Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Quote of the Day: Milton Friedman on Citizen and Government

The always-fabulous Dr. Helen has a great post that includes a quote from Friedman, which I re-post for you here:
The paternalistic "what your country can do for you" implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, "what you can do for your country" implies that government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary. To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors, and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshipped and served.
Hear, hear! Bonus quote from Dr. Helen herself:
Government should be about helping us to protect our freedoms, not making us into wards who are to protect and serve our government.
Preach it, girl!

I personally have ZERO desire to have the government "help" me in the sense that it thinks I need to have a nanny, and I have ZERO desire to do anything more for the government. Is it not enough that I pay my taxes? Heck, it's more than a whole pack of government weasels have done (*cough* Tim Geithner! *cough*). Besides, I'll quote Shepherd Book from "Firefly": "A government is a group of people usually notably ungoverned." And so its power should be as strictly limited as possible.


Eric said...

We need both rugged individuals and good citizens. The challenge is to find the balance ... says the proud US Army veteran.

Mad Minerva said...

True dat!