The Case for Regulation

As this will probably be the only post I’m allowed before I’m banned for disagreeing with your fundamental postulates, I would like anyone reading this post to carefully consider what I’m saying here, then respond with a rational answer which is based on empirical evidence rather than a priori argument.

You say you are afraid of big government.  Please explain for me why you are more afraid of a democratically elected government, which ostensibly has your interests at heart, than you are afraid of big business, which does not even claim to have any altruistic motivation, and which (as the experience of the coal camps shows) can easily surpass government in its level of control over our day to day lives?  We have long ago reached the point that the only entity which is sufficiently powerful to restrain the oligarchic tendencies of multi-national corporations is our federal government.  State and local government do not have the political will or Constitutional authority to regulate interstate or international commerce in the manner necessary.  If you emasculate the federal government, as you appear to desire, who will keep business in check?

I am not suggesting that the corporations are doing anything wrong by stretching the rules to the limit in their search of profit.  That is what they do; it is their raison d’ etre.  I am simply suggesting that we need to set rules, to set limits, on what is acceptable conduct.  The “market” won’t, as the “market” is concerned with increasing profits.  Without rules, that same competitive drive, fueled by economic Darwinism, forces business to ever more extreme lengths in order to succeed in the only way they are set up to measure:  Short term profit.

Even Adam Smith acknowledged that, while regulations are “a manifest violation of that natural liberty which it is the proper business of law, not to infringe but to accept,” when set against the “security of the whole society” the “natural liberty of a few individuals” which “might endanger” that “security”, should and “ought to be restrained by the laws of all governments.”  In that our society is no longer based on an expanding frontier and agrarian economy, but on an ever more interconnected and populated world, the need for government to balance the worst effects of cut throat competition is much stronger than in his day.

And, if you ask “qui custodies custodiet,” in a democratic republic, that would be us.  Why are you so afraid that we will be incapable for controlling government excess, yet have no such fear as it relates to corporate excess?