Lesson Not Learned

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

From a Gallup poll released today:

Oy vey.  That's depressing

 Dear 57%:

The reason we are in the financial crisis today is because of government deregulation of business.  Republicans (and not a few Democrats) have subscribed to the montra that government is best left out of meddling in business, a theory disproven by the Great Depression and again these past few years.

It is the nature of capitalism to try to make money by cutting corners, and do things unethically.  If there is a way to make quick and easy money on the cheap — say, by selling assets containing bad mortgages — it is the nature of the business world to exploit that method.  And that business drive, while bringing great wealth to the country, can also have some tragic repercussions for the country.

We have seen this time and time again throughout American history.  Slavery, for example, is a very good business model.  Cheap labor means more profits.  And the abolition of slavery was, in effect, a government regulation of business.  The same can be said of child labor as well.  Were these things bad?

Or government regulation of the amount of toxic wastes that can be dumped into the public waters.  Is that bad?

Or a million other examples — from food labelling to truth-in-advertising to product safety.  These are all things that come about because of government regulation.

Government needs to regulate business, because, when untethered, businesses will effect a huge social cost in their lust for profit.  Some people will make money, but others will, literally, die.

So to all those who want less government regulation of business, I ask these questions: Just how much rat feces do you like in your hot dogs?


Me at The Seventh Sense