So what’s your view about what the role
of government should be? What’s your criteria for deciding what you think government should
do? What’s your methodology? What’s your philosophy for making that broad goal? Why do you think government should be limited?
Do you think it should be limited because of the consequences of government action?
Do you think it should be limited because government infringes on your natural rights
or our natural rights? And finally, what do you think the role of
government should be? Do you think there’s no role for government? Are you an anarchist?
Do you believe the role of government should be minimal—it should only provide the army,
the police, and the courts but nothing else? Do you believe that there are certain public
goods like defense, like dealing with externalities such as the environment? Do you believe that
there’s a social-market economy, that there is a responsibility for dealing with the poorest
within society? We need some sort of basic welfare state such as making sure every child
can go to school? Or do you believe in nonclassical liberal
views about the role of the state? Is it the job of the state to promote a virtuous society,
as some conservatives would argue? Do you think it’s the job of the state to create
equality, as many people would argue on the left, having an egalitarian state? Are you a socialist? Do you believe that the
government should either own or, if not necessarily own, control all aspects of the economy? Or
are you—I hope not—a totalitarian, a fascist, or a communist who believes that the government
should control every aspect of life? So the question is, what’s your view about the
role of government?