Government cannot perform Effectively, Efficiently and Economically for a reason: Government by definition must conflate multiple, often competing interests. That requires successive compromises and compromise is the enemy of effectiveness, efficiency and economy. But accomplishing those compromises in a generally acceptable manner is the purpose of human government. Put another way, government is humanity’s tool to optimize social behavior. When it imposes its selected behaviors, it crosses the line into tyranny. Leading society toward improved behaviors is for other, non-governmental institutions.
As of 2020, it is the great fallacy of much of the world that the purpose of government is the well-being of society, that well-being implicitly to be defined by government. That view seems an inevitable result of the spread of democratic governments wherein politicians compete in bribing voters with promises of benefits at the expense of others. Pursued, that produces an all-encompassing government, resulting in a nearly totally politicized society. As is currently visible, such conditions are antipathetic to Judeo-Christian morals and intolerant of competing beliefs, which tend to be crowded out as government expands, increasing its dominance. President Ronald Reagan famously said that government is not the solution; government is the problem. He was correct; to believe that a process politically compromising competing interests can simultaneously optimize those interests seems absurd on its face and even more so in a universe where nothing is free..
Solutions for social problems must proceed from the society affected; they should not be politicized, misbegotten impositions such as we see today when a biological male wins female athletic honors by claiming that he identifies as female. Though that is admittedly an extreme example, it is nevertheless a cogent support for the idea that government, along with fire and money, makes a good servant but a poor master. President Reagan’s indictment arises from the reality that human government necessarily proceeds from human nature; it is an expression of human DNA.
Human government is, like the human nature that produces it, conflicted since it must recognize the conflicting interests representing a society of competitive individuals whose advancement rests upon combining efforts. The reality is expressed in the following axioms:
AXIOMS OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR:
- Humanity cannot expect to maximize outcomes for everyone.
- Humanity needs to maximize outcomes for the species.
- But humans need to maximize outcomes individually.
- Therefore, the species must strive for the most generous average individual outcomes and
- Individuals should accept that, but often do not.
RESULTING AXIOMS OF HUMAN GOVERNMENT BEHAVIOR:
- Government is contested among individuals seeking improved outcomes.
- Policies balance between the minimum outcomes acceptable to governors and governed.
- Available surplus is appropriated by the governors firs; accrues to the governed second.
- Any deficit is charged to the governed first, the governors second.
None of these axioms are altered by the design of the system of government in use, though their effects may be skewed. (They all proceed from human DNA, or if you are Judeo-Christian, from God.)
In America, the Judeo-Christian liberals who founded the United States used their Declaration of Independence to advertise a hierarchy: God, His created people and only then their government, dependent upon their consent. The structure erected by the U.S. Constitution sits on that foundation; without it, much of its meaning is lost and with it, most of its safeguards for liberty.
To become the arbiter and enforcer of societal well-being, government must dethrone God and reduce his people to servants, reversing the founding hierarchy. That is the direction of America and much of today’s recently Judeo-Christian West.