The Proper Role of Government

Thoughts on a Free Market Economy…
“The Proper Role of Government”
By Phyllis Hunsinger
May 1, 2015

To understand the proper role of government, look no further than the Declaration of Independence which was adopted unanimously at the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Governments were instituted to provide for the safety of the citizens and to protect the individual rights of the citizens.
As Ezra Benson said in 1976, a government is nothing more or less than a relatively small group of citizens who have been hired, in a sense, by the rest of the citizens to perform certain functions and discharge certain responsibilities which have been authorized. The government itself has no innate power or privilege to do anything. Its only source of authority and power is from the people who created it.
Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands in 2001 pointed out that each person survives and flourishes based on their ability to exercise and use their reason. For this to happen each person must have the protection of individual rights. A society is beneficial to each member only to the extent, as noted by Landauer and Rowlands, that they are free. A proper government is one designed to protect and defend the individual rights of its citizens.
When citizens become complacent in their duties to direct government, the mission or proper role of government becomes distorted and enlarged. This has a direct negative impact on the economy and the private lives of citizens.

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