Government: Hardly Even Necessary

My wife and I just moved . We used to live in San Diego, California but now we are proud residents of  Issaquah, Washington. Over the weekend, with the help of friends and family, we packed up all of our stuff and drove to our new home. It was a long and uneventful journey. Thank goodness.

I rented the truck online and picked it up from a local franchise owner in town. It was perfectly clean and in great driving condition. He gave me a thorough explanation of the ins and outs that I’d need to know.

My mother’s boyfriend took the lead in helping us pack. He is a retired firefighter and the most skillful person I’ve ever met working with his hands. The boxes and furniture we packed just so, to avoid any shifting. Everything was tied down with precisely tied knots.

A couple of our friends showed up to help us with the physical labor. Other friends volunteered to come and carry away our old stuff. Some of the stuff will be kept by our lads, the rest will be donated.

We filled up the tank along the way. A series of gas stations, mostly franchise operations owned by small business people, had gas and coffee waiting for us. The prices were fair and the products worked as advertised. The gas got us where we needed to go and the coffee kept the driver, yours truly, from nodding off.

When the hunger pangs could no longer be ignored, we stopped and ate. Surprise, surprise, even out in the middle of nowhere there were generous folks with food and drink waiting to serve us. Oatmeal, omelets, sandwiches, burritos, salads, salmon, and a huge variety of other offerings were available. To top it off, we were treated kindly and the food was brought to us in a prompt manner.

Our first night in Issaquah, we stayed at a Motel 6. Our condo wouldn’t be ready to move in until the next day.  It was 11:15 pm when we arrived. Pretty late right? No matter. Yet again we were met with courtesy and quality service. The online reservation was already in the system. I needed only to swipe the little plastic card that I carry with me and tada! A room with hot water, cable, extra blankets, an iron, and a list of places nearby to get other things that might make me happy.

The next morning our new property manager met us at the condo. Everything was in order except for a broken garbage disposal in our sink. Clean carpets, check. Brand new appliances, check. Lots of cabinet space, check. Hot water, check. Close to downtown as promised, done and done. No fussing and no fighting necessary.

Being the man of the house, I was responsible for unloading the truck. While I was busy doing my manly duty, a guy form the cable company came to install our high speed internet. He was a nice fellow from Michigan originally. We chatted about our wives and the weather. Only twenty minutes after he showed up, he took off again. In his wake he left access to an unimaginable amount information and entertainment.

After spending the entire day unpacking, the misses and I decided to hit the town to grab a bite. For old time’s sake we went to a Mexican food restaurant. We figured it would be mediocre at best since we’re now very far from the Mexican border. We were wrong. The food was great. The owner came over and spent a lot of time at our table with us. He wanted to know where we came from, why we decided to move, how our trip went, etc. At the end of the meal, he shook my hand and told me he thought we’d made a fantastic decision. He was glad that we’d be neighbors.

After the meal we went home, turned on the heater, got out our extra comforter, and slept very, very well.

On the way up, we spent a good amount of time driving through the back country, stopping in small towns, and mingling with the regular folk.

Along the way, I didn’t see a single cop. There weren’t any government officials out there forcing people to treat us right. People were providing for us and treating us amicably for one of two reasons. One, they wanted our money and they knew that by presenting us with stuff we like and nice environment to enjoy it in, they could profit off of us. Two, they were genuinely good people and just wanted to make their fellow man happy. For most people, its probably some combination of the two.

We’ve done a fair share of traveling. No matter where we go or the type of people we meet, we’ve mostly been treated very well. Regardless of nationality, race, religion, or creed people are mostly peaceful and accommodating towards their fellow man.

Across the world the vast, vast, vast majority of human interactions are voluntary, honest, and peaceful. If I had to guess, I’d say less than half a percent of transactions are conducted in a fraudulent or violent manner.

That being the case, its quite obvious that we have a government that is far too large. Government’s main purpose is to provide security, enforce contracts, settle disputes, and perhaps even provide a few services like roads, water and postal services. If almost all human relationships are peaceful, voluntary, and legitimate and only half a percent of transactions require government involvement, than why in god’s name do we spend a fifth of  our national product on government?

The math is easy enough. Take twenty percent and divide it by half a percent. The answer is forty. Government, in my opinion, is at least forty times too big.

Any time you hear of a violent act or some atrocious fraud by a corrupt CEO, stop and remember how much of life is good and sincere. It far outweighs the bad.

Our road trip was proof again of the for me. It would have been easy enough for  any criminal to rob us. It would have been quite simple for somebody to poison our food, slit our tires, blow us up, or do whatever else it is that we’re supposed to be afraid is going to happen us. But none of that stuff happened, and it probably won’t.

Most people will treat you right. They either want to make a buck off of you or they’re just good people; usually both. Either way, we don’t need government interfering.

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