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When the Government Does Too Much


Published: June 03, 2021

From preserving the national defense to securing individual rights, the government has its own set of duties that only it can perform. However, because the government is doing more activities than necessary, it performs many of its functions poorly. That leads to inefficiency and the loss of economic freedom.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why has the government shifted its focus to other duties?
  2. How can the government bring its focus back on the services only it can perform?

Additional Resources

  • Listen to Milton Friedman’s Firing Line Debate with William F. Buckley Jr. Available here.
  • Read Milton Friedman’s essay Why Government Is the Problem.” Available here.
View Transcript

Of course there are some services that cannot be provided by the market.. 

such as preserving the national defense, securing individuals in their private lives against coercion and against harm from others, such as making the rules by which we live our lives. 

If there is anything that is obvious, in my opinion, it is that our government, and government of other countries, are not performing those basic functions as well as we would like them to perform. 

And surely one of the main reasons why they’re not doing so is because they’ve been diverted from those basic functions by engaging in all sorts of activities in which they ought not to be engaged in.