Big Government

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Isn't it strange that all first-world countries have big government? Maybe it's a good thing, and not the bogeyman of libertarians and the right.

Links

American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (book)
"The mixed economy was the most important social innovation of the twentieth century. It spread a previously unimaginable level of broad prosperity. It enabled steep increases in education, health, longevity, and economic security."
Is big government bad for freedom, civil society, and happiness? [More...]
"Do the gains from government goods, services, and transfers come at the cost of reduced freedom, weakened civil society, and diminished happiness? The experience of the world’s affluent democratic countries suggests that, at least so far, the answer is no."
The Case for Big Government (book)
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To Promote the General Welfare: The Case for Big Government (book)
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Quotations

There are no rich countries with small governments -- governments that spend and regulate little, governments that eschew public investment and keep the public sector’s reach to a minimum. (Okay, there are a few that are sitting on huge pools of oil.) A big government isn’t a guarantee of prosperity, but where we find prosperity, we find big government, too.
Jacob Hacker, "American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper"