small state

Small State

Small State is one of the political personality dimensions examined in the political personality quiz.
The opposite of small state is big state.

The choice between big state and small state is mainly a question of economic philosophy, but there are two currents of small state thinking:
  • decentralism in which governemnt still can be "big" but only at the local level.
  • starve the beast - which is ultimately one in which public expenditure and government transfers are reduced across the board.

Small state generally means less government spending particularly at the federal level. That which is provided by the private sector is bound by supply and demand, rather than politics. Those who favor a smaller state tend to be "do-it yourself" types who usually want more independence, in the form of lower taxes. They view the free market as essentially a "fair game" that rewards those who are smart and who work hard.


Small staters favor:

  • less interference in the free market
  • tax cuts, particularly for high income individuals or corporations.
  • privatization of some government services
  • free trade
  • not accept limits to the upper end of their success
  • people who "make do" on their own
  • competition, and facing challenges

Small staters tend to oppose:

  • expanding the social safety net.
  • subsidies for industry
  • expensive security measures to improve public safety
  • expanding the range of public insurance programs (employment insurance, old age *pensions, medicare and disability programs)
  • expanding the bureaucracy.

Relevant issues

tax reform, public sectorprivate sectorhealth care, welfare, free trade, social security, corporate welfare, competition policy, income support programs, bureaucracy.

Statements used in the PPQ

  • The government spends too much on health care and social security.
  • Despite the squeaky wheels, our schools and hospitals receive enough funding.
  • The government can not provide utilities and roads cheaper than a private company will.
  • Anyone can be successful if they work hard enough.
  • Generally speaking , people receive high incomes because they work the hardest.
  • To be sucessful, you sometimes have to risk everything.
  • There should be no welfare for single people who are able to work.

Statements proposed for the PPQ

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Comments and Observations

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