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The size of government

Posted on 21st Jun 2016 at 12:28 PM from Warwick, UK

In the second part of why I believe we should leave the EU without guesswork, I want to consider the role and extend of government on a nation. I think that we can agree that every nation needs governance.

Governments exist to manage the country. Their primary purpose should always be to ensure the well being and prosperity of the nation's citizens. The secondary role is about the nation's position in the world such as providing aid and being influential on international decisions.

Most people would agree that we need government to ensure that there is a just legal framework and a mean of enforcing that framework. We need government to provide infrastructure such as our roads and our electricity supplies. We need government to provide the climate for the economy to thrive. Also the government should provide for when things go wrong for an individual in the form of a safety net that we call the NHS and the welfare system.

All of the above are good reasons why all nations need a strong government regardless of which ideology it happens to follow. However governments have a tendency to go far and beyond the above and to create boundless rules and regulations, traditions and ceremony that do not serve the nation. When this happens things start to go wrong. The most extreme cases result in war or revolution but more commonly in a democracy, it leads to a change of government.

An esteemed 21st century thinker, Karl Popper, says that we should not worry too much about who we choose to rule our society. Instead concern ourselves with ensuring that we can remove them from power when we choose.

History tells us that when government confines itself to performing its essential tasks of providing a social framework, then the people who make up the society have a universal talent for ensuring that the economy booms. When we have small government, one without burdensome regulations, we have social growth and prosperity. Conversely when we have many layers of government creating rules and regulations, the economic growth is stifled and restricted.

It is my belief that the UK government is too big, it is far too reaching in the issues that it deals with and affects. I consider the highly inflated house prices that we see to be just one consequence of this. Our government should be smaller, not bigger.

Membership of the EU adds more layers of complexity to the way that our nation is governed. It provides more regulations to slow down economic growth and inhibit the natural ability of individuals to prosper. And it provides virtually no mechanism for the people of the UK to remove its leaders from power.

Membership of the EU, by its very nature, increases the size of government and thus inhibits progress.

   
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