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How Big Should Government Be? Left vs. Right #1


One of the most important differences between
the Left and the Right is how each regards the role and the size of the government. The Left believes that the state should be
the most powerful force in society. Among many other things, the government should be
in control of educating every child; should provide all health care; and should regulate
often to the minutest detail how businesses conduct their business — in Germany, for
instance, the government legislates the time of day stores have to close. In short, there
should ideally be no power that competes with Government. Not parents, not businesses, not
private schools, not religious institutions; not even the individual human conscience. Conservatives, on the other hand, believe
the government’s role in society should be limited to absolute necessities such as
national defense and to being the resource of last resort to help citizens who cannot
be helped by family, by community, or by religious and secular
charities. Conservatives understand that as governments
grow in size and power, the following will inevitably happen: 1. There will be ever-increasing amounts of
corruption. Power and money breed corruption. People in government will sell government
influence for personal and political gain. And people outside government will seek to
buy influence and favors. In Africa and Latin America, government corruption has been the single biggest factor holding nations back from progressing. 2. Individual liberty will decline. With a
few exceptions such as an unrestricted right to abortion, individual liberty is less important
to the Left than to the Right. This is neither an opinion nor a criticism. It is simple logic.
The more control the government has over people’s lives, the less liberty people have. 3. Countries with ever expanding governments
will either reduce the size of their government or eventually collapse economically. Every
welfare state ultimately becomes a Ponzi Scheme, relying on new payers to pay previous payers;
and when it runs out of the new payers, the scheme collapses. All the welfare states of
the world, including wealthy European countries, are already experiencing this problem to varying
degrees. 4. In order to pay for an ever-expanding government,
taxes are constantly increased. But at a given level of taxation, the society’s wealth
producers will either stop working, work less, hire fewer people, or move their business
out of the state or out of the country. 5. Big government produces big deficits and
ever increasing — and ultimately unsustainable — debt. This, too, is only logical. The more
money the state hands out, the more money people will demand from the state. No recipient
of free money has ever said, “Thank you. I have enough.”
Unless big governments get smaller, they will all eventually collapse under their own weight
— with terrible consequences socially as well as economically. 6. The bigger the government, the greater
the opportunities for doing great evil. The twentieth century was the most murderous century
in recorded history. And who did all this killing? Big governments. Evil individuals
without power can do only so much harm. But when evil individuals take control of a big
government, the amount of harm they can do is essentially unlimited. The Right fears
Big Government. The Left fears Big Business. But Coca-Cola can’t break into your house
or confiscate your wealth — only Big Government can do that. As irresponsible as any Big Business
has ever been, it is only Big Government that can build concentration camps and commit genocide. 7. Big government eats away at the moral character
of a nation. People no longer take care of other people. After all, they know the government
will do that. That’s why Americans give far more of their money and volunteer far more
of their time to charity than do Europeans at the same economic level. Without the belief in an ever-expanding government,
there is no left. Without a belief in limited government, there is no right. I’m Dennis Prager.

Stephen Childs

100 Comments

  1. This is not a question. Articles 1-3 numerate the duties of the 3 branches. NOTHING ELSE. See A10!!!!!!!$

  2. 4:22 'Coca-Cola can't break into your house or confiscate your wealth' 😀

  3. By , Of and For the People Under their Own Free Will of Nature's God and Nature's Law. And the INDIVIDUAL's UNALIENABLE Right to Self Preservation The UNALIENABLE RightTo Speak and Believe Anything and The Right, To Determine Owns OWN Destiny in Life Or Death. UNALIENABLE means We the People Stated Not Negotiated – Aaron Lewis.

  4. The Congress cannot Change nor Abolish The Bill Of Rights. It has No Authorization to So. The Clause " The Congress shall Have Power " is found NOWHERE in The Bill Of Rights. As they are The Invidual's God Given. endowment AS a Free Natural Born Citizen.

  5. The state should just do what is need to do to make the life of people save and free

  6. how big should cancer be ?

    "If any man's money can be taken by a so-called government, without his own personal consent, all his other rights are taken with it; for with his money the government can, and will, hire soldiers to stand over him, compel him to submit to its arbitrary will, and kill him if he resists."

    Lysander Spooner,

  7. The right takes away so many civil liberties that it's hard to believe they want a smaller government. Who's the party that wants a theocracy? Not the Democratic Party.

  8. The left want big government so they can use it to control you the right want small government so they can control you themselves that sums up politics in this world

  9. Bravo! Become a "crap detector!" Alfred Korzybski, d.1950, (look him up) would support PragerU while cautioning about the high levels of abstraction used by all of us! Confusion of, and about, "levels of abstraction" contributes to much of the misunderstanding inherant in discussions of both culture AND politics.

