What do Americans want out of government? Ask that question and you will be inundated with the all kinds of lofty answers. Answers will include, “We the people………justice, honor, liberty for all, fairness, racial equality………………………….on and on and on……” Out of instinct, all people exalt their species, exalt themselves, exalt their country, exalt the school they graduated from. People, in their own minds define themselves as some kind of minor league divinity with intrinsic value anointed by God, doers of good things, filled with honor………and so on.
In my fantasy free approach to economics I study the behavior of the human animal, the same way I would study any group of animals. No particular person or institution is held in awe. The rich, poor, president, attorney general, congressmen, senators get no more respect than any of the other animals. Each animal is guided by self interest. Each animal has certain personality, characteristics and a different level of education and intelligence.
The one thing all of the animals have in common is that they are guided by self interest. A unique aspect of fantasy free economics is that work is acknowledged as a second choice. All animals will work but only after they are convinced they cannot live off the efforts of others. From the work as a second choice principle, all kinds of efforts and initiatives are undertaken to benefit from the labor of others. Not all of this is bad. The business owner benefits from the efforts of employees who are paid fairly for their time. Stealing outright is not good. There are all kinds of variations.
The most effective way to live off of others is to start climbing Mooch Mountain, which is what government is, after basic function like protection are taken care of. All who approach government do so for the same reason, personal gain. Government is a means to an end. Government provides legal way to steal money.
The poor are usually pointed to as the countries mooches. They get some benefits. Oddly they never asked for anything. Clearly programs for the poor benefit others besides the poor because the poor have no political power.
Who actually lives at the top of Mooch Mountain? It is the wealthy who have the intelligence, money and power to get what they want from government. The poor and middle class believe in the prospect of getting something from government. A few do but taken as a whole government is a net loss to all but the rich and highly educated.
To reduce the size of government it is necessary to take benefits away from the people who determine the flow of self serving legislation and policy. If small government worked in favor of the rich, government agencies would start closing tomorrow. Laws would be repealed. Compounding the problem is the fact that almost all Americans think government is growing because of what people at the bottom of the income ladder are demanding.