In every society throughout human history the following relationship has held true: as government grows, human freedom and happiness shrinks. Best selling author, Dennis Prager puts it this way: "The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen." This has been true in Europe for decades and is becoming ever more so in the United States. But it's not the kind of nation, the Founding Fathers had in mind. Can we get back to the principles of liberty and individual responsibility? It's a big challenge. But first we have to recognize the problem.
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The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. This is one of the most important realizations about society you will ever have. In fact, this understanding is the primary reason for America’s unique success as both a free and affluent society.
Everything gets smaller as the government gets bigger. Liberty gets smaller, individuality gets smaller, goodness gets smaller, and human character gets smaller. This is not a political point on behalf of a political party. It is simply an observable fact. And it’s just common sense.
Now, no one denies that government can and must do certain things. There’s plenty for government to do. It’s the government that must protect us from foreign attacks. That’s why we have armed forces. It’s the government that must protect us from criminals within our country. That’s why we have police. Likewise fire departments and courts are obviously necessary government institutions. And, yes, when all else fails -- private and religious-based charities, families, friends -- then, too, the government must be there to provide a safety net of last resort. But it must always be “of last resort.” When government is the first resort -- the first place citizens look when they have a problem -- bad things happen.
As government grows almost everything else begins to disappear.
The first thing that goes when government gets bigger than it needs to be is goodness. Yes, goodness. As the state gets bigger, people simply do less good for their fellow citizens. After all, why help others when the government will do it for you?
This is the reason that, as noted by the international non-profit organization, Charities Aid Foundation, and shown in study after study, Americans give more charity and volunteer more time to help others than do Europeans, not to mention just about everybody else in the world.
From the beginning, Americans understood that government must be small and therefore individuals must devote time and money to helping others, as well as non-governmental institutions of goodness, they have to be large and plentiful.
Europeans, on the other hand, with their philosophy of big government, came to rely on the state to help their fellow citizens -- and even their own family members.
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