Editor’s note: The following letter was originally posted on ‘The Freeman’ website. ‘The Freeman’ is a publication of the Foundation for Economic Education. Lawrence W. Reed serves as the president of FEE.
Dear Statist Friends:
I know, I know. You’re already objecting to my letter. You don’t like the label “statist.” You don’t think of yourselves as worshiping government; rather, you think of yourselves as simply wanting to help people, with government being your preferred means to achieve what is usually a very worthy end. “Statist,” you say, is a loaded term—a pejorative that suggests an overweening, irrational kinship with the state.
Well, let’s wait and see how the term stacks up after you’ve read my whole letter and answered its questions. Meantime, if you have any doubt about whether this missive is directed at you, let me clarify to whom I am writing. If you’re among those many people who spend most of their time and energy advocating a litany of proposals for expanded government action, and little or no time recommending offsetting reductions in state power, then this letter has indeed found its mark.
You clever guys are always coming up with new schemes for government to do this or that, to address this issue or solve that problem, or fill some need somewhere. You get us limited-government people bogged down in the minutiae of how your proposed programs are likely to work (or not work), and while we’re doing the technical homework you seldom do, you demonize us as heartless number crunchers who don’t care about people.Details