Thursday December 10, 2015
Lovers of big government love crises because crises are the sure-fire way to get big government. It is during crises that many people go into a fright-filled panic, demanding that government assume extraordinary powers to keep them safe. Government officials, of course, are always willing to oblige, given their love of power over others.
Then, as Robert Higgs points out in his insightful book Crisis and Leviathan (which I highly recommend), once the crisis is over, while the size of government might diminish, it hardly ever returns to the size that it was before the crisis. Thus, with each new crisis, the government only gets bigger, more powerful, and more oppressive.
We witnessed this phenomenon after the 9/11 attacks. We saw it after the Paris terrorist attacks. And we are seeing it again after the shootings in San Bernardino, California.
“We need gun control!” the fear-stricken cry, unable to recognize that California already is ranked near the top in the nation in terms of strict gun-control laws.
We need stricter immigration controls!” the panicked scream, unable to see that the shooters in California were here legally.