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Ira Stoll

It should prosecute and punish crime, including theft and criminal fraud, and it should provide a judicial system for the resolution of civil disputes. It should provide an army that can defend a country from external attacks. It should provide some safety net for the deserving poor.

If it starts expanding its functions much beyond that it tends to start trampling on the property rights and low marginal tax rates [See: What causes an economy to prosper?]. Another important thing is that the government’s role, whatever it is, be established by law enacted by the consent of the governed. This idea of limited and enumerated powers can help prevent the government from trampling the rights of individuals.

Editor of and author of "Samuel Adams: A Life", Ira Stoll