Government is Good

  • American Flag

Government is good and has many successful programs to show! On the other hand, the conservative mantra is that government is too big and needs to be cut. Government is the problem and not the answer. We are better off with the smallest government possible.

They have been so successful at this agenda that many “liberal” politicians are afraid to defend successful government programs and the necessary taxes to support vital public infrastructure and services.

There is a great website (and book) which addresses this subject in wonderful detail. Government is Good, An Unapologetic Defense of a Vital Institution, , is essential reading for all citizens, especially progressives. The web site and book by the same title is by Douglas J. Amy, Professor of Politics, Mount Holyoke College. Here is how he states the issue.

“Why a website defending government? Because for decades conservatives have been demonizing and attacking government and not enough   has been done to defend it. We need to recognize that despite its problems, government plays an essential role in promoting the good life for all Americans. When we recklessly reduce and underfund this institution, we are hampering our ability to improve people’s lives and to effectively address our pressing social, economic, and environmental problems.”

Why is this happening? Why is it wrong? What can we do about it? Professor Amy refutes the conservative propaganda and provides a comprehensive case for the government being the essential foundation of the quality of life most of us enjoy.

The website is organized using specific topical articles that are factual but easy to read. He covers the conservative “War on Government,” explains “Why Government is Good,” and discusses “What is Really Wrong with Government” and “How to fix it.” He calls for a comprehensive program of action to counter the conservative agenda.

“There are, in fact, some problems with American government, and we need to address these if we are to restore Americans’ faith in this institution. Right now, the main problem with our government is that it is not accountable and responsive enough to the public. We have a deficit of democracy – with special interests too often winning out over the public interest.”

“The final piece discusses several political strategies for rebuilding and revitalizing the public sector. This includes a campaign to “re-frame” the way we think and talk about government. We also need to develop a pro-government coalition in this country. Political groups that depend on active and well-funded government – environmentalists, women, minorities, labor, teachers, etc. – need to move beyond their own narrow policy concerns to embrace a wider political vision that promotes government as a good in itself.” (emphasis added)

The website provides several nice tools to help “re-frame” the debate. “A Day in Your Life” talks about all the many ways government improves your life. The “Guide to Rebutting Right Wing Criticisms of Government” refutes the misleading stereotypes and sound bites. “Test Your Government IQ” is a fun, short quiz to stimulate discussion of all these issues.

Check out this website. Bookmark it. Read it. Pass it on to your contacts. BUY THE BOOK! Share it and donate it to your local library. This is a message that needs to be spread far and wide.


[1]  All indented quotes are from the Government is Good website,