|The Course of Empire Destruction (Thos. Cole, 1836)|
For a number of years now I have been posing the title statement as a question. In print and in conversation. Crickets and bullfrogs; the query might just as well have been rhetorical. Few have responded, and no one has ever offered an apposite answer. Big-government types occasionally make an attempt, but only after they've changed the question to suit a prepared answer. The most common response, for example, is to reply that government does some things right, which I've never denied and which is entirely outside the scope of the question.
I thought for a time about beginning a list of government's pernicious errors, misguided initiatives and social, economic and legal meddling, deliberate undermining of the rule of law, the dissolution of a formerly robust civil society.... But I wouldn't know how to end it. I cordially invite the reader to pick a serious problem that is innocent of government cause or exacerbation. I'll be happy to engage in an honest debate.