To do that (it has often been surmised), it should exercise only the minimum power required to fulfill its function.
Promoting the general welfare— that word meaning “the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, well-being etc., of a person, group, or organization”— has come to refer specifically to maintaining the minimum levels of those things which the collective citizenry will tolerate.
I certainly don’t support a welfare state; but I have no problem with our government doing its job and setting the minimum levels of general well-being it will tolerate for its collective citizenry. Hence: laws and regulations designed to protect that citizenry from predation within its ranks. Sensible laws to prevent people from being harmed by dangerous products, unsafe food or contaminated meat, industrial chemical contamination, physical robbery or violent criminal activity, etc.
If there IS to be a minimum wage (and there already IS one), its value should rise or fall in direct relation to the Consumer Price Index according to cost-of-living inflation or deflation of the currency used to pay it. That’s just common sense. Any argument against that is just self-serving propaganda, intended to keep profit ratios pegged and corporate dividends maxed out in an unsustainable predatory cycle that funnels capital upwards and eventually out of the system to off-shore tax havens. A money-milking machine based on continual growth squeezed from the lower 90%. Even in such a system, eventually you MUST stop squeezing the lower end, lest you squeeze it out of existence.
The REAL enemy we face (and the great silent white elephant no one dares talk about) is a 60-year history of impractical post-WW II prosperity economics, which has allowed greed-driven corporate interests to co-opt the Neo-Liberal “Universal Middle-Class For All” dream into a long-game scheme to process the lower class into a heavy-spending consumer class, via the expansion of an insane advertising network, and using a purpose-created loan industry that encourages the less wealthy to live beyond their means, indenturing their lives and productivity and funneling it all into a consumerist system of unnecessary acquisition.
Now that that the bullshit credit system is waning (and had to be bailed out to the tune of 7 trillion dollars when it ultimately collapsed), the latest bait and switch of the past ten years has now focused on duping the government into diverting taxes from the working classes into the pockets of the indigent, so they can continue to feed it into the money machine at the top of the system, and out.
The liberals are wrong to push for a utopia they cannot pay for, and the conservatives are wrong to rally behind the very corporate and establishment forces that are systematically plundering their own middle class. Both sides entrench themselves and believe themselves right, but both fail to understand how they might be doing it for the wrong reasons, in service to forces that have mastered the means to play them against themselves.
All are punished.