The year 2009 began with a deluge of stories and analyses of the economic meltdown affecting almost each and every country in the world. News of shrinking economies, millions of jobs being lost, soaring unemployment rates, and governments trying different measures to stimulate their economies dominated the media. This only highlighted the important role that governments play in managing the welfare of their citizens. Why is it that in times of crisis we expect the government to bail us out, yet at other times, we want the government to stay out of our affairs? What does this assume about the relationship between us and the government?

States, in order to ensure the welfare of their population, not only have to administer ...

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