Limited is an approach of New Public Management to the government that seeks to minimize the role of the State, especially in providing services and regulating the private sector; government based on these principles. Limited government is one of the greatest accomplishments of humanity. It is imperfectly enjoyed by only a portion of the human race; and where it is enjoyed, its tenure is ever precarious. The experience of the past century has made clear the insecurity of constitutional government and the need for courage in achieving it and vigilance in maintaining it.
The Nature of Limited Government
In distinguishing strong but limited government from the conventional perspective that identifies only weak and strong government, the advantages of each and the contradictions between them can be understood. In the conventional view, the two types of strong states are not distinguished. A state that carries out and maintains highly interventionist policies, such as import substitution or subsidizing a highly unionized urban workforce, is confused with a strong but limited state that plays a neutral role in the allocation of rents and subsidies.
In many emerging states, technical and practical knowledge is unevenly distributed. Often a small group of capitalists dominates the local industry, agriculture, and access to the external market. The superior technical knowledge of these small groups forces the government to depend on them to build the market, which allows representatives from that group to gain control over the government’s regulatory apparatus and ultimately over the state. When economic power is concentrated in a few governmental ministries, it is more vulnerable to capture than when decision-making powers are dispersed among institutions that have veto power over each other. Strong but unlimited states often promote corruption and rent-seeking, exacerbating social and regional inequality. As noted earlier, both strong unlimited and weak states are prone to plunder the markets. What ‘neoclassical’ wisdom calls a weak state can often more aptly be described as a strong but limited state that can maintain the market, providing the necessary public goods while resisting capture by interest groups. While the champions of state activism raise reasonable doubts about the earlier neoclassical view, they do not explain why some strong states promote economic development while others pursue policies that hinder it. After all, the majority of countries that pursued activist policies experienced negative growth along with exacerbated social inequality. Even if the arguments advocated by statists—that these states have made a direct and significant contribution to economic growth—are taken at face value, they have done no more than show that this role for the state is feasible, something long known.
The Advantages of Limited Government in Bangladesh
First and foremost, a limited and smaller government is less expensive. The less we look to the government to solve problems, the less we as taxpayers have to pay. We the people pay for these programs, including employee salaries and benefits.
Secondly, a limited government cuts down on waste, fraud, and inefficiency. And with all agencies, departments, and commissions, one can only imagine the duplication of services, not to mention the unnecessary ones.
Thirdly, the limited government values individual and economic freedom. Less government means less intrusion into our lives. The more freedom from government regulation or mandates, the more choices citizens can make on an individual and financial level. We can live our lives as we see fit, not how the government sees fit. People can act and live according to their own way of thinking and not by government mandate. These individual rights include personal privacy, which is the expectation that in most cases we can be left alone to live our lives. The right to privacy and personal freedom comes with the understanding that our individual rights end as soon as they infringe upon another’s.
The fourth virtue of a limited government is freedom in the marketplace. The less the government gets involved in the marketplace, the more businesses can thrive and create a competitive and innovative atmosphere. Competition and innovation are what drives consumer freedom and offer products at all price points. Without competition, for what reason do companies have to improve their product, make it more cost-effective, and offer impeccable customer service? As companies prosper under these conditions, profits are made, re-invested, and jobs are created.
Once the government starts over-regulating, businesses are given another layer or two of paperwork in order to comply. Money that could have been re-invested into creating more jobs is diverted to compliance. As the cost of doing business goes up, so does the cost of the product or service. For every regulation, mandate or requirement, another government employee or two or three or four needs to be hired to ensure compliance. And the consumer gets hit again in the pocket – once for the increased cost of the product and second for the salaries and benefits of the government employee.
Fifth, the limited government creates an environment of independence and individualism. Once the government is called upon to solve a problem, it usually becomes worse instead of better and does nothing to alleviate the core of the problem it set out to solve. A program set up as a safety net in too many instances becomes a way of life. These programs are initiated as a reaction to a problem and don’t take into consideration the long-term consequences or the effect on the community as a whole. They start out small but somehow grow until those who they were meant to help become completely dependent upon them instead of themselves. The long-term effect is government programs deny people the ability to live their lives as they see fit.
Disadvantages of Limited Government in Bangladesh
Limiting the power of government protects rights, but it can also limit the government’s ability to take actions on behalf of the Bangladeshi people. If the government is too weak, either because of constitutional limitations or political policies, it is possible for individuals to have their freedom restricted by non-governmental concentrations of power.
Limited government is a western concept. In a developing country like Bangladesh, it has the possibility of becoming non-effective. But, if it is possible to alleviate the challenges & create an environment for administering limited government. Then the limited government would be successful in Bangladesh.