"The happiness and prosperity of our citizens
is the only legitimate object of government."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
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Reader comments about this quote:
As a stand alone quote, this brief statement is far too general. By way of example, the socialists (communist to fascist / progressive to neocon) believe if a little of their unconstitutional theocratic dogmas don't provide happiness and prosperity as they think it should, they create bigger and bigger government to promote their theocracy's legitimacy. Also, the use of "our citizens", promotes a conceptual image of separation between an elitist foreign hegemony and We The People. The only legitimate object of government is to act as an extension of the individual sovereigns in promoting natural law for the protection of inalienable rights (inclusive of Life, Liberty, and Property - allodial ownership)
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    This should mean to just leave folks alone.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” ― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    J Carlton, another very appropriate Bastiat explanation. I contemplate Jefferson's vision of a purely natural law application, making the quote, on its face accurate and absolute (as overlaid by your quote). My response was to the malefactors that would consider slavery happiness and scraps from their master's table prosperity. Of course the quote would in actuality be in line with what cal and you commented.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike, Bastiat's "The Law" should be mandatory reading in High School. It would clarify as opposed to confuse young minds on the concept of justice.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I'm with Mike on this one. It is the 'pursuit of happiness' that is a natural right, not happiness itself which is purely subjective -- one man's paradise is another man's hell. The legitimate object of government is the protection of our natural born rights. Prosperity through the theft of our neighbors property is not authorized by any charter of government. The only prosperity these days is the guaranteed exponential growth of Washington, D.C.. While the rest of the country is going down the tubes, the government aristocrats and those they funnel trillions to are making record profits. The crash of the dollar was predestined and necessary to secure the prosperity of the 'too big to fail' corporations that rely on government debt to keep them rich.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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