Big government" then is perceived as a "daddy state", an authoritarian Leviathan that regulates lifestyle, that regulates what consenting adults do in their bedrooms, what women are supposed to do with their bodies, if you may or may not have the right to decide what to do with your body by criminalizing drug use, and so on. This "daddy state" meddles into your privacy by wiretapping you even without a court warrant against you, by giving NSA and CIA extralegal powers to deal with mere suspects (who are supposed to be treated innocent until their guilt is proven). But often, there is a blind spot when it comes to property rights. Taxes and thus state access to private property is considered less grave, as long as it serves a "common good". Apparently, their fondness of small government only covers individualist lifestyle, but not individual property rights.

Then there is the opposite. There are people who despise not the "daddy state", but the "nanny state". They are outraged about a violation of private property rights by the state, and when it spends much, takes much in taxes, it's the ultimate horror. Yet they turn a blind eye on the "daddy state" kind of "big government". They cry bloody murder when the state rises taxes, but turn a blind eye when there is bloated spending on the military (while a big military is definitely a symptom of very big government!), when the state legislates collectivist Christian morals or when the state gives agencies like the CIA the power to detain people without access to legal assistance or fair trial. All that authoritarian big government "daddy state" is nice and fine, as long as nobody takes their property.

Just that nobody gets me wrong: I don't think both sides are necessarily illegitimate. There may be good reasons to focus on either aspect, while being more lenient on the other. I just wonder how coherent it still is to claim to be in favor of "small government" in that case.

And of course, I am sure there are also many who are neither in favor of "nanny state" nor "daddy state". Genuine libertarians, who are just as much opposed to government interference on property rights, as civil liberties and individualism. Just it seems they often remain an ignored faction in the two-party-system, and "small government" often becomes an empty battle term everybody seems to fight for, yet those who actually support it most are often ignored.

I may be wrong. Was just an idea that came to me when I read this thread's topic. What do you think?
 

justabubba

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I'd like to throw in just my two cents:

There seems to be much confusion about what actually is "big government". Many people claim they are in favor of small government, yet many get inconsistent when it comes to the exceptions (and no, I don't want to accuse anybody here, I don't know you well enough yet anyway to know, so it's just a general observation).

Some focus much more on the government's role in civil liberties, and they don't want their individualism being regulated: "Big government" then is perceived as a "daddy state", an authoritarian Leviathan that regulates lifestyle, that regulates what consenting adults do in their bedrooms, what women are supposed to do with their bodies, if you may or may not have the right to decide what to do with your body by criminalizing drug use, and so on. This "daddy state" meddles into your privacy by wiretapping you even without a court warrant against you, by giving NSA and CIA extralegal powers to deal with mere suspects (who are supposed to be treated innocent until their guilt is proven). But often, there is a blind spot when it comes to property rights. Taxes and thus state access to private property is considered less grave, as long as it serves a "common good". Apparently, their fondness of small government only covers individualist lifestyle, but not individual property rights.

Then there is the opposite. There are people who despise not the "daddy state", but the "nanny state". They are outraged about a violation of private property rights by the state, and when it spends much, takes much in taxes, it's the ultimate horror. Yet they turn a blind eye on the "daddy state" kind of "big government". They cry bloody murder when the state rises taxes, but turn a blind eye when there is bloated spending on the military (while a big military is definitely a symptom of very big government!), when the state legislates collectivist Christian morals or when the state gives agencies like the CIA the power to detain people without access to legal assistance or fair trial. All that authoritarian big government "daddy state" is nice and fine, as long as nobody takes their property.

Just that nobody gets me wrong: I don't think both sides are necessarily illegitimate. There may be good reasons to focus on either aspect, while being more lenient on the other. I just wonder how coherent it still is to claim to be in favor of "small government" in that case.

And of course, I am sure there are also many who are neither in favor of "nanny state" nor "daddy state". Genuine libertarians, who are just as much opposed to government interference on property rights, as civil liberties and individualism. Just it seems they often remain an ignored faction in the two-party-system, and "small government" often becomes an empty battle term everybody seems to fight for, yet those who actually support it most are often ignored.

I may be wrong. Was just an idea that came to me when I read this thread's topic. What do you think?
you have it right
we want government which will provide all the things that we believe government should offer and none of the other things

for me, the focus should be getting our nation's financial house in order
we own the world's foremost currency
that is a huge advantage few appreciate
we print $100 bills for the direct cost of a few pennies, the rest is fabricated wealth
and we can get away with that advantage until our currency is no longer the world's most valued tender
which is the reason we must now do those things which maintain that massive economic advantage

a few things i think need to be cut are the military budget
other than in theatres where there are DECLARED wars, we should have NO military installations
germany, south korea, okinawa, japan, and a host of other military bases in foreign lands should be closed, and our troops returned to the mainland
just as we need to scale back the size of our military we similarly need to substantially reduce the size of our civil service ... and we need to take a fresh look at the way government workers are compensated
as a retired fed and active union official, i see massive amounts of waste. fortunately, THE one person i would want to evaluate the government spending programs is the fellow who is charged with that very assignment - Erskine Bowles (with alan simpson). if Bowles is heeded, the right cuts will be made without any loss of necessary services to the public

in my view, the single largest problem our country now faces is that we have the best government money can buy
we must eliminate legal bribes in the form of campaign contributions. until that change is made we will not have a government of the people, by the people and FOR the people
 

Panache

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I think anarchy is the ideal. If no one ever used force to control anyone else, that would be perfect. Unfortunately, without some force preventing people from controlling other people through force, people will constantly try to control or "govern" others through force. The violent instability which the term anarchy connotes is not a symptom of the lack of government itself, but rather a symptom of the many attempts of some people to control or "govern" others once there is a power void to fill.

Just enough government to prevent everyone from trying to control everyone else through force seems like it would be the balance that provides for the least overall use of force. Less government would lead to a greater use of force as everyone discovered that the government couldn't stop them from exerting force or violence on their neighbors. More government would lead to a greater use of force, as force is the means by which governments control their respective populous.

I find the claim that everyone wants big government completely errant.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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This forum does not demographically represent the U.S., so I would say that many people on the forum are sincere in there attack upon big government. However, the voting trends of the general populace are in favor of our current large scale programs. We have had decades to attack medicare or social security, and neither party has even considered it. Republicans may pay lip service to small government, but they haven't seriously attempted to cut major programs in more than 20 years. At the end up the day, they know that the elderly demographic is key, and they will tear you to pieces if you touch medicare. We have become entitled, and while Libertarians may fight their fight, the majority of the populace isn't with them.
I agree with your assessment, as depressing as it is.

I split with most other libertarians in that I am not loyal to any country.
When I have finished amassing my wealth(that's the plan at least), I'm leaving to greener pastures(less taxes, less government).

I still fight the good fight while I'm here, in hope of things changing but in the back of my mind, I know it is for not.
 

jambalaya

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I think when the government becomes so unwieldy that we can't agree or identify how to fix it then it has become too big. If we can't understand the tax code with which we pay taxes then it has become too big. When we feel government and laws are so complicated that we elect primarily lawyers and carreer political types to run for office it has become too big. The fact that so many people do not vote is an indication that we've become too big.
 
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