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Journal anti-pop-frustration's Journal: I like Adam Smith's critique of small government

by spun (1352)

"Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all."
The Wealth of Nations,Book V, Chapter I, Part II, 775

If Government is stripped of all other functions save the defense of property, it is a tyranny of the rich. I believe that is why the rich nearly invariably favor small government. The more desperate the have-nots are, the more they will put up with and the less they will demand. Taking away social safety nets favors the rich employer who desires a pool of desperate, starving, cheap workers.

But the truly rich make up less than one percent of our population. Why do the non rich desire smaller government? Is it out of some philosophical principle? Well, if humans were commonly genius-saints, perhaps. But we aren't. Most of us start from our assumptions and reason backwards to find support. And most of the upper middle class assume they will be rich one day, despite the lack of any evidence that this is likely. The gap between an upper middle class person making $100,000 to $250,000 per year and an actual owning class person is tremendous. We do not have as much upward mobility in our society as we would like to believe, but everyone believes we do. Why? Simple: anyone who says they don't think they can make it is obviously a failure. Who wants to admit to being a failure? The myth says hard work will make you rich, what, are you lazy?

This is how the rich fool the middle class into defending the rich from the poor, even though the middle class has far more in common with the poor than the rich.

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I like Adam Smith's critique of small government

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"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351