Government doesn’t produce anything like a business, but it can help create an environment were entrepreneurs are safe to start and run successful businesses. I wouldn’t say government produces nothing, it’s more that government is really only good at producing a few basic things: everything else is wasteful when done through government.
I wouldn’t start a new business in a place like Somalia, or other countries that are currently experiencing civil unrest, or socialistic movements. The risks are too high that I would lose everything in a riot or government take over. This is also one of the reasons I see that economic growth in the USA has been slow in the last 5-6 years; and really much slower then it otherwise could have been for many decades if we hadn’t had greedy people in government as well as large corporations who basically influence the government into doing what they want.
On the other hand, if I know I have a deterrent from someone stealing from or damaging my business, because there is an element of law and order, and citizen involvement in government to keep it from getting out of control, then these risks suddenly are no longer a consideration on whether to run the business or not.
The key is to keep the taxation as transparent and automatic as possible, while not intruding on peoples personal lives. Certainly an Income tax does not accomplish either of those, which is why I think we should dump the IRS, and get back to the business sales and tariff taxes that paid for government before 1913. Taxes that are collected should as close to and go directly to the things they are meant to help protect or produce, such as: gas and automobile taxes to go roads, sales and service taxes paid for by businesses going to pay for infrastructure and consumer protections, tariffs paying for national defense, etc., while privatizing basically everything else.
The way government should really work, is to keep the higher levels of government extremely limited, and the local levels – where the people are more familiar with each other – more socialistic in a way, but without mandating that anyone do anything; meaning a crime can only be committed if you actually take an action against someone or something else.
In this way government can be very good at producing things like liberty, freedom, and a common defense against oppression and tyranny. And yes I do agree that too much government, like most – if not all – governments today, causes the government itself to become the source of oppression and tyranny. The key is for government to not pay for everything, nor require participation in things like public schooling, but to encourage volunteers and donations for things like public libraries where parents can teach their children, or people can voluntarily go to learn if they can’t afford a private school. Churches are also very good at providing free education through donations and volunteers. Even many universities are now providing there educational materials and lectures free on-line.
What about healthcare? Doesn’t everyone deserve healthcare? We’ll sure, but not at the expense of the doctor or businesses that run the hospitals. In fact learning to take care of one’s self (not expecting the government to do it for you) is the best way to obtain healthcare, or should I say health-maintenance. Still there are and always have been many doctors and nurses out there that provide free clinics and supplies to those who can’t afford them. In fact I would say that getting government dis-involved in health care would do more to make it more affordable and accessible then anything else.
One of the biggest reasons for government is that most peoples belief in authority is very strong because it is a natural law. These natural laws are usually expressed in terms such as “alpha male” in dogs, or “pack leaders” in other animals. In ancient times humans had patriarchs, tribe leaders, etc. It’s all part of our natural instincts to have leaders, because otherwise we have chaos and unrest. Of course there are always those that prefer to be loaners and be left alone, just as there are those who seek after power for greed and other selfish reasons.