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Why Government Doesn't Work: How Reducing Government Will Bring Us Safer Cities, Better Schools, Lower Taxes, More Freedom, and Prosperity for All

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Harry Browne says 'ENOUGH!' In this book he shows why government fails so miserably at everything it touches. And he demonstrates how much better off we'd be by making government much smaller. Most important, he provides a realistic blueprint for getting from where we are now to a small government and a freer, more prosperous society. Harry Browne says 'ENOUGH!' In this book he shows why government fails so miserably at everything it touches. And he demonstrates how much better off we'd be by making government much smaller. Most important, he provides a realistic blueprint for getting from where we are now to a small government and a freer, more prosperous society.


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Harry Browne says 'ENOUGH!' In this book he shows why government fails so miserably at everything it touches. And he demonstrates how much better off we'd be by making government much smaller. Most important, he provides a realistic blueprint for getting from where we are now to a small government and a freer, more prosperous society. Harry Browne says 'ENOUGH!' In this book he shows why government fails so miserably at everything it touches. And he demonstrates how much better off we'd be by making government much smaller. Most important, he provides a realistic blueprint for getting from where we are now to a small government and a freer, more prosperous society.

30 review for Why Government Doesn't Work: How Reducing Government Will Bring Us Safer Cities, Better Schools, Lower Taxes, More Freedom, and Prosperity for All

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    You certainly can be forgiven if you haven't heard of Harry Browne. Hardly a household name, this author and investor was the Libertarian Party's candidate for President in 1996 and again in 2000. I think he got something like 1% of the vote in 1996, and hardly even registered in 2000. But that's the price the Libertarian candidate must pay. No one votes Libertarian, because most voters have never heard of the party, and those that have don't much care for their platform. Browne writes that ther You certainly can be forgiven if you haven't heard of Harry Browne. Hardly a household name, this author and investor was the Libertarian Party's candidate for President in 1996 and again in 2000. I think he got something like 1% of the vote in 1996, and hardly even registered in 2000. But that's the price the Libertarian candidate must pay. No one votes Libertarian, because most voters have never heard of the party, and those that have don't much care for their platform. Browne writes that there are 190 elected Libertarians serving across the country. I'm sure than number has changed since 1995, and maybe it's even increased, but that indicates there aren't a whole lot of Libertarians getting elected. How many thousands of elected officials serve in this country? I know, I know, too many. Browne wants to fix all that, and this book was his vehicle to the Presidency. He outlines the Libertarian philosophy about government, which in essence is this: it doesn't work because it's based on coercion and that's bad because it's based on coercion. He doesn't explain why a system based on coercion is doomed to fail, he just maintains that it does not work, never has, and never will. For some odd reason, he never once mentions the morality of a system based on coercion, like may libertarians do. All government is theft, they say, because it involves taking money from someone. That's wrong. Browne touches on this, but in a different context. He does not question government's legitimacy, merely its effectiveness. The more I read, the more I got the feeling that if government could work, maybe Browne wouldn't be against it. I think he did this because he is obviously trying to sell libertarianism to a very skeptical public. What libertarians believe isn't all that popular. Sure, they're all for freedom, and who isn't? But they also would do away with the national parks (sell them), Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, the war on drugs, the Departments of Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, IRS, and so on. You get the idea. Browne never comes out and says this, though. He just says the federal government should get out of the retirement, medical care, and education business, since government doesn't work, and the private sector could do all that better. He doesn't say this because people like their government programs, and don't want them to go away. Browne responds by saying but he'd end the income tax, and social security tax, and capital gains tax, and pretty much all other taxes, leaving all Americans to keep all the money they earn, thus giving them a much better chance at prosperity and a better life. In essence, he's asking American to give up the security of the federal dole in exchange for an unknown future. But perhaps this isn't fair. According to Browne, an America with no federal regulations on businesses or role in social issues is infinitely superior to what we have now. He's probably right. But too many people are unwilling to take that leap. That's why Libertarians get 2% of the vote. Personally, my beef with the Libertarian Party isn't so much with philosophy - though I have hard time believing that legalizing drugs, gambling and prostitution would produce a better country - but tactics. They shun the two major parties because, they say, the Republicans and Democrats are both the same. They both increase government. At least Democrats are honest about it. Republicans, says Browne, campaign like Libertarians and govern like Democrats. I say that Libertarians should infiltrate the Republican Party and try to take it over. Use their money and their resources to advance your agenda. It's working for Ron Paul. He's a Republican congressman from Texas who several years ago was a Libertarian presidential candidate. But he decided to get elected and do something positive rather than sit on sidelines and whine and complain. But the Libertarians refuse. That would be selling out, you see. Can't do that. Best to fail time and again, rather than get a serious chance to implement our policies. And that's a shame, because most libertarians are serious people with great ideas. Harry Browne presents the libertarian position very well, although he does go overboard in some of his claims. For example, to prove that government doesn't work, he says that World War II "didn't make the world safe for democracy, it made the world safe for Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union to launch the Cold War." Uh, Harry? Here's a news flash. In 1939, there were three world powers with evil governments - Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union - and one emerging vile dictatorship, Mussolini's Italy. After World War II, there was one world power with a nasty government - the Soviet Union. Not only that, but Germany, Italy, and Japan shaped up quick and became respectable members of the international community. That ain't bad, Harry, and it's okay to admit it. But Browne's a nice enough and smart guy, and this book is an attractive introduction to libertarianism.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Though this book is old the views are still held by many today. Harry Browne should have been President in 1996. It is a shame that we have become a land of sheep who just want to vote the lesser of two evils into office. If people would read this book they may not agree with everything, I sure do not, but his vision is better then any other politicians vision. I definitely recommend this book for everyone to read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Shirley

