March 31, 2010

A Growing Government

There is an article in Newsweek titled “Make it Stop: How Obama can fix our runaway government.” in which the author Jacob Weisberg addresses current concerns about the size and scope of our government. Many people fear that government may begin to grow without limits. This worry is in part because of the recent recession and because of the wars that our country is currently fighting. In responding to these events the author believes that our public sector may become more intrusive and expansive and in turn make the private sector less free and dynamic.
I completely agree with the author of this article on the potential for unwanted government growth and the terribly negative effects an expansive government would have on society. Weisberg suggests that President Obama can help to alleviate these fears at least slightly if he addresses dangers. Thus far Obama has not addressed these concerns and has made them even worse by keeping his view on what government’s role should be very vague. He has not identified himself as being someone who wants to provide a wiser and more responsible government.
Weisberg quotes Obama as saying “The issue isn’t how big government is but weather it works.” This statement caught my attention immediately because Austrian economics addresses not only big government but also addresses weather certain government practices “work” or not. If Obama truly only cares that government “works” then he would see that the size of government does matter. In our readings we read numerous examples of how expanded government intervention is a bad thing. The more government attempts to over step its bounds into the private sector the more problems it creates. An Austrian economist would not make value judgments about these policies but simply ask one question: Did government accomplish what they intended to accomplish? We saw in numerous cases that the answer was no. Government was not successful in accomplishing what it intended to. There are many things that government simply cannot do and should not attempt to do. If Obama really doesn’t see the size of government as being an issue then I think that our country certainly should be worried.

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