Do you think the Republicans can be trusted to control government?

Because they don't think the Democrats can. And neither of you want to listen to anyone else.

So your definition of "better government" is literally government we control. Which means you're not fighting for freedom, but who gets to hand out the goodies. Government becomes a perpetual spoils system. People accept it as the price of living in a modern society. Not what people want, not what they would choose, but what is handed to them. And what may be taken away at any moment.

That's not freedom.

I don't trust government to make those choices for me. Remember, government gave us the four food groups and that really screwy food pyramid that almost certainly added to the American obesity epidemic.

If you can get government to make your choices for you and leave me alone, I'll be cheering all the way.

But when we teach and condition our children that government is the first, best, and last choice; there's a problem. What if that is what we teach and a Christian theocracy gets into power? If you can't trust your worst enemy with that power, what makes you think you can trust your best friend? Or anyone in a government that regularly lies and hides facts?

I trust people making their own choices as long as they accept responsibility for those choices. It's not going to work every time, but it works better than anything else we've tried yet.

You can’t talk about monopolies without talking about the history of corporations. Corporations were created to shift liability and funding away from individual merchants. It’s a way to concentrate resources without destroying the merchant or owner when something goes wrong.

Because governments didn’t want to assume the risk and because maintaining government (especially the military) was very expensive, government gave exclusive power to select corporations to do things. If it succeeded, government got it’s taxes. If it failed, government might rescind the exclusive and grant it to someone else. For centuries, this was a prevailing model in Western Civilizations. When it worked, it generated cash by the cartload for both the corporation and the government involved.

The problem is that monopolies should never be permanent. That’s true for most government institutions.

There are reasons why a free market (or even a freer market) works. The big one is competition. With competition, a company has to work to keep the customers it had yesterday. If they don’t make it better, faster, or more available, someone else would. Which is why big companies spend so much of their time and resources convincing government to legally lock out competition.

One of my favorite examples is the cell phone. We had the technology, but it was locked up by AT&T. It wasn’t until well after the breakup that companies began competing among themselves. Eventually cell phones and cell phone plans dropped enough in price that land lines become the exception instead of THE market.

Government is terrible at long term planning. They can’t foresee where a market will go. To us, the smartphone was a natural extension of telephone technology. But who could see it even in the early 1980s? It wasn’t one company or one central plan. It was thousands of tweaks and refinements made to steal each other’s market share. Gorilla Glass would still be a novelty locked away by Corning except Steve Jobs wanted a bigger screen for the iPhone that wouldn’t brake easily. For us, looking back, it’s obvious that the market was there. But no one can give you a thirty year plan that will work. Even if they are a Designated Government Expert.

Government if they take the risk at all, will be wrong much more than they are right. Scads of government money won’t guarantee the best choices or even effective choices. If anything, massive government funding will skew the results and lock in obsolete technologies. Because it is built to “government spec” and it worked in the first place, there is no incentive to use new tech as it becomes available. This is true for everything from IRS (shudder) computers to the air traffic support system. It’s not the long term where effective planning usually takes place. It’s in the need to stay ahead of competition.

One of my side projects for the last couple of years has been looking to see if monopolies serve a good purpose. The short answer is they can, but only if they are temporary.

That being said, one of my buttons is the misuse of science justified by government. That’s one instance of government protecting companies because of how much money and effort government has invested in the company. That’s also when science tends to become scientism, and very weird arcane aspects of some economic theory are invoked to justify the government involvement.

I think companies work better when they produce results that people want to buy. If that isn’t happening, either government is paying the bills or the company is crusading for The Greater Good. Either way, the longer it goes on the less the company will be able to hold it’s own.

Oh I’d do much more than that. I’d make it impossible for anyone but a citizen to hold a patent, and I’d limit it to life plus thirteen years. I’d do the same for copyright.

Then I’d really get going.