A constant refrain bleated from Republicans has been “excessive government regulation” of business. Let’s examine the validity of this claim, and why business is regulated in the first place.
Disclaimer: I come from a family of small businesspeople, have owned one myself, and have known many business owners throughout my life.
The vast majority of these business owners, large and small, work hard to provide quality products and services. They would do the same without regulations. However, “a few bad apples” require rules protecting customers from unscrupulous business owners who put the profit motive over the public trust.
Examples of benefits from government regulation: Food free of contaminants and carcinogens, 40-hour workweek, overtime pay, consumer protection resulting in safer cars, electronics, etc., and environmental regulations keep our air and water free from toxins. Nine years ago, the government imposed stricter regulations on banking and investment firms due to their defrauding customers and small investors of hundreds of millions (then had the government cover their losses)! The list is extensive. In every case, regulation was instituted after the public demanded government regulate these industries.
We’ve been promised that deregulation will boost innovation, capital investment, and job growth. But the fact remains, the majority of businesses would do these things in spite of being regulated. Government regulations help ensure people aren’t harmed from unscrupulous business practices. The only companies regulations hurt are businesses that put extra profits ahead of their customers health and well-being.