GOVERNMENT INTRUSION IN THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE
> While the government does protect the environment, many believe it > doesn't do a good job. Private conservation, people, organizations, > private groups, spend their time and money to protect much of this > country's species, habitat and environment. Are you aware of any Thomas > Jefferson quotes which discuss government involvement in people's lives > as not necessarily the best thing? There are several. "Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVII, 1782. ME 2:222 "Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread." --Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:122 "A most powerful objection always arises to propositions of [public works]. It is that public undertakings are carelessly managed and much money spent to little purpose." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1784. Papers 7:27 "If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1802. ME 10:342 "We remark with special satisfaction those [favorable circumstances] which, under the smiles of Providence, result from the skill, industry and order of our citizens managing their own affairs in their own way and for their own use, unembarrassed by too much regulations, unoppressed by fiscal exactions." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Annual Message, 1802. ME 3:340 "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." --Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791. ME 8:276 "[Some] seem to think that [civilization's] advance has brought on too complicated a state of society, and that we should gain in happiness by treading back our steps a little way. I think, myself, that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. I believe it might be much simplified to the relief of those who maintain it." --Thomas Jefferson to William Ludlow, 1824. ME 16:75 "When we consider that this government is charged with the external and mutual relations only of these States; that the States themselves have principal care of our persons, our property and our reputation, constituting the great field of human concerns, we may well doubt whether our organization is not too complicated, too expensive; whether offices and officers have not been multiplied unnecessarily and sometimes injuriously to the service they were meant to promote." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Annual Message, 1801. ME 3:331 "We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39 Actually, the whole principle of "limited government," i.e., government limited by the constitution, suggests the importance of preventing government from assuming a greater role than that assigned to it.
Table of Contents