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How to fix government

I recently saw the suggestion that we can fix the problems of the U.S. federal government by "kicking them all out": firing every single incumbent congressman and banning corporate lobbying. Making corporate lobbying illegal strikes me as somewhat naive and definitely restrictive of rights.

As Walter Williams often says, the government shouldn't have the legal power to do bad things ... then the problem of lobbyists influencing it to do such things will go away.

I don't think term limits of one term will fix the problem, either, whether it happens from statute or the vote.

I think the only way to limit the power of government to encroach upon its citizens' rights to life, liberty, and property is for that government to be checked by alternate, competing institutions "instituted among men to secure these rights ... and whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." (For those who might not recognize it, this is a near quote from the United States Declaration of Independence. You should really read it sometime. If you don't believe in this stuff, you really shouldn't be celebrating on July 4th.)

If you don't think the U.S. federal government is adequately securing your rights, then you do morally have and should legally have the right to use your own resources to establish your own rights-securing institution, including the right to delegate enforcement of your rights to others who work on your behalf, the right to subscribe to such services from a company, the right to collaborate with and work with other people to build your institution as you see fit. The government does not morally have and should not legally have the right to force people to pay for its services and prevent them from receiving such services from other providers.

The problems are:

  • government is a monopoly
  • security for the rights of life, liberty, and property is a socialized service, instead of being provided by a free market
  • government grants to itself the legal right to take actions which are not morally right (i.e., violation of the rights of people to life, liberty, and property)

Personally, I think the biggest committer of crimes against me and my neighbors, is the U.S. federal government. I would like to see everyone kicked out of it and to leave the offices empty, not repopulate them and play Russian roulette and hope (against all evidence) that somehow it will come out better this time, and that if it doesn't we can still somehow improve it in the future through the democratic process and constant monitoring and tweaking of statutes and regulations. At the very least, give the rest of us the right to opt out, even if you want to keep it.

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