• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

What do you think the role of government should be?

Your Star

Rage More!
DP Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
27,241
Reaction score
19,930
Location
Georgia
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Progressive
Simple question, that requires a not so simple answer.

Personally I believe the government is responsible for the safety, and well being of the people. I think the government should provide some services to the people, like a military, a police force, a firefighting force,postal service,medical care, welfare for the poor. I think the government should protect the basic freedoms of the people, the constitution of the US I think is the best guideline to protect these freedoms.

I could go into more detail, but I'm really interested to hear what you guys have to say.
 

Goshin

Burned Out Ex-Mod
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,511
Reaction score
50,112
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Government is to secure the sovereignty of the nation by defending it against foreign enemies; this of course requires a military.

It is to safeguard the liberty of the individual, by punishing or preventing the exercise of unlawful force or fraud on him, and enforcing just and necessary laws.

Government provides a structure for an elected legislature to operate, as well as executive and judicial branches.

It may perform other actions that support the "general welfare", IF those actions are truly necessary and will benefit almost everyone (not a selected class of persons); are actions that can only be done effectively by government, not by private enterprise, private charity or community action; do not violate the Constitution; will not cause more unintended harm than good; and are supported by the will of the majority of the people.
 

Psychoclown

Clown Prince of Politics
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
1,472
Location
Hiding from the voices in my head.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
The primary purpose of government, the one thing it must do before it does anything else, is guarantee our personal freedoms. Without government we are totally free. Free to even rape, steal, and murder. A major downside to this state of being is our neighbors are also free to engage in such activities against us. So we invest a portion of our personal sovereignty in government to preserve the remainder. We give up the freedom to harm others, for the guarantee that we will not be harmed. This is done though a military which protects us from external threats and law enforcement to protect us from internal threats. Courts are also needed to serve as a check on law enforcement's authority and to ensure no person is falsely convicted. Courts and law enforcement can also be used to enforce contracts, because the violation of a contract is a form of fraud and therefore causes harm to the individual. Because government has basically a monopoly on the initiation of force, it needs to be held accountable, so providing the structure for regular elections which hold our officials accountable for the actions they take on behalf is also an essential role for government. Also government is obviously the proper venue to conduct foreign diplomacy with other national governments and that foreign policy should be based on pursuing our collective interests in the global community. Lastly, obviously all of this needs funding and therefore government has the power of taxation to provide funding for its necessary duties.

Moving beyond those core purposes, we have what I call secondary roles. Protecting the free market (which would include anti-trust laws and laws that require companies to provide honest information products so consumers can make informed choices), correcting market failures (failing to account for externality costs, or sometimes even failing to provide nessary services due to man's nature of self interest), and other acts promoting the "general welfare" with guidelines very similar to Goshin's. These acts would include universal access to education and a safety net that focuses on equipping people with the skills they need to succeed rather than making them long term dependents of the state through handouts. Probably a few other things too, but they're escaping me at the moment.
 

Black Dog

King Of The Dog Pound
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
36,230
Reaction score
8,358
Location
Georgia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
The federal government as I see it should Provide a common defense, regulate commerce between the states and maintain federal property's.

The Constitution pretty much covers it. If our government would actually stick to it, we would all be a little better off.
 
Last edited:

Goshin

Burned Out Ex-Mod
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,511
Reaction score
50,112
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
To ensure the well being of the citizenry, with the citizenry deciding what that entails through democratic process.


The problem that I have with that, in its raw form as stated, is that it leaves too much in the hands of the majority without the constraints of a Constitution that limits government power.

"Majority rules" sounds nice until you realize that, taken to the extreme, 51% could vote to legalize the robbery, rape and murder of the other 49%. (I know you didn't mean it that way Spud, it's just an example.)

This is why the concept of limited government is so important. A government that can do everything you want, can take everything you have.
 

reefedjib

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
6,762
Reaction score
1,619
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
I'll have to invoke the 10th Amendment here. Government is split in its duties and responsibilities. I think the federal government should protect and safeguard our individual rights. This includes common defense, treaties with foreign powers, trade regulation, activities of the legislature and supreme courts. There is some limited federal involvement in the general welfare. Most programs that touch the populace is a responsibility of state government. I think the state government should focus on development, establishing institutions (universities, libraries, research institutes), taxation, education, other social services.

A key point in funding is that only the federal government can borrow money. The state governments cannot, therefore social programs are forced to be affordable.
 

spud_meister

Veni, vidi, dormivi!
Dungeon Master
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
36,134
Reaction score
21,531
Location
Didjabringabeeralong
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
The problem that I have with that, in its raw form as stated, is that it leaves too much in the hands of the majority without the constraints of a Constitution that limits government power.

"Majority rules" sounds nice until you realize that, taken to the extreme, 51% could vote to legalize the robbery, rape and murder of the other 49%. (I know you didn't mean it that way Spud, it's just an example.)

I wasn't suggesting mob rule, I probably should have been more specific, by democratic process I meant with elected officials and all that sorta stuff.
 

Korimyr the Rat

Baby Eating Monster
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
19,550
Reaction score
15,754
Location
Cheyenne, WY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
The State is the ultimate expression of the will of the nation. Its purpose is to maintain order, uphold the public morality, and promote the strength and well-being of the people.
 
Top Bottom