A [liberal, feminist, it seemed] pundit on t.v. was arguing with a market strategist who said that Congress should ‘stay home’ to help the economy. The strategist said small government, less taxes and less regulation has made the US the strongest, most vibrant economy in the history of the world. To which the pundit responded, “Well [Jonathan, I think his name was], you should go to an island and start your own government because I don’t know what country you’re talking about.” – Fox 1/12/08
That’s an interesting rejoinder because the scenario the pundit painted was exactly how America started* – namely, a colony of fed-up Protestants seeking religious liberty. The first functioning civil government** was William Penn’s (a Quaker) Pennsylvania, which began on charter from the Royal British Government. Penn was educated in law at a fine French institution and brought his knowledge as well as his ideals to the theretofore savage uninhabited (except for roving tribes) territories to subdue it and establish order based on his own principles, which included, not inconsequentially, an extremely limited government role, free markets and political openness (free speech).
*how America started. The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights documents were fashioned atop William Penn’s ‘Frame of Government’.
**first functioning civil government. The Virginia and Plymouth charters were English corporations. The Pennsylvania charter, on the other hand, was established to create a civil society (not just crops and goods for export).