Review of

PragerU Video: How Big Should Government Be? Left vs. Right #1

Our summary of Dennis Prager's claims: Dennis Prager contrasts the views of left and right on the subject of government. The left believes in “an ever-expanding government,” and that the state should be the most powerful force in society. Conservatives know that big government inevitably brings a host of ills, including corruption, loss of liberty, economic collapse, higher taxes, bankruptcy, and moral depravity.

Made-up stuff as knowledge

Rafael Jones Jacksonville, FL Published 02 Nov 2019

It’s true that liberals want to use government to solve many problems. I don’t believe there is a single Lefty in the United States, however, who would say that Dennis Prager has fairly or accurately described their beliefs. Government “should regulate business to the minutest detail”? Government should subjugate religion, and individual conscience?

More interesting, though, is the list of things that conservatives “understand.” Er, well, many of them believe these things, certainly… but many of the principles in Prager’s list are hard to swallow, and probably false. To highlight a few of the “inevitable” results as governments grow in size and power:

There will be ever-increasing amounts of corruption. Power and money breed corruption.

Certainly, lobbyists in this country and others have too much influence. But isn’t corruption more common in smaller, weaker governments, which are less able (or willing) to police it? Just look at Transparency International’s list. Did Prager even bother to Google it?

Inevitably… every welfare state ultimately becomes a Ponzi Scheme.

Does he have even a shred of evidence? Which big modern welfare state isn’t doing well?

There definitely are interesting economic theories about the very-long-term effects of growing national debts, but it’s not clear how Mr. Prager has divined that future collapse is “inevitable.” He’s employing the slippery slope fallacy.

It is only Big Government that can build concentration camps and commit genocide.

Isn’t this a sleazy association to make? Perhaps it’s true that a certain amount of organized force is needed to commit genocide. But genocides have occurred throughout human history, by governments large and small. And do we really want to argue that history’s most famous concentration camps of Nazi Germany came about simply because their government was too big? Could there have been other factors, such as nationalism, or anti-Semitism?

More to the point, Prager is indirectly suggesting (by association) the implication that the Left actually wants concentration camps and genocide. If confronted about this, Prager might claim that that’s not what he’s saying and no one in his audience will think that is what he’s implying. Let us hope not!

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