Archive for September 20th, 2010

Real Capitalists Respect Regulation

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Regulation is vital to functioning markets.

Without regulation, there is no trust. Without trust, there is much more friction in the exchange of goods, development of brands, and so on.

Would you be comfortable buying food if the FDA were not regulating the agribusinesses to ensure (reasonable) food safety?  (Or would you prefer to live in China and worry about whether your children were drinking real milk, or a poisonous but cheaper substitute formulation?)

Would you be comfortable taking out a mortgage (or credit card) if the banks weren’t being regulated?  Or would you rather have to read all the legal fine print to ensure there was no hidden scam?  (Oops, we practically have to do that anyway…)

Would you be willing to send your children to schools with no public oversight?  To buy them toys if there were no safety regulations?

Of course not.

Which is why real capitalists respect regulation.  Because trust is vital to business and, in the absence of trust, we’d have much smaller markets – and much more friction in them – which would all crush business profitability.

Perhaps, then, instead of blindly deriding markets and regulation, we should be appraising them and understanding the economic value that could be destroyed if we do not take good care of our system?