"Good" Government Regulations?

by | Feb 15, 2011 | POLITICS, Regulation

Obama says that the government can eliminate “burdensome” rules, but America’s businesses must recognize the “good” that regulations do. What is the standard of “good” here? Good to whom, and why? If regulations are good for businesses and customers, then why must government mandate them? Businesses, on the premise of self-interest, regulate themselves. They do […]

Obama says that the government can eliminate “burdensome” rules, but America’s businesses must recognize the “good” that regulations do.

What is the standard of “good” here? Good to whom, and why? If regulations are good for businesses and customers, then why must government mandate them? Businesses, on the premise of self-interest, regulate themselves. They do so for their own sake and the sake of their customers, whom they must keep happy. And if regulations are only good from a government or political point-of-view, then by what right does government impose them?

Also, Obama promises to eliminate “burdensome” rules. Which ones are burdensome, and why? Which regulations will be eliminated, and when?

We’re not holding our breaths. Federal regulations have grown massively during the previous Bush and Clinton Administrations. I shudder to think how big they’ll be by the end of Obama’s term(s). By not objectively distinguishing proper from improper rules, Obama reserves the power for himself, and his bureaucracies, to decide that for all of us. He did this with his health care bill, for which he’s providing exemptions for hundreds of companies. Which companies qualify for these exemptions and which ones do not? That’s Obama’s call. This is not capitalism, and it’s not even democracy. It’s tyranny.

Obama says: “The perils of too much regulation are matched by the dangers of too little.” How much is too much — and why? Again, no objective standard will ever be defined.

Obama actually implied, in a recent speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that regulations create economic prosperity while reducing regulations harms it. “We cannot go back to the kind of economy — and culture — we saw in the years leading up to the recession, where growth and gains in productivity just didn’t translate into rising incomes and opportunity for the middle class.”

This can only mean that the regulations poured on the banking industry, health care (mainly through Medicare and Medicaid), and the real estate markets were not enough to foster growth and productivity; therefore, we need MORE. Of course, since Obama’s time in office the economy has not grown, unemployment is higher than ever and a multi-trillion dollar national debt is not enough to keep up with the growing demands for unemployment, health care and other freebie benefits financed by the government.

Obama’s words can mean only one thing: We’re better off today than before, because although the economy has stopped growing, at least there are more government benefits and regulations than ever before. These are the words of a socialist, whether he accepts the label or not. These are the words of a man who believes that government is the proper owner of, and moral authority on, all things related to commerce among human beings. To a socialist, all things should be publicly owned, or at least managed, regulated and subsidized by the government.

Note to citizens, most of whom voted for Obama: The things government touches the least prosper; the things government touches the most are harmed the most. Public schools are at best mediocre and at worst downright rotten; government finances and runs all of them. Health care is inefficient and undercut by bureaucracy and inflation; government has financed most of health care for decades, and before long will be financing just about all of it.

Cell phones, smart phones, computers, flat screen televisions, Apple products, Google products, Amazon.com — these are hugely profitable sectors of the economy. Government does little to regulate or control them, and doesn’t subsidize them at all.

Also, regulations cost companies more. Like taxes, they pass regulatory costs onto the customers. When those customers vote for Obama, and other politicians like him, they’re voting for price increases. This is Obama’s fault, not the fault of business.

Why don’t most Americans let the private sector do for education, health care and banking what it has so visibly done for computers, smart phones and technology? I don’t know the answer. What the United States now needs more desperately than ever is far less regulation, not more and more.

Obama doesn’t think people can regulate themselves. He implies most people are too stupid to handle a free market. Given the fact that most people voted somebody like him into the Presidency, and might even do so again, it’s tempting to agree with him. Most people, at least politically, don’t seem to be all that bright or reflective. At the same time, only a free and unregulated — yes, you read that right: unregulated — society can produce the business and scientific geniuses required to get things done and keep things expanding and progressing.

Where do you think it comes from?

The brilliant innovators of history have themselves to thank, not capitalism or any other economic system, for getting the job done. It’s just that capitalism is the system that leaves them free to do so.

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Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

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