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Unformatted text preview: n favor of the government limiting
itself to doing what individuals or businesses can’t do. For example, I don’t believe
that either individuals or businesses can
supply the country with the national defense
that it needs. National defense then should
be left to government. Use the tax money to
provide for the national defense, not to subsidize the farmers. And in my opinion, it
doesn’t make sense for the government to be
involved in programs such as Medicare
and Social Security. I 14 (364-389) EMC Chap 14 11/18/05 11:00 AM Page 389 Yong Kim,
retired attorney Blanca Sanchez,
physician ere’s what I would like to know. If government is so bad—as Francine seems
to imply—why has this country been as militarily and economically strong for so long?
We have the largest economy in the world
and we have the strongest and most capable
military in the world. And we’ve done both
of these things at the same time that the federal government has been getting bigger. If
government bigness is so bad, how does
someone explain that our economy is as
strong and as big as it is? think what we are talking about here is
that neither free enterprise nor government is perfect at doing everything. Sometimes the free enterprise economy does need
government to help it out. For instance,
when the economy is slumping, or we need
something that free enterprise won’t produce, such as protection against terrorists,
government needs to step in.
But certainly this doesn’t mean that government has been perfect. Government can
make mistakes. I think government can
implement the wrong monetary policy—
perhaps causing high inflation. I believe that
government may implement a particular fiscal policy that doesn’t work because of, say,
complete crowding out. My guess is that
sometimes government does more to make
things worse than to make things better.
Maybe what we are learning over time
is what government should and should not
do, and what free enterprise should and
should not do. In other words, maybe the
last 50 years have been a learning period
for us. H Nancy Owens,
think Yong is making a mistake here. Just
because you see two things at the same
time, or nearly the same time, it doesn’t
mean that one is the cause and the other is
the effect. There are more dogs in the United
States today than there were in 1950. Does it
follow that a rising dog population is what
causes the economy to be strong? Not at all.
There are a lot of things that happen at
around the same time that have nothing to
do with each other.
But I have a better point to make with
respect to Yong’s comment. Isn’t it possible
that we would have an even stronger economy, and a mightier military, if the government hadn’t grown so large? With a smaller,
less intrusive government, perhaps our
economy would be even larger than it is
today. And perhaps our military would be
even stronger. I I What Do You Think?
1. What is your opinion as to the proper
role for government, especially when it
comes to economic issues?
2. What goods and services do you think
government should provide (using taxpayer money)? Is there anything that
government currently does that you
don’t think it should do? Explain your
answer. Unit IV Macroeconomics 389...
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- Winter '14