A government either serves its people, or rules them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “Democracy”, a “Republic”, or a “Dictatorship” or “Oligarchy” — someone (a majority, a representative, or some other ruling few) either has the power to dictate economic, political, and social justice or is given only the power to protect it.
In America, there now are MILLIONS of laws that are the former, and almost no laws that are the latter (such as the Bill of Rights). If people understood even the most basic civics and the Founding Fathers’ American values with regards to government and liberty, there would be almost no need for debate on any of the hotbed issues we continue to face.
Instead, we have decided to be ruled, betting against ridiculous odds that power given and liberties surrendered for the greater good will not be used at another time and instance for the not-so-greater-good. We think of all the good a larger, stronger government can do, such as the Autobahn and a devastatingly effective military and having the trains run on time and a job for every person, and do not realize how LITTLE effort and money and laws it takes to achieve this by protecting and organizing individuals, families, and communities.
Less is More
Government can served by fewer, simpler laws, but a more effective judiciary may be necessary. EPA? FDA? OSHA? All unnecessary if people have legal recourse against the ills these organizations purport to address. Instead, these acronymwit compilings of regulations only serve as a conduit for political fundraising and graft. K Street and its influence would not exist if government did not have the (questionable) authority to micromanage these various realms.
Free market solutions, however, do not have these trappings. We have had trustable standards for electrical devices for many years now. What is the government agency for that? Oh, wait, it’s Underwriter Laboratories, and industry organization. How did the government standardize train tracks to the Roman Axle width? It didn’t. The industry sorted itself out. The list goes on.
How do we get there from here? Make an amendment (on State and Federal levels) that no law may be written or be considered constitutional unless a minimum of 10, or 100, or 1000 other related laws be removed, including all previous conflicting laws. It would still take a century to get rid of all the chaff pulp of the last two, but at least the pride of a legislator would no longer be measured by how many bills they can sponsor or pass, where until now they damn the consequence under the imperative guise of working hard.
No, their job is to rule as little as necessary and serve as much as possible. The system can work, if we understand it and expect it to. Unfortunately nearly everyone, from schoolteacher to voter to legislator, falls short.