    Genius. Now I see where Dr. Mary Ruwart got some of her inspiration.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Danny Proffitt

    This book needs to be required reading in schools. Especially the chapter on the dictator syndrome.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Faye Oney

    The government is not a solution to our country's problems, it is the cause of them. Although this book was written in the mid '90s, it is especially relevant today. The late Harry Browne, author and former Libertarian presidential candidate, offers a compelling, yet simple explanation of why government doesn't work. What distinguishes government from the rest of society, he explains, is its use of coercion and the threat of force to win obedience. Browne shows how government has continued to di The government is not a solution to our country's problems, it is the cause of them. Although this book was written in the mid '90s, it is especially relevant today. The late Harry Browne, author and former Libertarian presidential candidate, offers a compelling, yet simple explanation of why government doesn't work. What distinguishes government from the rest of society, he explains, is its use of coercion and the threat of force to win obedience. Browne shows how government has continued to dig our country deeper into debt; and offers solutions to the many failed government programs including education, welfare, health care, and the government-run Ponzi scheme that is Social Security. Browne's book is a common-sense approach to fixing our country's problems.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Walker

    Fantastic book. Mr Browne is able to convince the reader rather effectively in a totally non confrontational way. his style is very familiar and friendly, and it really really does feel like he's just sitting across from the table from you, talking to you. He presents a very attractive third options in American polity- libertarianism and the libertarian party. He manages to evoke a feeling of discontent with the government while it still coming across as a message of hope. He is a fantastic auth Fantastic book. Mr Browne is able to convince the reader rather effectively in a totally non confrontational way. his style is very familiar and friendly, and it really really does feel like he's just sitting across from the table from you, talking to you. He presents a very attractive third options in American polity- libertarianism and the libertarian party. He manages to evoke a feeling of discontent with the government while it still coming across as a message of hope. He is a fantastic author. may he rest in Peace.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Kirkhoff

    This book was the precursor to The Libertarian Offer (LO). It was written in 1995 by Harry Browne the Libertarian Party presidential candidate. It says pretty much what the LO says. Here's the problem with government and here's my solution. I think the LO was better written, so I'd read it instead. This book was the precursor to The Libertarian Offer (LO). It was written in 1995 by Harry Browne the Libertarian Party presidential candidate. It says pretty much what the LO says. Here's the problem with government and here's my solution. I think the LO was better written, so I'd read it instead.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Geleff

    One of the great libertarian books of all time. This was Harry's presidential campaign book for the '96 election. It still rings true today, with proper adjustment for the massive expansion of gubmint that we've seen since the book's release. One of the great libertarian books of all time. This was Harry's presidential campaign book for the '96 election. It still rings true today, with proper adjustment for the massive expansion of gubmint that we've seen since the book's release.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ed Johnson

    Simple and to the point, Harry Browne outlines why voluntary interactions trump force and coercion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Persuasion vs Coercion, Freedom vs Force. It's not a surprise that freedom and persuasion are always preferable to threats of violence, coercion and force. Persuasion vs Coercion, Freedom vs Force. It's not a surprise that freedom and persuasion are always preferable to threats of violence, coercion and force.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Justin Westlake

    A good read, with a lot of good arguments for less government in all areas.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Good points. Easy to understand. Lack of detail though.

  13. 5 out of 5

    James D Smith

    It's HELLO! Why do people think that ANYBODY has the smarts or the authority to impose their agenda on anybody else? This just has to be read. It's HELLO! Why do people think that ANYBODY has the smarts or the authority to impose their agenda on anybody else? This just has to be read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sriram Gopalan

  15. 5 out of 5

    Todd

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dan Doherty

    Harry Browne's classic campaign book is still profitable reading even 20+ years later. This would make a great book to give to somebody to help them understanding libertarian arguments about policy without getting them too lost in the weeds with philosophical issues, and still can be read profitably from libertarians who want to better understand how to "sell" libertarian ideas to people who don't care about abstract principles Harry Browne's classic campaign book is still profitable reading even 20+ years later. This would make a great book to give to somebody to help them understanding libertarian arguments about policy without getting them too lost in the weeds with philosophical issues, and still can be read profitably from libertarians who want to better understand how to "sell" libertarian ideas to people who don't care about abstract principles

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eric Wojciechowski

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bidwell

  22. 4 out of 5

    Renee Markwood

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve Long

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jani

  27. 5 out of 5

    Richie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bradley Gerber

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