The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men’s weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.
Lao Tzu, 600 B.C.- Chinese philosopher
There is a very simple point made in this chapter, which is that when those who are responsible for problems find solutions to them, then the problems are less likely to recur. The statistics are presented correlating increased state expenditure on law and order with an increasing incidence of arrestable offences.
We create, out of society, innumerable organizations to do everything from looking after abused donkeys to launching lifeboats. Where central government becomes involved, we usually hear of things such as abuses in care homes or funds given as foreign aid, tied to large and dubious construction projects undertaken by donor nation companies, and so forth.
Yes we need to deal with problems like homelessness, drug-addiction, pollution, malnutrition, sexual abuse, poor education, bad health and indeed the whole catalog of society’s ills. But by letting the state take responsibility for these problems we often condemn them to becoming worse as we deprive ourselves (society) of the funds and motivation that would enable us to be more effective in finding positive and flexible solutions.