Against Gradualism

If It Doesn't Make Sense, It Doesn't Make Sens...

Image by elycefeliz via Flickr

Like the majority of Americans, I think that government needs to be trimmed and scaled back. Yet I’ve always seen this as something that needs to be done gradually, mainly because people have planned their lives around the status quo and you shouldn’t yank the rug out from under them. But David Henderson makes a contrary argument. While the scope of government increases over time (Higgs’ Rachet Effect), it’s hard to see how it could operate in reverse. Any reduction in government spending, however it’s done, will have motivated special interest opponents. Any attempt to “ratchet down” will be countered by arguments to subsequently “ratchet up”. Perhaps I’ve been wrong to favor gradualism.

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