Small government was Re: [extropy-chat] EMP Attack?

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at
Mon Apr 18 21:21:23 UTC 2005

--- spike <spike66 at> wrote:
> > bounces at] On Behalf Of Brett Paatsch
> > Subject: Small government was Re: [extropy-chat] EMP Attack?
> > 
> > Spike wrote:
> > 
> > > These government guys wonder why we don't trust them
> > > and want smaller government.
> ...
> > 
> > But how small a smaller government do you actually want?
> I would like to see governments figure out that there
> is an optimal taxation level, above which raising tax
> rates results in a decrease in income to the state
> because it suppresses the general economy.  All national
> governments have overall tax rates that are above the
> optimal.  Ronald Reagan (evolution bless his memory) was
> one of the few that understood this.  I would estimate
> the U.S. fed would be perhaps half to 2/3 its current
> size, should it optimize.

If people realized they didn't owe it, we could do that overnight (see
> > Roman emperors achieved very small governments but that situation
> > didn't prove ultimately stable, not even for the Roman emperors
> > themselves.
> Rome was stable for a long time.  I would not expect
> any form of government to last for more than a few 
> hundred years.  I can't think of any that have.

Rome, founded in 475 BC, lasted as a Republic until 44 BC when Ceasar
took over. It then lasted as an empire another 500 years. Half of it
then devolved, while the other half lasted up to the time of the
Crusades in the 1100's. A run of 1500 years is pretty damn good for a
nation of any sort. Considering we likely won't make it to 300, let
along 400 years as a Republic in any fashion, we likely won't be as

> > 
> > Clearly smaller government isn't of itself always better
> government.
> > 
> > Brett Paatsch
> Not clearly.  In the technologically advanced part of
> the world, the national-level governments do too much
> and cost too much.  Common defense and road building 
> is all they really need at that level.  The rest of 
> the stuff can be governed at a sublevel, such as the
> American states, where we proles have a choice to 
> live there or in another competing state.  Competition
> forces state governments to optimize themselves.

Not nearly enough. The US Revolution was started over a tax of a
fraction of a percent. Rome's tax burden was about 5% (and that was
thought extortionate at the time). The 40-60% average per capita tax
burden we pay today is far beyond sharing or paying ones fair share: it
is quite clearly extortionate, it is slavery, but it has crept up so
slowly that most all people have not noticed the boiling water.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 

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