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Argument: Difference between disliking waste and disliking government

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Government is Good: “Flawed” Does not Mean “Bad” Also, while this website offers a vigorous and unapologetic defense of government, it is not denying that this institution is flawed in some ways. Of course it is. Some waste is inevitable, some politicians are corrupt, and some regulations are boneheaded. In addition, our government is not as responsive and democratic as it could be and special interests play much too dominant a role in policymaking – problems to which I devote an entire article (see What is Really Wrong with Government). Much can and should be done to deal with these kinds of problems.

Clearly government is far from perfect; no human institution is. But that doesn’t mean it is bad. Consider ourselves – none of us are perfect either. Virtually all of us have lied many times, cheated at least a few times, done some dumb things as a teenager, repeatedly broken traffic regulations and perhaps other laws, neglected some of our responsibilities, abused alcohol or drugs on at least a few occasions, made some terrible mistakes on the job, said things we deeply regretted, fudged on our taxes, betrayed a confidence, and treated at least one of our relatives very badly. But that doesn’t make us bad people. And we would resent it if someone leapt to that conclusion by blowing our faults out of proportion and cavalierly ignoring all the good things we’ve done in our lives.

But this is exactly what conservatives do to government. They not only ignore what is good about government, they also take the problems and mistakes of government and inflate them into a wholesale condemnation of that institution. The articles on this website take a careful look at what conservatives contend are the “evils” of government, look at the research concerning these problems, and find that most of them are exaggerated, misleading, or sometimes simply wrong."

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