Government: Why Less is More | Milo Horrocks

With the general election drawing to a close, we've seen various promises from both sides concerning what actions each party will take, if elected, in order to tackle the problems facing society. Be it education, employment, immigration, the NHS, Brexit— you name it, most political parties want the power to put their plans into action. However, whether you agree with the next Government's policies or not, it is certain that you will be forced to fund through taxes whatever action the Government chooses to take, and also modify your life to comply with new laws with which you may or may not agree. It is easy to see that under such a system, there will always be people, or groups of people, who lose out and are forced to do things they don't want to do, and pay for things with which they disagree.

Now, you may be thinking, 'Well that's just the nature of politics. Someone has to lose, that’s why we have elections.' However, my problem is not with the elections themselves, but rather with the fact that a vast majority of people consider them to be a choice on how the Government should exercise its power over the people under the guise of 'solving society's problems.' In other words, once in power, most political parties from both the left and the right, will use their authority to dictate to us what we can and cannot do with our money and our lives.

But what if there was another option? What if instead, I suggested that more Government, more laws, and more regulations were not the panacea that a lot of people think them to be? What if rather than taking away people's liberty, we were to reduce the Government's influence over us, and allowed people to have more freedom and choice in regards to the way they conduct their lives? Personally, I not only think this is the most moral and just approach, but I also believe it will benefit society both economically and socially.

For example, is it not an inherent right that every individual should be able to lead their life in whatever way they wish, as long as they don't hurt or steal from anybody? I imagine most people would agree that this is a good thing. Everybody is different and therefore should be free to make whatever choices they wish. Unfortunately, we live in a state in which the Government believes it knows what is best for us, and considers its role to be to protect us from ourselves: Seatbelt laws; Drug Prohibition; Health and Safety regulations; The Sugar Tax. These are all examples of the Government using the power of the law to manipulate society and to take away the freedom of the individual in the name of 'safety'. I mean, if it is illegal not to wear a helmet while using a motorcycle on the grounds of endangering oneself, then should it be illegal to cross the road without looking both ways? Should we instate Jay-walking laws like in America? Of course not. We are smart enough to take care when crossing the roads without the threat of prosecution, so where do we draw the line? Government intervention in our lives on the grounds of caring for us is not only a violation of the individual's inherent right to liberty, but also terrible for society as a whole. When the Government involves itself in managing the lives of its citizens, it reduces the need for individual responsibility and thus makes for a less self-reliant, less free-thinking and ultimately less autonomous population.

This brings me to my next point. If the law is to be used as a substitute for thought and reasoning, then the Government becomes the moral compass of a country, and we find ourselves in a bilateral state of actions being either acceptable or illegal. You might be thinking that that's not so bad. If something is wrong it should be against the law, right? Wrong. Homosexuality, blasphemy, abortion, and women's suffrage were all illegal at some point in our history. Just as slavery was legally endorsed. Do not fall under the illusion of believing the legal status of an action is necessarily representative of its morality. Abolishing laws against victimless crimes such as drug-use would be a good start to giving some freedom back to the people, and would also free up police time and resources, reduce overcrowding in prisons, and funnily enough, more than likely reduce drug-related deaths.

Economically, the arguments are also stacked in the favour of liberty. Not only does getting the Government out of our pockets reduce taxes, thus allowing the individual more choice when it comes to spending their own money, but it is also beneficial to the economy in general. Often, people are wooed by politicians' promises of free goodies, but these things must be paid for somehow, and unfortunately, the focus tends to be put onto what we gain and not what we lose. We may well see the extra money being spent by the Government for us, but we seem to ignore the fact that by taking this money out of the economy, businesses have less money to create jobs and invest in various important industries. Furthermore, a lot of the time we see our money squandered on pointless foreign conflicts or politicians' expenses, and even when it is spent on the things we may actually want, it is undeniable that Government spending is incredibly inefficient. Prices take a backseat when it comes to public spending because it is far too easy for the Government to spend other people's money, and rather than looking to reducing inefficiency, we see instead a national debt that is spiralling out of control and increased taxes. Sir Winston Churchill once said: 'For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and endeavouring to lift himself up by the handle', and he was absolutely right — Throwing more money at a problem is not necessarily always the answer.

So, when it comes to who to vote for on June 8th, just ask yourself this: Am I willing to sacrifice my freedom for this party's ideas, or is it time to find another solution? A solution with more liberty and choice for the individual, and less Government telling us what we can and cannot do.

By Milo Horrocks
Government: Why Less is More | Milo Horrocks Government: Why Less is More | Milo Horrocks Reviewed by Student Voices on 20:20 Rating: 5

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