April 4, 2009

The Sandbox - More simplicity

Earlier today I wrote about simplicity and how it could be applied to government to make the lives of everyone easier.  I thought it might benefit from a simple analogy.

Imagine the United States as a sandbox. What is government's role in the sandbox? Is it to rule the sandbox as a bully, a king or even a benevolent dictator? In many sandboxes that would be the case. But America is guided by a different principle. In the American sandbox, the role of the government is to be the playground monitor.

The government dictates the size of the sandbox; where the borders or edges are (don't go outside the sandbox). It makes sure that everyone in the sandbox plays nicely; don't throw sand in other peoples' faces. It makes sure that kidnappers don't come and harm or steal those playing in the sandbox. Beyond that the sandbox is to be used as private citizens and industry want.

The government doesn't tell you what part of the sandbox to play in. It doesn't tell you what games to play, what toys to play with in the sandbox or how long you can play for. It's there to make sure the sandbox is okay to play in and those playing in it aren't harming each other. Period.


  1. It sounds like you may have read "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine. Or even "Glenn Beck's Common Sense." Both are great reads and Americans should be reading them.

    Good analogy, btw.

  2. Johnny,

    Thanks for the comment. I read Paine years ago. Right now I'm reading Milton Friedman. But the ideas are just common sense - to me at least. Some people don't seem to mind the idea of the government being the sandbox bully.

    I can't fathom why people would want that.


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