Proper Role of Government

George Washington said that government, “like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master”. Understanding how government can be used as an effective tool for preserving liberty, when kept in its proper bounds, is essential to ensuring it doesn’t become our “fearful master”.

 

The Law, by Frédéric Bastiat

How is it that the law enforcer itself does not have to keep the law? How is it that the law permits the state to lawfully engage in actions which, if undertaken by individuals, would land them in jail? These are among the most intriguing issues in political and economic philosophy. More specifically, the problem of law that itself violates law is an insurmountable conundrum of all statist philosophies. Bastiat’s essay here is timeless because it applies whenever and wherever the state assumes unto itself different rules and different laws from that by which it expects other people to live. Ezra Taft Benson’s “The Proper Role of Government” takes many of its principles from this timeless classic.

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The Proper Role of Government, by Ezra Taft Benson

Right and wrong as moral principles do not change. They are applicable and reliable determinants whether the situations with which we deal are simple or complicated. There is always a right and wrong to every question which requires our solution. Unlike the political opportunist, the true statesman values principle above popularity, and works to create popularity for those political principles which are wise and just. These are the principles which, in my opinion, proclaim the proper role of government in the domestic affairs of the nation…

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The Standard of Good Government, by Stephen Pratt