  10. In Germany shop opening hours are regulated BECAUSE of conservatism. It stems from Christian-Democratic politics upholding that work should cease at "christian" times and that opening shops on days like Sunday is "unchristian".

    It's not said in so many words, but that's the reason. Religion influenced conservatism.

  11. lol If PragerU doesn't like "big government" then why do they show so much support for the military and police (the most brutal and violent forces of the government)

  12. It is better to be proportionally poor in comparsion to the rich then actually poor under socialist regime.

  13. I think we should have some more government involvement but we shouldn’t be handing out money because people simply don’t want to work

    In prehistoric times man had to work for his food now because of morals and society’s laws we just feed people because we would want to be fed

  14. I plan to run for president one day I will not let anyone corrupt me and that is a promise and I keep my promises 100% of the time it’s unamerican to be corrupt

  15. Not every explanation based on 'basic logic' is accurate. More often than not, said 'basic logic' is completely incorrect. The complexities of large institutions (governments, corporations, judicial systems, etc), scientific theories, and pretty much anything else in the universe is far more complicated than we as humans will ever be able to comprehend. Far too often in almost any scientific field, we end up discovering that previous theories defining existence are wrong, and this isn't a surprise to anyone. This is why people dedicate their entire lives and their fields of study to a particular subject: because knowledge is so vast and systems are so complicated.

    This is what annoys me about videos like these: they grossly oversimplify everything, particularly the ideologies of the opposition. For each of their points:

    1. Increase in corruption: corruption in it of itself is not a product of the size of governments or other institutions, it is a product of human greed. It is why we continue to see corruption in all major western democracies. What prevents corruption is not necessarily the size of the institution, but the checks an balances in place to prevent corruption from fostering. Any government or corporation is going to foster corruption if it does not have systems in place to prevent it. This is why we hear about corruption in western democracies on the government and corporate side so often: the system is working. Laws and regulations exist to prevent corruption from fostering.
    Sure, you can argue that a smaller government requires fewer checks and balances to remain less corrupt, but at the same time, you could also argue that a larger government has the resources and the accountability requirements from the public that can allow them to further strengthen those checks and balances. If a government official is found breaking the law, the voters tend to toss that politician out as fast as possible, and their reputation is tarnished.

    2. Individual Liberty: again, governments with more responsibilities tend to require more input and political engagement from the populous. This gives the people themselves the liberty to decide what they want for themselves. There does become a point where the government approaches a fascist one, but it's not a linear scale, more piecewise/heavyside. Once you pass a certain point, most if not all liberties tend to be forfeited.

    3. Large Governments foster economic Collapses: See the Great Depression and The Great Recession. Fiscal irresponsibility fosters economic trouble, not the size of government. Both corporations and people in power can be fiscally irresponsible, so arguing that only governments make the economy unstable is silly. Oh and with the Ponzi scheme, that sounds exactly like the housing crises and all the multilevel companies that keep fostering in modern society.

    4. Increased Taxes: No shit, if you get more services (better roads, better transit infrastructure, single payer health care, a larger military), you have to pay for them. The question becomes whether you should pay for these services through taxes (through the government) or though individual service fees (through the private sector). Both have their advantages and their place. You wouldn't want private prisons, a private military, private public transit (in the US, Japan is the one exception due to work ethic), privately financed infrastructure projects (with the exception of a few toll roads), private police, private lawmakers, but you wouldn't want the government running grocery stores or mechanic shops. Sometimes, it's important to have a presence of both government services and private services (think the postal service, Amtrak, PBS/NPR, even healthcare) to allow for choice and to give services to those who may need it.

    5. Bigger Governments produce Bigger Deficits: there is no evidence to prove this whatsoever, not even to support it, there is not nearly enough data to make such a claim. Bigger governments may have more expenses, but they also have a much larger revenue stream, meaning overall, the deficit-to-income ratio would likely be the same in both scenarios. It should also be stated that government spending has increased dramatically over the past 3 republican presidents. Whether or not this spending is justified is another debate but it's extremely hypocritical to use it as an argument here. 
    If you don't want a large government to collapse, it needs a solid foundation, and that has been proven that it is possible to create such a foundation, whether it's through important checks and balances, or through an engaged and informed populous.

    6. Big Governments foster evil: Again, they do not if the checks and balances of said government match the size of the government. None of the leaders visualized would have gained the power they did if their governments were built in a way that did not foster such evil actions. There are reasons why people abuse others through corporations in the US — it's a lot easier than through the government.

