In a free nation jealous of its liberties, the first job of government is to guarantee those liberties and make sure that the limits imposed on it by those liberties are observed.  It is not to find any and every conceivable reason to write new legislation, although the members of the Ruling Class, who believe their job and justification is to rule, would disagree.

Think for a moment about the ratio of bad law and unnecessary law to good law.  That given, the more “business” government does, the more disasters, on balance, it legislates.  If you’ve got a barn fire that is destroying a significant part of the barn, do you feed it water or gasoline?  The “business of government” crowd are apparently using a flamethrower for a firehose here.

So responds Bill Quick at the Daily Pundit to our post yesterday about Obamacare and the government shutdown.  Quick makes a number of telling points, but the first paragraph illustrates perfectly the fundamental disagreement between “conservative” and “progressive” viewpoints.

Obama believes that the “first job” of the government is the protection of the people from harm, even at the expense of liberty.  Quick  believes that the “first job” of the government is to guarantee that a free people remain free, and that the attempt of the government to impose “fairness” at the expense of all other considerations creates far more harm than it prevents.

I’m on Quick’s side.  Franklin’s comment, however much misused, is still true:

“He that gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.”

There are people who believe that if the police can track everybody’s location through their cellphone, they will be “safer.” That if the NSA listens, we are more “secure.”  That “regulation” always makes our economy “fairer.”   Observation does not confirm these beliefs.