Charles Murray, at least in the first fifteen minutes of his presentation here, concentrates on what he calls over regulations. And assuming his stories are true, I agree with what he’s saying here. And I’m not a fan of over regulation either. Passing regulations either through the economy, or in civil life, that tries to control how people behave personally in the economy, or their personal lives, is over regulating and a good example of big government. Government, should regulate how people and organizations, interact with each other. To to stop and prevent predatory behavior. Not to protect people from themselves. Either financially, or personally.
But I’m more interested with this piece about talking about rebuilding liberty in general. And I’m going to do that without bashing government, just big government. And laying out what government can do to actually expand freedom, both personal and economic. I agree with Charles Murray as a Liberal, that it’s not the job of government to regulate how people live their own lives and what they do with themselves. But regulate how people interact with each other. Not try to prevent people from doing dangerous actions to themselves. And punish them when they do. But to prevent people from hurting innocent people and punish people when they do hurt innocent people.
If government worked the way I’m suggesting here, we wouldn’t have the War on Drugs and so many people in prison in America for non-violent offenses. At least not serving long-term sentences in dangerous prisons for non-violent offenses. And we wouldn’t have so many people in prison in general. If our safety net, which I’m not against in having one, but if our safety net was designed to empower people in need who are struggling to get themselves on their feet and not just leave them struggling, but with a little more money, we wouldn’t have so many people in poverty in America. Because the less-fortunate, would get on public assistance, but them use some of that assistance to improve themselves. So they can get themselves a good job and get out of poverty all together.
In a true liberal society, or liberal democracy, liberal state even, the job of government would be to protect and expand freedom. Not subtract, or contract freedom, or view freedom as dangerous and try to turn the country into a collectivist society. Where government would collect most of the national resources and decide what everyone needs to live well in life. But again protect freedom for people who already have it and haven’t done anything to lose it. And also expand freedom for people who don’t have it. Who are living in poverty and help them get themselves out of poverty by learning a trade and getting themselves a good job. Who may be serving time in prison, or jail and empowering them to improve themselves so when they get out, they can become productive citizens. And that is not the type of society that America is right now. But we certainly could become that liberal society.
Commonwealth Club: Charles Murray- Rebuilding Liberty