    7. Removes Moral Character: Moral character is an individual freedom that cannot be taken away regardless of the tyranny or size of a government. If Prager is trying to argue that big government fosters this type of attitude, then one could argue that, again, this has nothing to do with the size of government itself, but human greed as a whole, which fosters everywhere it can.

    Let me just clarify, I'm not necessarily in support of large governments, nor am I in support of small governments either. My point with this rant is to emphasize the complexities of each of Prager's simplifications, and show how his 'basic logic' can be easily refuted with more 'basic logic'. As I've said before, the systems in which society operates are insanely complicated, and no one side, whether it be the left or the right is always going to have the moral, or economical high ground.

  16. what Dennis is saying is this video is surprisingly true, but I know he’s a fascist authoritarian who doesn’t really believe any of it and will never stop lying to us

  17. Any time your argument says "in short…" you lose some ground. Its called Strawman fallacy usually. But in your first example, it was more of an omission of nuance. It is not "government makes all decisions across the board' it is, a complex tier of circumstances that filter what power is to regulate what situation. Our health, education, and security should be on the government, for sure. Education is an objective thing, with the invention of the internet, it is important to keep logic at the forefront of opinion, the burden of proof is on the new idea, not what is known (until after proof is found, its not that complex). There is nuance. Quit with the strawman approach.

  18. My views heading towards the right. It's sad how Leftist Government use Minorities to sway them into voting for them. This is coming from a New Zealand born Samoan living in Australia

  19. 4:19 If there were no governments this would likely happen.

  20. leftism is culturally about progress — moving towards that unreachable endgame of complete equality. They economic left is all about Keynsianism — a tried and tested economic theory.

    The cultural right is all about maintaining the status quo: "Keep society as it is." Many cultural rightists want to go back in time to the '50s, when America was doing anything it could to be different from the Soviet Union. The USER banned religion, so America changed it's national motto from "E Pluribis Unum" (Out of many, one) to "In God We Trust" and started to fabricate the claim that the constitution was anything BUT secular. This is the aim of the cultural right in America: go back to the '50s, minus some of the obviously, unquestionably amoral things such as segregation. The economic right is the incredibly flawed idea of classical economics — the idea that the government ought not to regulate the economy whatsoever, that the long-running equilibrium will always, over time, return, with a higher price level. while this does happen, Keynsianism revitilizes the economy more quickly. The New Deal is an example of Keynsianism in work.

    This is the truth of the matter. Mr. Prager confuses authoritarianism for leftism and libertarianism for rightism. Many leftists are relatively authoritarian and rightists relatively libertarian. Despite being on the cultural and economic left, I am libertarian as on the vertical spectrum of the political compass.

  21. Stores in Germany are just open 5-6 days week! How could I live in this country! XD

  22. George Washington said: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence,—it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

  23. So I, a Black man, have had conservative views my entire life and didn’t know it. I’m pretty sure most people on the left are actually conservative but don’t know it

  24. If the government grows, doesn't that mean that there are more people in control of government instead of government having more control of people?

  25. most leftist were born recently, theyve never suffered the oain of leftist ideology, but as they continue to oush for it, they would get it, they dont like oeoole soeaking against islam, islam would soon take over them, and when they are tortured, since they so weak mentally to acceot the world is evil and are emotionally weak, it be funny to see how they react, they want government to helf them, but they dont want to work, so they want big corf to oay for everything, well after the big corf has been annexed by the government tax, and there is so much ooverty like in other eurooean asian and american countries, since they dont have the emotional fortitude for anything, they commit murder, and since they cant even come to terms with their creator, they continue their foolishness in hell…..but there might be some who are humble and are searching for truth, i believe acknowleding your creator and his death on the cross for you is a oerfect olace to start, why, it exolains suffering, why theres suffering,becsause of free will in creature hands and his not sealing everyones fate to hell to which if he did no one can question him, but rather coming to die to oay for the due justice now in anticioaton for that great day in the which he shall judge the entire world, but those who have received the oayment for their sins and have decided to take a new turn will be saved…..to you i say tell everyone about your new found saviour and lord jesus christ

  26. I completely stand for maximum individual liberty but not private property rights. Also your view of the left is social democracy, progressive liberalism, and social liberalism and thus doesn’t actually include the far left. And the left and right aren’t based off of the amount of government but the amount of economic equality, hierarchy, and order.

