mocktwinkie saidWhen the word "big government" is used it doesn't mean infrastructure that has to grow with population (like in the case with the Reagan presidency), it means government becoming more and more involved in that which is best and most efficiently left up to the private sector. It has to do with government program expansion and deprivitization, not keeping the same services proportionate to population growth. So adding a new safety net or benefits programs we can't afford or centralizing the role of healthcare etc etc would be examples of "bigger government".
Big corporations want monopolies, so they love big government regulations to suppress small business from equal competition which would threaten their monopolies -- this is why most of the ultra elites in this country are liberals -- although the more moderately rich tend to be slightly more conservative. Bigger gov. role = bigger politician role = more self-serving politicians = easier for crony capitalism to have full effect.
Your whole view of this seems completely backwards from mine.
First, infrastructure spending has been given up nearly entirely in order to pay for wars and tax cuts for the very wealthy. Along with that have gone construction and manufacturing jobs, screwing over the middle class. So let's dispense with the idea that conservatives even accept infrastructure spending is necessary. BTW, this is also why China and other emerging economies are eating our lunch in terms of growth. They are spending tons of money on infrastructure and that creates jobs, etc.
Second, the private sector is not by design
any more efficient than the public sector. There are efficient private companies, efficient nonprofits and efficient government agencies, and there are the converse and most are in the middle. Conservatives frequently confuse "efficient" with "squeezing every last penny out of our employees so we can keep all the money for the executives". That's inhumane, unpatriotic and, over the long term (as this op-ed suggests) bad for business.
Third, certain things (healthcare, voting, infrastructure, the military, police, prisons, courts) are simply too important to be left to the private sector, which is largely only in pursuit of profits. They are key to our strength as a nation and a people and when they fall into private hands (like with private health insurance, or Blackwater, or Charter schools) they are actually more expensive and less effective.
Finally, as the world becomes more densely populated and more complex, the role of government will necessarily increase. Yes, there are more regulations because there is a great variety of businesses employing a larger number of people using increasingly advance technology. What leads to the what you call "big government" isn't government, it's private money in public politics. If you want government to stay within it's bounds and not become corrupt, then advocate for term limits and public financing of elections.