Oh man, I bet you were thinking today “I want to read about regulation and how to do it effectively!” I heard your calls, I thought about it while building card decks and I’ve come to the following conclusion: Well…you’ll see as we move along!
So I’ve been reading a lot, not necessarily recently but just in general. One of the things I’ve noticed over and over is that regulations are originally (at least stated to be) put in place to protect the little guys, the average people, from the evils of the wild west of capitalism. At its core capitalism is a deceptively evil thing, living life with no concern but the market and profits. But there are some simple ways you can make it work, and I think that Libertarians would enjoy some of the things I’m going to say.
The first thing to note is that regulation for regulations sake is always abused. It always mutates into something that hinders start-ups, hinders progress, and overall chokes out any sort of forward momentum. However if you just get rid of regulations you will be left with a very very bad world, if you can’t expect the leadership to properly regulate themselves, you can’t expect anyone to. That’s not necessarily because people are bad, but picking and choosing who can be trusted is not something one should do.
So what I propose is not regulations in the strictest sense but instead requiring that all businesses be open to the public. The records, the processes, the factories, require that people be able to see every step that lead to their I-pod, their home, their burger, or their pants. This provides the missing piece to the idea that the “Market will regulate itself”, because as it stands the thing that stops businesses from regulating themselves is sweet secrecy. No need to fix how you take care of your cattle, nobody sees your workers beating them with nail bats.
No need to have your pants made in the US, nobody sees those people being oppressed to save you the 20% off the top. How about the nets put around Foxxconn to catch people who try to end their lives? A work environment so terrible that death is better.
These things are largely hidden behind a veil, easily, and it is usually done because of supposed “security”. Security against what? Terrorists? If they want to bomb a large chicken factory they can do so without seeing what is inside. In fact, if you force people to take into consideration that “someone just might do them harm” you incentivize them to diversify.
No longer is it safe to have a single super massive chicken farm, so instead of one centralized (and very susceptible to harm) factory you spread them across the country and have them closer to the target of their product. Pants, I-Pods, Etc, these companies suddenly have their skeletons dropped on the doorsteps of the consumer.
Are you willing to let people kill themselves just to get an I-phone for 399 instead of 478.9? This becomes the question and I bet more often than not you will not find support for their shady practices to shave a buck off the top.
Now look at the upstart companies, perhaps a family farm? If these folks want to raise their cattle, chickens, etc, as it was done ages past. They can do so. You can see exactly how they do everything and decide for yourself if you like that over the ammonia meat in the local meat factory. I’m not saying either is better than the other (though if I was forced to I’d take the former), but that’s not the point, the point is that the only way the consumer can choose properly is if they are presented the whole package up front.
Everyone needs to show their hand and let the market decide. There are some exceptions, occasionally a business gets too large and monopoly laws are very important. At a certain point a business can get so big that it will utterly obliterate any competition the moment they show up. If there are literally no options you cannot exactly make a choice.
Cake or death is not a fair dichotomy.
Obviously not saying this is perfect. But I think for the back of my head while building decks it isn’t bad. We force all businesses to be as open and up front as they want their customers to be. Origin fishing your PC for data? You should be given all theirs in kind.