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Lilliputian Liberty

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Published on Dec 12, 2010

Looking at the concept of governmental involvement in citizens' personal lives.

This video is meant to illustrate the importance of pausing to consider whether government involvement is the best way to address an issue. While individual governance is extremely useful in a great number of situations, one must also recognize that state involvement can be beneficial in certain situations, such as a reasonably sized national defense.

Video transcript below:
Lilliputian Liberty
The United States of Lilliput has some work to do. The Lilliputians are debating over which part of their eggs to crack. The leading contending opinions claim that it is best to crack them from either the smaller, or the larger ends. Lilliput happens to be composed of fifty states and they are nearly evenly divided in support of the two most popular methods of egg cracking. About 60% of the Lilliputians in 25 of the states support a bill called Plan A, for cracking their eggs from the smaller end, while about 60% of the other 25 states of Lilliput support Plan B, for cracking them from the larger end. The national government of the United States of Lilliput could decide which of these opposing plans should be implemented but if it does so then only 50%, at most, of the Lilliputians will be happy with the outcome and at least 50% of the Lilliputians will be unhappy with the result. Fortunately, one enterprising state governor of Lilliput realizes and points out that they can make many more Lilliputians happy by allowing the individual states of Lilliput to decide what plan to follow. That way the 60% of each state that supports plan A can use that one, while the states where 60% of the Lilliputians support plan B can use the plan they prefer. The Lilliputians soon realize that, when the various states of Lilliput are allowed to decide which plan to follow, not only will more Lilliputians be under the plan they desire, but others who aren't so fortunate will be able to more easily move to other places that do use the plan they prefer. They've also discovered that out that when states are allowed to adopt their own plans many more systems can be tried out then just plan A and plan B, allowing some Lilliputians to call on their states to adopt plan C, or even Z! The Lilliputians are over-joyed at these revelations and are ready to celebrate when a wise mayor of a Lilliputian city points out that 90% of the Lilliputians in his city support Plan A and that in other cities 90% of the population support plan B. When cities and counties of the United States of Lilliput are allowed to decide which plan to adopt about 90% of the Lilliputians are able to live under the plan they desire! Once again the Lilliputians are ready to celebrate in the streets at this great increase in the freedom of Lilliputians to live under the systems they prefer. But is the best these United States can do? Or can some innovative individuals, benefiting from a bit of common sense, point out that this pattern has one final step that can allow 100% of the people to live as they wish? What, then, was the most important decision the citizens of Lilliput were faced with? Which plan to implement? Or what level of governance should be used to answer that question? And why hasn't this question been asked in our United States? Are we really going to let ourselves be out done by Lilliputians?

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