Government is an integrated part of our lives, like cash money or the air that we breathe, so the vast majority of people don’t stop to think about what it is, why we have it.
The first possibility is that Government’s job is to provide us with the services we can’t provide for ourselves. Such as defence, law & order, a road system and keeping markets perfect. But in reality all of these can be provided without Government. Look how security firms now provide much of Britain’s policing or how defence contractors increasingly do the job of the military.
Obviously if the Government is providing us with services they need money, so they tax us. They also need power, so as to do their job. Add these two together and you have a lethal combination. Who is to decide how many services Government is to provide and how much they can tax us? Government, of course! So it is no surprise that we have vastly more Government than we want or need. And no surprise that we spend half our lives working for ourselves and half our lives working to pay taxes.
So how do we bring the Government back under control? You might think General Elections would be a good start. But really the only choice we are offered is between profligate Government or very profligate Government. There is no choice for minimum Government, allowing us to keep the money we have earned to spend ourselves. Gordon Brown took the Government up to 52% of the economy, Osborne has reduced this to the low 40s% and says he is going for 35%. Lefties call this sensible prudence “austerity” which is a lie.
It is a proven fact that countries with small Government spending and thus small taxation are far more successful economically. China, Singapore and Hong Kong, for instance. This is obvious. More resources are being used to create wealth and less of the economy is devoted to wasting money. 20ish% seems to be the sweet spot for how big Government should be. But less would always be better.
The second possibility is that the Government owns us, that we are the property of the state. This was certainly true when we were an absolute monarchy. It is certainly true today in places like Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea. But in Britain? The rot first set in with WW1 conscription. This basically said that the Government owns your life, for you to be killed at their will. But things got a whole lot worse with Labour Governments. Their failed dogma requires authoritarianism. For the state to be in charge of every aspect of your life. So they brought in legislation to make this so. And the Conservatives don’t get rid of it (the notable exception being Margaret Thatcher, who understood freedom).
Now you have very restricted freedoms. We see people going to prison for tweeting. We don’t have freedom of speech or freedom of thought. And your Government employs illegal mass surveillance, watching and listening to every aspect of your life.
“Political correctness” is a mechanic often used to make you even more a slave to the state. It enforces authoritarian controls over vast areas of social behaviour and tramples over what were once our rights. “Terrorism” is the perfect excuse for increasingly oppressive and controlling legislation.
So, yes, the British state owns you.
We are in a bad way really. Owned by an authoritarian state and paying them half of all that we earn. But things could be much worse, we could have had a Labour government.