Adam Smiths Roles for Government and Contemporary U.S. Roles
Is the Welfare State Crowding Out Governments Basic Functions?
By Jody W. Lipford, Jerry Slice
This article appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of The Independent Review
For about a century, U.S. government expenditures reflected Adam Smiths view that the states role should be limited to protecting citizens from aggression and supplying goods that the free market may not provide. Beginning in the late 1800s, however, government at all levels began to change its emphasis from carrying out these traditional roles to advancing the welfare statea trend that may ultimately threaten governments capacity to provide the services that Smith deemed essential to the maintenance of a safe and prosperous society.
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