Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Purpose of Government

There are three purposes for a government, the "control" function of an organization.
  1. Security, both external and internal
  2. Standards and Markets
  3. Infrastructure, the creation of an environment for invention, innovation, and transformation necessary to create value for the citizens of the political organization.
A careful reading of the US Constitution demonstrates that the founding fathers intutitively understood this.

This is from the Book Organizational Economic: The Creation of Wealth

Also see "The Responsibilities of Leadership"


  1. You're up early working on this! I imagine you're after a very stripped-down, limited definition of government. But what about human rights? Seems like freedom of expression and religion, freedom from torture, the right to a fair trial, were all pretty important parts of the Constitution. And being the big old lefty that I am, shouldn't "security" include economic, medical, and environmental security?

  2. Abstractly…All of those reduce inter- or intra-organizational friction. For example, the freedom of expression ensures the free flow of ideas.

    The problem is in the definition of organization and the understanding of organizational process friction. The examples you cite for security are very debateable because they cover a multitude of issues. The devil is in the detail I'm not sure the US Constitution garenttees you "the right" to economic, medical, or environmental security. Further, if you read the book, once it's out, you will find the Arrow's Paradox ensures that you cannont have economic, medical, and environment security...Kenneth Arrow proved that you can never support more than a single "good". Once you have two, there is no way to optimize for both...Lefty's like you tend to forget this natural economic law.