We now have so many people dependent, in whole or part, on state welfare … that there are not enough people who can see their self interest to vote for small government to swing an election. But this is hardly a new problem. Back in the 70s, Margaret Thatcher and her colleagues such as Nigel Lawson and Sir Keith Joseph were talking about the “ratchet effect” of socialism and big government. And policies such as sales of public housing and privatisation were, in a way, attempts to create a new bloc of voters who favoured free enterprise, property ownership, and the like. The trick for opponents of Big Government on both sides of the Atlantic is to do the same again.