The Proper Role of Government: Protection and Empowerment, Not Overreach.

A discussion on the proper role and function of government for a free and just society.



6/26/20245 min read

mount rushmore
mount rushmore

Hello fellow readers, welcome to the blog! Today I'll try to answer the question, "what is the proper role of government?" The proper role of government is to protect the community, tribe, or nation it belongs to, and to ensure the free and healthy development of its members. This involves limited interference in the affairs of citizens, avoiding self-enrichment, and not enlarging its scope unnecessarily. Unfortunately, many of today's social, economic, and political problems can be traced to governmental overreach in various sectors such as education, law and crime, medical care, and the financial system.

Limited Government for a Healthy Society

I am not an anarchist, but I firmly believe that a limited government with clearly defined powers is essential for a healthy and just country. When the government oversteps its bounds, it often leads to inefficiency and disrespect for the laws it imposes. As economist Milton Friedman aptly explained, "You can rigidly enforce only those laws that most people believe to be good laws." Laws that are perceived as unnecessary or intrusive can only be enforced through brute force, which undermines their legitimacy.

For example, prohibitions on substances like alcohol in the past, and stringent speed laws today, demonstrate how laws that many view as overreaching are difficult to enforce and often lead to widespread non-compliance. Intentions don't matter, results do! Preventing people from making informed choices, though harmful ones, about their own lives is not the government's proper role and function. Even with the purpose of helping, more often than not it exacerbates problems or creates new ones where none previously existed. Government increase expansion have been following the method of "inventing" a problem out of thin air, and then charging it's citizens for the "solution".

Government Inefficiency in Medical Care

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is a prime example of government inefficiency. With over 2,000 managers earning six-figure salaries, some earning almost twice as much as the Prime Minister, it's clear that the system is bloated. This occurs while nurses strike over inadequate wages. Additionally, the NHS has spent millions on non-essential procedures like liposuctions and cosmetic surgeries, which raises questions about its priorities and efficiency.

Overreach Leads to Ineffectiveness

When the government involves itself in too many areas, it inevitably performs poorly in the areas where its involvement is crucial. The basic functions of government should be to defend the nation against foreign enemies, prevent coercion among individuals, provide a means of creating and enforcing rules, and adjudicate disputes. However, when resources are spread thin across unnecessary sectors, these fundamental responsibilities suffer.

The Influence of Special Interests

One of the main reasons government overreach becomes problematic is the influence of special interests. Government actions often provide substantial benefits to a few at the expense of the many. For instance, multinational companies often have a say in the regulations that govern their industries through lobbying, which can lead to skewed policies that favor them. This scenario is akin to criminals deciding their own punishments—clearly, a conflict of interest.

Case Study: New York Taxicab Regulation

The regulation of New York taxicabs illustrates how government interference can create more problems than it solves. The number of taxicabs is limited by government fiat, and the medallions required to operate a cab are traded in a market where their price can skyrocket. Milton Friedman noted that if these limitations were removed, the benefits would far outweigh the losses.

Consumers would have more choices, the number of cabs would increase, and driver earnings would likely rise due to increased demand. However, current medallion owners, who stand to lose from such deregulation, resist change to protect their own interests, at the cost of everyone else, and so it is in too many other areas of economic endeavour where government interference creates incentives that benefit a few but harm the rest.

Sex Education

Sexual morality is something that should be discussed in the privacy of the home by parents or caretakers, who have greater interest and more to lose in the case they fail to properly teach those who depend on them. When parents/caretakers were in driving seat of such conversations, there was not the explosion of single motherhood, sexual promiscuity and diseases, teenage pregnancy and the likes we witness since the moment Government decided it was their job, not the family's, to educate.

All of these maladies can be traced back to the implementation of government sex education. The effect of these policies has been the hyper-sexualization of children by exposing them to pornographic material under the guise of sexual education, and results are out for everyone to see. Abstinence and sexual restraint are mocked and ridiculed by people of all ages.

Limited Interference in Citizen's Lives

While protection is paramount, a government should have limited interference in the personal affairs of its citizens. Excessive control can stifle individual freedoms and creativity. The balance lies in:

  1. Regulating without Overreach: Regulations should protect citizens without becoming overly restrictive. For instance, environmental laws should safeguard natural resources without crippling businesses.

  2. Supporting Personal Freedom: Individuals should have the freedom to pursue their dreams and live their lives as they see fit, provided they do not harm others. This includes freedom of speech, religion, and the right to privacy.

  3. Promoting Economic Freedom: Economic policies should encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, allowing individuals to prosper through their efforts. Over-regulation can hinder economic growth and personal advancement.

Avoiding Self-Enrichment and Expansion

A government's purpose is not to enrich itself or perpetuate its power. Instead, its focus should be on serving its citizens. This means:

  1. Transparency and Accountability: Government actions and finances should be transparent. Citizens have the right to know how their taxes are being used and to hold their leaders accountable.

  2. Avoiding Corruption: Corruption undermines trust and efficiency. Governments must implement strict anti-corruption measures to ensure that public resources are used for the common good.

  3. Resisting Unnecessary Expansion: Governments should avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and expansion. A lean, efficient government can more effectively serve its citizens than a bloated, self-serving one.


Most problems are caused by government interference and are often solved by reducing its involvement. By focusing on its primary roles—protecting the community, preventing coercion, providing clear rules, and resolving disputes—a government can truly serve its purpose. Limited government not only fosters a healthier and more just society but also respects the autonomy and capabilities of its citizens.

The proper role of government is to act as a protector and enabler for its citizens. By focusing on safeguarding the community, minimizing interference in personal affairs, avoiding self-enrichment, and fostering conditions for free and healthy development, governments can truly serve their intended purpose. This balanced approach ensures that individuals can thrive, innovate, and contribute to a prosperous, just society. There's so much more I could say on this subject, but it'll suffice for now. See you all soon!

"One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs
by their intentions rather than their results."
Milton Friedman