Over the years, I have heard all kinds of excuses on why government regulation is needed. These excuses are as follows:

  • Government regulation is needed to protect consumers and other individuals from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous companies and other entities.

  • To protect the safety and the health of people in the state and the nation from unhealthy or dangerous products.

  • To protect the rights of workers from greedy bosses and owners of companies and other entities.

  • To prevent unfair trade practices and unfair competition as well as monopolies from coming forth.

While these excuses have sounded good and noble, the reality has shown that regulation has had just the opposite consequences. Regulations instead are designed primarily to protect favored companies and punish smaller ones. These regulations prevent smaller companies from competing with the so-called “big boys.” For example, government regulations would protect the National Football League from smaller pro-football entities in terms of advertisement and television time. Whereas NFL games are shown on television channels such as ESPN, Fox, CBS, NBC and the NFL Channel, a rival like the United Football League or Canadian Football League would be restricted to television channels such as Versus, HD Net or Madison Square Garden. In Ohio this was the case when legislation was introduced by State Representative, Lou Blessing (R-Cincinnati), to require cable providers to participate "in arbitration regarding disputes with providers of competing video programming." What the legislation was designed to do, however, was to protect the NFL and College Football from any competition from other leagues and entities. 

Another example would be in New Jersey, where for years the Prudential Insurance Company cornered the automobile insurance market with government regulations that shielded this company from competition. It was only recently that that practice has been reformed a little. Or, government regulations, for example, protecting electronics company like Sony from competition from entities such as Emerson, Coby, Zenith, RCA, Daewoo and others.

Regulations therefore tend to create monopolies and limit worker's choices of employment. A free market however leads to healthy competition resulting in better paying and safer jobs.

Economist Milton Friedman wrote one time that if there was a role for government, it would be primarily to act in the role of Referee or Umpire. That government should not show favoritism, whatsoever. For more than 100 years, government has been showing favoritism when it comes to the economy and to companies and entities. It is time to return to freedom, to the belief in free-markets and free-minds, to competition and to capitalism. This is owed not only to our children and to our future but to ourselves.

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