Government’s Talents

The state is bad — wasteful, inefficient, and incompetent — at almost everything it tries to do. There are two exceptions that I can think of:

  • First, making war, which is the application of violence against the citizens of another state.
  • Second, prosecuting crimes, which is the application of violence against its own citizens.

If it doesn’t have to do with the use or threatened use of force, government stinks at it. (Whether government should be in the business of doing things that it does badly is a separate question. I would say that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.)

0 responses to “Government’s Talents”

  1. Good post, Mark.

    The State cannot win with me. When it is bumbling and inefficient, I complain because it wastes my tax dollars. When it is efficient, I complain because it is usually paired with tyranny and general assaults on liberty.

    When people point this out to me, I reply: All the more reason to abolish the State!

    In the words of Mr. Miyagi, “Best block, no be there.”

  2. I’ll just wait to read your blog the day after you or your loved ones are seriously harmed by one of your potential clients. What will you do? Cry out that the perp should not be punished because the state is committing violence against its own? I have my doubts…

    I bet you’ll be the first in line to put the lock on that “box”.

  3. Anonymous:

    Posting things like that without signing your name is cowardly.

    If you’re looking forward to seeing me or my loved ones hurt, don’t hold your breath. I don’t rely on the government to keep us safe.

    Sometimes society needs to use violence against its own; if it didn’t, government would be neither an inevitable nor a necessary evil. Some people need probation, some need imprisonment, and some need killing.

    But the government is so busy using violence (which includes the threat of violence) against those who don’t need it that only a truly ignorant person would trust the government to keep him safe. It is a sucker’s bet.

    If you think that in a free society government succeeds, or ever could succeed, in keeping its citizens safe, then you are stupid as well as ignorant and cowardly.

    Unfortunately, it’s stupid, ignorant, cowardly people who get to decide how much money the government takes out of my pocket every year (using violence), and what it gets spent on.


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