Big government

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Big government is a term referring to government or the public sector that is considered excessively large or unconstitutionally involved in certain areas of public policy or the private sector.

The term may also be used specifically in relation to government policies that attempt to regulate matters considered to be private or personal such as private sexual behavior or individual food choices[1] – similar to the British term 'nanny state'. The term has also been used in the context of the United States to define a dominant federal government that seeks to control the authority of local institutions – an example being the overriding of state authority in favor of federal legislation.[2]


Big government is primarily defined by its size, measured by the budget or number of employees, either in absolute terms or relative to the overall national economy.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grynbaum, Michael (31 May 2012). "New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks". New York Times. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  2. ^ Patrick Garry (14 June 2011). "The meaning of big government". Renew America. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  3. ^ Micheletti, M. (2000), End of Big Government: Is It Happening in the Nordic Countries?. Governance, 13: 265–278. doi:10.1111/0952-1895.00134
  4. ^ Peter Lindhert (2004). "Does Big Government Hurt Economic Growth" (PDF). St. Johns University. Retrieved 26 April 2012.