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.

Someone needs to crack open a political science textbook

Kathy Schoenberg Albert Lea, MN Published 22 Dec 2019

Prager’s dichotomies are crude, and seemingly uninformed. There is much more known about political ideology than the Battle Of Good Versus Evil that he describes.

It certainly is comforting to believe that it’s simply about Us and Them, and that We happen to be on the right political side. But it’s just not a very helpful assumption. It’s overly simple.

Just to illustrate: People know that conservatism isn’t a single thing. There are “traditionalist” conservatives, there are evangelicals, there are libertarians, there are strong-defense global hawks. Each type of conservative may have different things in common with liberals and moderates.

Another issue: Prager misunderstands (or mischaracterizes) liberals. They do not want bigger government. What they want is equality, or at least progress towards equality.

Most liberals would concede that achieving that progress requires more money and more programs and expansion of government. They assume we can afford most of it, or some just think fiscal issues should be secondary. But making government bigger isn’t their goal. They are open to cost-benefit analysis, and they want implementation to be efficient and with impact that is measured. They are not looking for genocide or concentration camps from their government, just less inequality among our citizens.

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