  27. If you think about it… the root cause of most of our problems is the government. Its the reason why the "free market" isn't free. Its the main reason for all the debt slavery and the notion that everything is upside down. Its the reason why capitalism turns to crony capitalism and more and more it feels like we are living in an oligarchy. The main problem is that government has too much power and influence (which they are not allowed to have according to the constitution anyway). By happily interfering into the free market, setting prices for labor (minimum wage), setting the price for products and services, handing out subsidies, preventing competition (health care), influencing pretty much every aspect of the economy in one way or another, the have great influence that all the corporations lobby towards to.

    Take away all that power and you also take away rigged elections where people are not elected but selected. Its a big club and you and i aint in it. Thats the case because of all the revolving doors, pay for play action that happened for decades. Take away the power of the government to interfere and there is NO incentive for corporations to donate to any party. By just doing the basic functions of government there is nothing to lobby for, since there is nothing government can offer.

    The US is supposed to be republic with limited government. But the problem is that government and the powers that be WILL NEVER give up all their power out of good will. NEVER! Period. They will fight as hard as the can to keep it and even expand it. Thanks to MSM and all their partners in big corporations they have massive influence to shape public opinion, to the extend that we the people get so brainwashed to actually demand bigger government and more socialist programs. Let the government take care of this and that. ITS CRAZY! Government being too big caused all the problems we are facing today and people think by making it even bigger it would solve any of the issues.

    In order for the government to really shrink (by a lot!) it would need a real uprising and revolution. Sadly… its not going to happen. Maybe through the help of the upcoming major debt crisis (the bubble of all bubbles) we could use the absolute descruction of our financial system to learn from our mistakes and come up with a better way. For starters, having sound money (end the Fed), end the IRS, have small limited government, a strong supreme court and limit government to their very basic functions and keep them out of everything else (like its supposed to according to the constituon).

  28. If Republicans want government out of people's lives, why do they say that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry and women not be allowed to have abortions? That'd be the government trying to dictate people's lives. Also, without government regulations, then companies could put whatever they wanted in foods, drinks, there wouldn't be safety standards for vehicles, buildings, roads, bridges, and without government forcing people to pay taxes, we wouldn't have any roads, bridges or things like that either.

  29. I think that individual liberties have no direct dependence on how big governments are.The thing is that if you provide healthcare, a good educational environment you can guarantee that people will have their liberty comfortably.

  30. Well Coca Colla can't break into your house, but social media like facebook can control your personal data ,and ruin your life big governments protect people.

  31. This is literally whats happening in the Philippines. The conditional cash transfer program 4Ps and universal healthcare is an example here. I am not against social assistance and improved healthcare. What I am against is in the hands of a corrupt government, these programs cannot be sustained by ever increasing taxation. Without true constitutional and political reform and alleviation of the masses that grows exponentially and demands relentlessly, the businesses and the middle class can only give as much. It will eventually collapse like a pyramid scheme because theres no more money to fund these systems. Alarmingly, most of us here thinks they are on the right wing/conservative but are really supporting the left/liberal/progressive ideologies that fuels these ill – fated system.
    So help us God.
    Thanks for these videos!

  32. How about the idea, we abandon the party labels altogether and just listen to what people are saying before we vote for them.  The best society is a moral society (i.e. ten
    commandments) with as much personal freedom as possible.

  33. Everything the govt touches, crumbles. They can't even balance a budget.

  34. Ironic, considering Prager U is suing to get the government to force YouTube to have Prager U videos show up in YouTube's searches in a particular way.

  35. Smaller goverment means more freedom, more happy people, more ways to improve the quality of life.

  36. And governments needing more people to buy into their Ponzi schemes is one of the reasons they want to let in so many immigrants & refugees.

  37. He lost me when he said the government should be the resource of last resort for people. The government should NEVER, for ANY reason, be involved in the redistribution of property. NEVER!!!!! We have seen where that slippery slope inevitably leads. It always has and always will lead to socialism. No country on earth can be "just a little bit socialist"– at least not for long. Being a "little bit socialist" is like being a "little bit pregnant." It is an oxymoron. Furthermore, as David Crockett WISELY pointed out, the US Constitution does not give the federal government the authority to redistribute wealth. No, it is better for the indigent to starve than for the government to steal money on their behalf.

