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Small Government and The Myth of Meritocracy


All of my experience -- my own as well as what I have observed in the people around me -- says that success (however you may define it) is always going to be due to a combination of ability, effort, and luck. *All three* have to come together.

So, sure, you might think to yourself: If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Pick yourself back up, get back on that horse. Eventually, the dice will roll your way.

The problem is that luck often plays a much larger part than we think. You run out of cash, and can't afford more rolls. The horse gallops off, never to be seen again. Maybe you broke a bone when you fell, and need time (and sustenance) to heal... but night is coming and you're in the desert.

Sometimes it takes more than just hard work and competence, and it's naïve to think otherwise.

(Nikola Tesla, whose inventions are still centerpieces of the modern electrical energy industry, died penniless.)

Sometimes when people fail, they need help.


The self-identified libertarian who answered this question makes a similar mistake.

Sometimes problems are too big for an individual to solve. Sometimes the people affected don't have the tools or training needed to solve the problem, even if they were to work together to solve it. Sometimes they have other obstacles which prevent them from solving every problem that affects them.

Often, it's far more efficient to have organizations tasked with solving certain kinds of problems, so that everyone doesn't have to be competent at everything -- which, in today's society, is simply impossible anyway.

Worse, their proposed solution to the problem of homelessness is basically the status quo -- i.e. do nothing. Knowing that the problem still exists, this is basically saying that they're fine letting it remain unsolved.

Just as they blame progressives for seeing government as the solution to all problems (pro tip: progressives don't actually do this), they see government as the *cause* of all problems (which is at least as ridiculous).

Government is a tool, like any other. It can be used well, or abused.

If we don't work to ensure that government is used well, then it will only be used for evil.

The one thing government will never do is go away just because some of us might want it to.

Even if we as a society unanimously decided to dissolve all the governments under which we live, we would soon wake up to find ourselves governed once again -- but with far less say in how that is done.

Political power exists whether or not there's a representative government to channel it. Take away that representation, and you will end up with *non*-representative government.

We can see that happening already, in the way private power-brokers are increasingly taking ownership and control over the systems we all depend on, as they succeed in weakening and disengaging representative government's involvement: food distribution, finance, housing. We have less and less input into how these organizations operate, as they gain more and more control over us.

Now, tell me again how great "small government" is.