One of the central points of propaganda for a government could be the idea that the particular government promotes economic productivity (rather than penalizing it / reducing it). Of course, governments always use coercion to restrict economic activity (to govern economic activity).
First, money must be spent on fees and fines and taxes. Second, time must be allocated to learning government regulations, some of which are very complex, and then following those regulations. In some cases, huge amounts are time and stress can be involved with the calculation of complex tax debts, like with record-keeping, filling out stacks of forms, and hiring specialists to deal with complicated tax regulations.
By imposing extra demands on the time and wealth of human populations, governments reduce the economic prosperity of the masses. For instance, each payment to a government by an individual or business reduces the amount of wealth available for discretionary spending. So, to varying degrees, different governments promote poverty, never prosperity. Specifically, governments concentrate prosperity by force, taking prosperity from the general population and then allowing qualified applicants to request a portion of other people’s prosperity which the government has accumulated.
How much is overall productivity reduced because of the coercive threats presented by governments? It varies.
Consider the market for tax attorneys, which would not exist without governments using coercion to impose taxes. Only because of taxation systems, some portion of the population ends up as tax attorneys (rather than in more productive occupations).
What riches do tax attorneys produce? They produce absolutely nothing. They may help to reduce the amount of wealth taken by a government, but neither the government agencies nor the tax attorneys are involved in activities that are materially “productive” (with notable exceptions, such as scientists involved in secret military research to build better submarines, for instance).
Without governments, those involved in the profession of tax attorneys would probably resort to exploring more productive activities. All of their time would not be spent protecting their clients from government programs of wealth confiscation.
To clarify, we could use the word government as a label for a group of people who consistently use violence in well-organized ways and who attempt to monopolize the use of violence within their area(s) of operation. As for exactly how various governments influence economic activity within their area of operation, we could review in detail each of the following: which economic activities they prohibit or criminalize or fine, which ones they restrict or license, which ones they reduce by taxation, which ones they generally ignore, which ones they subsidize, and which ones they compel many people to perform or purchase.
In summary, governments are operations of redistribution by coercion, not of production. Many governments are also conspicuously destructive, although many of the activities of destructiveness may be performed outside of their own internal boundaries.
Governments demand time and money from the governed populations, reducing the prosperity and productivity of those people. However, the existence of governments will also create jobs and occupational specialties, such as tax attorneys, soldiers, and military submarine researchers.
Organizing this presentation took time. Reading it took time. How might your future productivity be effected?
You could relate to governments in a simple way: they are simply operations that redistribute wealth by force. Some people relate to governments as sources of benefits (wealth). Some people focus on protecting their wealth from government confiscation programs. Some people do both, such as hiring tax attorneys to reduce tax liability while also bidding for government contracts or even lobbying for a government to increase subsidies of their primary industry.
Why do people argue over what government policies should be? That is an in issue of no great interest to me in this moment, but I will raise that question briefly to note the massive amount of time that some people invest in to producing nothing and instead arguing about what government policies currently are or should be in the future.
Have governments influenced you to their benefit? Have they influenced you to spend time and money in a way that fits their interests?
They probably have at some point. Now, however, you may invest time in interacting with someone who has a simple, clear perspective on governments. You could take actions to reduce your exposure to tax liability, to protect your wealth carefully, to increase your access to government funds, and even to generally manage your time in new ways.
All around us, many people continue to will do as they have been programmed and hysterically argue about the best way for a particular government to promote productivity or prosperity. I might be more likely to argue about the best way for the sun to promote darkness or for thunder clouds to promote silence.