Limiting Harm: Government’s Primary Function1 min read

Limiting harm is the government’s primary function. The government helping reduce harm is popular whether it is from natural disaster, foreign invaders, or someone stealing your TV. Where do we draw the line?

Almost everyone agrees that murder is wrong and should be prevented by government intervention. I say almost, because as with everything some people disagree.

Murder is a crime of one person harming another person. It is very easy to define and clear.

What happens when someone or a group of people such as a company cause a large amount of harm? Should the government step in after that happens?

What do we do when 0.1% of the population benefits from something while 99.9% of the population is harmed by it?

The rhetoric is sometimes confusing, but from a policy perspective this is the major substantive divide between Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans believe that the 0.1% should be given the benefit of the doubt and regulations should be reduced. Democrats believe the regulations were made for a reason.

There are also regulations that prevent the 99.9% from harming the 0.1%. What are some instances where this makes sense? It makes sense when serious harm may occur or has occurred to the group that is the minority.

It is challenging to find a government function that isn’t either preventing harm or providing a service that private business cannot due to the need to make a profit.

Leave a Reply