Is "Big Government" Really the Problem?

 
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Conservatives like to complain about "Big Government," but despite lower government spending than many peer nations, America is less prosperous and less free. Briahna Joy Gray explains how the government isn't bad because it's big: it's bad because it's bought. Join us, and make our work possible: https://www.patreon.com/gravelinstitute Institute Merch: https://gravelinstitute.org/merch Follow the Institute! Twitter: https://twitter.com/GravelInstitute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gravelinsti... Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GravelInstit... CITATIONS In addition to federal budget data on the size of government and GDP, the following sources were helpful in the making of this video: 1:11: Elise Gould, "U.S. lags behind peer countries in mobility," from the Economic Policy Institute, October 2012: https://www.epi.org/publication/usa-lags-peer-countries-mobility/. See also Lane Kenworthy, "Is Big Government Bad for Freedom, Civil Society, and Happiness?" in Evonomics Magazine, November 2017: https://evonomics.com/big-government-bad-freedom-civil-society-happiness/. 2:39: Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens," Perspectives on Politics 12, no. 3 (2014): https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf. The Gilens-Page study is controversial: the core contention of critics is that by ignoring issues on which the rich and the "middle class" disagree, the "middle class" wins about half the time. For a summary of rebuttals, see Dylan Mathews, "Remember that study saying America is an oligarchy? 3 rebuttals say it's wrong" from Vox, May 2016: https://www.vox.com/2016/5/9/11502464/gilens-page-oligarchy-study. For a response from Gilens and Page, see Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, "Critics argued with our analysis of U.S. political inequality. Here are 5 ways theyre wrong," from the Washington Post, May 2016: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/05/23/critics-challenge-our-portrait-of-americas-political-inequality-heres-5-ways-they-are-wrong/. Note than neither Gilens and Page nor their critics argue that poor people have any voice in U.S. politics. 4:06: Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, The Triumph of Injustice (2019). For a simple summary, see David Leonhardt, "The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You," The New York Times, October 2019. 4:29: Drew DeSilver, "For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades," Pew Research Center, August 2018: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/. 4:43: Matt Bruenig, "Top 1% Up $21 Trillion. Bottom 50% Down $900 Billion," from the People's Policy Project, June 2019: https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/2019/06/14/top-1-up-21-trillion-bottom-50-down-900-billion/.

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