Doing a few things well
By Michael Mealling
Glenn Reynolds writes in today's USA Today about the recent Pew Poll that more than half of Americans see Federal Government as a threat to their freedom. The gist of Glenn's article is:
A government limited to relatively few things – visible things, obviously relevant to the common good – can probably do those things well. As a consequence, it is likely to be trusted and admired. A government that tries to do a lot of things, on the other hand, will probably do them badly and be less highly regarded.
In business, religion, and most other human endeavors there is the generally understood concept of not trying to boil the ocean. Whether its GE's admonition to either be one of the top two in a market segment or don't bother, Goretex and the Hutterites decisions to stick to Dunbar's Number, or the US military's understanding that certain things are beyond even its superpower capabilities, there is a limit to our ability to organize and plan on gigantic scales. And when we go beyond our capabilities the results are usually bad, if not disasterous.
That was part of the genius of the people who founded our country. They knew that trying to run the country we would become was something beyond the capability of men. We would do abuse to ourselves to try.
But try we have. And the result is that for the first time in a long time a majority of us see our Government as a threat to our liberty.
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