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How To Control Big Government


Published: April 7, 2020

The best way to rein in the federal government is to tackle the explosive growth in government spending head-on. Limiting government to its most essential functions can protect us from the dangers of a large central government.

Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways has the government adopted responsibilities past its basic functions?
  2. How can the market make up for and improve upon current government programs?

Additional Resources

  • Watch “How to Stay Free” on Free to Choose with Milton Friedman. Available here.
  • Read “Are Large Deficits and Debt Dangerous?” by Michael J. Boskin. Available here
  • Read “How a California Corporation Creates More Social Good Than Any Government” by Lee Ohanian. Available here.
View Transcript


Throughout the free world, the public is coming to recognize the dangers of the big government and is taking steps to control it. 

But each of us gets special benefits from one or another governmental program. 

The temptation is to try to cut down government at someone else’s expense while retaining our own special privileges. That way is stalemate. 

The right approach is to tackle head-on the explosive growth in government spending. 

What we need is widespread public recognition that the central government should be limited to its basic functions: defending the nation against foreign enemies; preserving order at home; mediating our disputes. 

We must come to recognize that voluntary cooperation, through the market and in other ways, is a far better way to solve our problems