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Our Overgoverned Society


Published January 26, 2021

We live in an overgoverned society. The government is failing to perform the functions only it can perform. It is crucial to recognize where we want to the government to act and where we want individuals to take the lead.

Discussion Questions

  1. What led the government to become so involved in our everyday affairs?
  2. Are there any advantages to being an overgoverned society?

Additional Resources

  • Watch as Milton Friedman discusses the role of government. Available here.
  • Read “The Perils of Executive Power,” by Richard A. Epstein. Available here.
  • Watch “The High Cost of Good Intentions,” by John Cogan. Available here.
  • Read “How Government Stoked the Mania,” by Russ Roberts. Available here.
View Transcript

I’m not arguing that government does not have a role; of course it does. I’m not an anarchist but I am persuaded that the problem of our society today is too much government, not too little. 

Indeed, I am persuaded that the government is failing to perform functions it can alone perform because we are trying to have it perform functions which it cannot perform…. We are an over governed society.

I believe we can get back on the right track only as the public at large comes to recognize that the direction we have been going is a false direction. 

A direction not where we want to be but where we do not want to be.