  38. Government should ONLY be big enough to fulfill its Constitutional obligations… but since TRAITOR DEMOCRATS REFUSE to secure the border, they’re already DERELICT in their Constitutional duty to “protect and defend the United States”

  39. Abortion isnt an individual right, its the ability to kill someone who cant say anything against it.

  40. A great video speaking the truth about where we are going with government bigger the government corruption this is why the EU cannot get his book signed off anymore because the corruption is rife and this is the undoing of organisations who only seek power and control over their citizens and have an agenda of dissolving the government of all the members States and creating a superstate for their selves weather in carry on to take the assets other people in their countries

  41. What about Gorge W. Patriot Act. Was that small government policy? Come on this red vs blue is not working anymore. The left chiseled at gun rights while the fight builds up law enforcement. Either way taxes go up.

  42. if u had many frustration now because lot of things dont go your way, so to give government even more power to control to tell u what to do and eat 24/7, 365 would make u less frustrated? logical or not?
    lets alone it isnt that easy as switch it on and turn it off. once u give government the maximum control over u=u volunteer to be their slave,
    they provide u food, place to stay, u have to take whatever they give. whatever they ask u to do, u must obey, if not u be punished, remember u agreed to give them full power over u. if u didnt receive some new clothes as they promised, what can u do about it? so they said they will give u lot of diamonds and cash would they? do u think they will volunteer set u free so u have your human right and have your said to live the life the way u want? by then would u miss and appreciated what u have now? by then regret can make u feel any better as lot of people in the same position because of u?
    how can u remove or reduce their power when u/we are so weak due to hunger and illness. history recorded: millions of people die each time when gov control everything=socialist.

  43. PragerU is my favorite channel in Youtube (strong statement) because of this video. I hope America hastily solves these concerns

  44. I don’t understand why people get mad when Congress does nothing. I always say, “good, I don’t want them to do anything bc they do more harm then good.” I want the government to employ military soldiers to defend our nations and to help me with things that I can’t help myself with. The government needs to be a lot smaller than how it is now. Also, government leaders can start a terrible thing like communism and I don’t want that

  45. What we have today is corrupt government in bed with business giving out money because they are “job creators” getting financed by working people’s tax dollars. It’s going back to the time before the unions. The rich won’t be happy until they can have the money and power of the old robber barons. It’s almost there. Less unions are not the answer, more unions are the answer. Don’t be mad at the union workers because you make less, join or form a union.

  46. This is, in my opinion, the best brief argument for why leftist ideology is poisonous and why conservatives must prevail.

  47. you are being confused by conservative-democratic politics rather than left-right as someone can be left-wing and libertarian while someone can be rightwing and authoritarian.

  48. The left wants the government to do everything for them
    The right wants the government to help citizens who can’t help themselves out

  49. “The government should provide all healthcare.” Hmm sounds like 2 democratic candidates running for president

  50. If the government is the one in charge of education wouldn't that able them to brain wash children?

  51. Good Job, Dennis
    These 'Civics' lessons were standard in my day (1953)
    …Today, not so much
    IMHO, you will have to repeat and rinse (these) Infinitum…

  52. The government needs to be much smaller that way citizens can have more liberty

  53. I cannot understand why point seven occurs when the size and power of government grows. I think this point is not related to the size and power of government but related to characters of government.

  54. Everything here is right except your claim that these ideas are specifally left or right.

  55. The left are a bunch of socialism whores that want big government for all, all the time until it collapses. The right means big government just big enough for the big billfolds.
    Real Republicans believe in a very limited government, but I have yet to see the size of our government actually shrink, or be limited to anything except taking public welfare and giving corporate welfare then blaming all of debt on the poor.
    In reality there isn’t a real Republican within the whole party anymore, just a bunch of big business whores and greedsters that believe limited government means limited to their own greedy wants. While the left has always been a bunch of socialism whores with a view of freedom that is nothing short of mass brothelization under absolute government control.
    When you mix this mess together, you get a different stink to the same pile of diseased shit ruling a nation into ruin with the finest stupidity and laws of ignorance that money can buy.
    Nothing, but socialism whores and big business sluts fighting for more power to feed their own goddamned addictions at the expense of all, but their own while the rest of the nation drowns under the giant pile of bureaucratic shit they’ve created.

  56. Look at Brazil, Venezuela and a lot of African countries. The government has gotten insanely big and has led to huge corruption. All governments r bad no matter what country we’re in bc all governments want to do is to get big so that they can get more money, power and can feel power over the people, even in the US when we still have a working constitution. Of course, no society should be an anarchy bc that would lead to chaos and huge corruption, but governments needs to be very limited to only national defense, help helpless citizens, and stay the hell away from people

  57. How big should the government be? Microscopic, at the quantum level microscopic. Also, we really should move to a consent based paradigm of governance rather than the duress based model that is forced on us today.

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