It seems to me that the goal of good government should be to; Raise the standard of living in every way, for every person under it’s dominion. The societal structure, as much as is possible, must be set up so that people have, low cost of food (as a percentage of household income), rising disposable income as compared to inflation, continually improving health, low unemployment, access to housing, freedom to practice religion, relative safety, good and improving infrastructure, availability of information to every person, protection of property rights, and most of all, the freedom to, enjoy them, or opt out of them, as the individual sees fit… If we all agree on this precept, we can get down to the fight over how we are going to achieve these results.
Some would argue that an efficient means would be to use the governmental laws and regulation to legislate happiness. When we are protected from ourselves, (helmet laws and seatbelt laws come to mind), by regulation, we hold with disdain the intrusion into our liberties. Some people will capitulate to the intrusion, others will openly flout the law. Neither method is effective at protecting people or our liberties. Those who flout the law are not protected in an accident and people who wear their seatbelts, as the law requires, willingly give up some of their sovereignty to the state. A better way would be through the use of public opinion and societal pressure. Government can wield these tools effectively, if it is used with good intent, and implemented by people above reproach.
To have the Elite above reproach is like jumping to the moon and back, naked. But, it is possible to travel to the moon, using technology. Man’s ability is leveraged by his manipulation of his world. Using the correct means could in effect make the Elite, jump to the moon and back, with the use of leverage. This leverage is a fourth branch of government, see the Manifesto, http://incapp.org/incapp_org_manifesto.htm . Only an Elite set up to oversee other Elites will suffice. Elites have a way of always setting up systems in which they are their own overseers. We all know how well that works. A separate branch would elevate the power of the overseers to the same level as the Elite they are watching. Place the Fourth branch at odds with the other three, and you will have the beginnings of leverage.God gave man free will. If you don’t believe in God, then nature gave man free will. Either way, man’s free will, is the will of heaven or nature. Mencius said that ‘heaven gives good to all men equally, (regardless of who plants a seed it will grow), no matter their station in life, it follows then, that heaven is all encompassing love.’ The goods of production are not spread evenly throughout society, (due to mankind’s nature), but, free will is. Apparently, heaven believes that free will is more important than temporal good. It doesn’t follow then, that God gave man free will to take by force, the free will of another. Regardless of the perceived merit of the enterprise.
The ability to opt out of the system is the logical end to this argument. That isn’t to imply that others then owe the opt outers a living. To opt out is to opt out, society as a whole owes nothing to those who opt out of the society, except, their natural rights. Freedom of; thought, movement, speech, religion, gun ownership (self protection), property (real and chattel), and freedom from; unwarranted arrest, self incrimination, and harassment from the government.
Government has a monopoly on force. The concept of government having a monopoly on violence has been established since the Knights Revolution in the 1400’s. That makes government the final arbiter of every conflict within society.
When a Public Good is provided, it is widely recognized that, some force is needed to provide the largess for them. The argument of the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ is relevant here, in that, an informed person intelligent and aware, acting in his own immediate self interest, can make decisions that lead to his own and society‘s not meeting their long term interest‘s. “If I don’t pay for the good someone else will,” when everyone thinks this way the good is not provided. Government having a monopoly on violence is the only member of society to be able to extract the funds uniformly from the public to provide the Public Good. Government must provide the funds for Public Goods.
When a person’s self interest is involved he, (no matter his virtue), cannot be trusted to be fair in his dealings. The provider of a Public Good should have an interest in providing that good only, and have a ’Final Arbiter’ to intercede for the consumer of that Public Good. If government provides a Public Good, there is no ’final arbiter’ of that service, except the government.
The best means to the end of providing a society that allows the goods, referred to in the first paragraph, to be most widely disseminated in society, is Capitalism. Government being a self interested party cannot be a really disinterested Final Arbiter. The Final Arbiter must be disinterested, else the service will be at best inefficient, and at worse corrupt.
The most significant problem of having firms provide Public Goods is that they will naturally seek monopoly. The method used to date has been to bribe officials in charge of allocating territories. The bribed officials then only give the franchise to that firm, (giving it a monopoly). To society’s detriment, in that, the members of society have to pay more than is the fair market rate for that good. The flexibility of supply is interrupted. We pay more than we need to for the service.
The Fourth Branch as I have inculcated in the Manifesto and elsewhere would counter this propensity. Corrupt officials would be ferreted out and prosecuted. When the light of justice is shone on government cockroaches will have no sanctuary. They will have to flee and find some other place, with more cover, to hide and corrupt. Allowing Public Goods to be delivered economically and fairly.
Isn’t that what we all want?