We have known about Reynolds’ Law for quite some time:
“Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them.”
Well, it seems like Glen Reynolds (of Instapundit fame) now has a new law (making the above Reynolds First Law)
Reynolds’ Second Law:
“The more a government wants to run its citizens’ lives, the worse job it will do at the most basic tasks of government.”
NYC Mayor Bloomberg is a perfect example of this: Tell you what you can eat, what you can drink, where you can smoke, how you can defend yourself, how you can help feed the poor – the list goes on and on. Yet, potholes are still there. Chicago can’t keep its people safe but they’re excellent at playing politics. The schools suck, but the Blue / Progressive model says to “perfect” your citizens – but you can’t even balance a budget.
The Proper Role of Government: Do the basics first, do them extremely well. Do them for a long time to institutionalize that knowledge and the work ethic. Remember, we consented to be governed, not ruled. Do these few things well and we will trust you. Local government – you were hired to keep the street in order, educate the kids, put out fires, catch the bad guys. Until the large cities do that (or smaller ones) at a reasonable cost, leave the rest of us alone. National Government – keep our enemies outside of our borders. Act as an umpire with the rules, fairly applying them across everyone and not special interests. Stay within the enumerated bounds of the Law of the Land (and make the changes needed if you are not) – the Constitution.
Then, let we citizens make ourselves better – or not. That is not up for you to do – for that would be ruling, not government. Again, we didn’t hire you to do that.