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30 Oct 2020  (518 Views) 
Political systems

Big or small government?
The conservatives argue that big government is bad. They say, "the government is the problem". Their solution - make the government small and leave most matters to be dealt by the private sector.

They point out that a big government, and especially a big bureaucracy, can be inefficient and wasteful. They show examples of over-spending on procurement by the government.

They fail to realize that there is a role for a big government as well, for example in building the infrastructure of a country and in taking care of the needs of ordinary people in health and education. 

There is also a need for the government to ensure that people have jobs are are protected by welfare - although the argument in favor of these goals are not clear. The conservatives can give compelling reasons that these goals have negative consequences.

Should we then have a big government or a small government? This is the wrong question. 

The correct question is - how can we ensure that the government is competent.

There are matters that should be the responsibility of a government - such as the provision of infrastructure, health, education and other essential public services,

There are matters that can be left to the private sector, but may still need to be regulated.

If the government is competent, it will ask the right questions and get the right answers. 

If a government is incompetent or corrupt, it will lead to disaster for the country.

Tan Kin Lian

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