The new Libertarianism.org has amassed a bunch of great essays from CATO scholars and the like. One of my (very) recent favorites is from Aaron Ross Powell, who discusses the nature of political obligation in How We Might Become Politically Obligated, a follow up to his introductory post on the topic.
The post got me thinking: people tend to think of the government as an immovable entity, though not as a service. A service is something that two parties voluntarily opt-into and much of political philosophy revolves around making government a service that is (theoretically) attractive to most parties in a society.
Unfortunately, the conversation tends to give irresponsibility in government a pass, whereas voluntary exchanges and transactions are scrutinized ad nausea. As long as the people continue to treat voluntary actions (like working for Foxconn) as an abuse of humanity, but simultaneously defend the legislators who have wrought fiscal havoc and appeal to special interest groups, I don’t think the conversation will ever orient itself properly.
Which politician do you think does the best job of discussing government as a service to taxpayers?
(As an aside, this is a particularly thoughtful piece from the American Spectator: Subculture Clash.)