betsy ross and flag(Republished for 2011)  Besides brats, beer and fireworks, a great way to celebrate our Independence and the legacy of Freedom is to think about the proper role of government. The Star Tribune published Kim Crockett’s article on how the desire to fund “good things” can lead to underfunding the core functions of government: constitutional duties and protecting life, liberty and property.  These ideas are worth a look again as we face a state Shutdown this holiday weekend. Our next big debate will be about the purpose of state government because we cannot afford the old model, no matter how stubbornly Governor Dayton clings to it. Happy Independence Day from the Minnesota Free Market Institute!