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The size of government

May 27, 2009

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am concerned that governments in the US and Canada are using the current economic malaise (and our associated fear) to temporarily increase the size of governments.  Of course, in this context, temporary is defined as permanent.

Here is one Opinion piece and one Comment piece from Canada`s National Post.  They`re both worth a read.

http://tinyurl.com/r6k663 

and

http://tinyurl.com/r2vcgc

No doubt, there is a role for government in society.  However, when I drive through downtown Vancouver and see prime downtown real estate owned by the federal government, I ask myself, “should a federal government be in the property devleopment and managment business?”  My answer to this is a resounding “no”.  

Governments, in my view, shouldn’t run surpluses, nor should they run deficits.   They should aim to have balanced budgets.  If there is an excess of revenues over expenses, return the cash to taxpayers in the form of reduced taxes.  If there is a surplus of expenses over revenues, reduce the size of government.

Unfortunately, governments drink their own kool-aid and believe in their own destiny to right society’s wrongs.  In areas like protecting our borders, extending a helping hand to those who truly need it, enforincing the rule of law are all areas where government can have a very positive impact.  

Owning and running gas companies, rail roads, real estate, airlines, insurance companies and power producers are not areas where government is best equipped to participate.

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