What is the government's job?

I read an editorial this week in which the author asserted that the role of the government is to protect the citizens. The editorial itself isn’t that important as this was only a side comment within it but this comment was aimed at why the NH state government is justified in passing the endless barrage of nanny state laws we are seeing passed. So there’s the question, is it the government’s job to protect us from ourselves? And if so how far should they go?

After all if the government’s job is to protect us including from ourselves then surely they would be justified in protecting us financially to make sure we don’t spend our money the wrong way and put ourselves in debt. This would justify them taking 100% of our money and managing our lives to the fullest.

Since they should protect us from poor diets then it justifies their regulating everything we put in our bodies down to the last snack. After all if we eat the wrong things it could cause us harm!

And since they are their to protect us then clearly they are justified in outlawing all dangerous sports in which we may get hurt. Football… out of the question. Rugby… ditto. And let’s not forget how Sunny Bono died so skiing clearly should be banned as well.

The point I’m making here is that if we simply accept that the government’s job is to protect us from everything, including ourselves there would be nearly no end to its reach into our daily lives. That was not the goal of those who founded this country. If you read their writings the vast majority of them spoke of individual responsibility. What a far cry from the world we live in today.

If we stopped looking at the government’s job as protecting all citizens and looked at as merely defining the line of your rights ending where mine begin and allowing us to be responsible for our own lives and our own well being and allowed for charities to care for those who may need additional help I think we’d find ourselves in a much better place.