There are many Republicans calling for fewer government regulations. I agree there are probably some that could be dropped. However, there are several questions that need to be answered before any regulation should be dropped. If a person cannot answer these questions, they need to first find out the answers.
The questions we need to know are the following: why was the regulation first written; what problem was it supposed to solve; who wants the regulation dropped and why; who wants it to remain and why; and finally, what are the positive and negatives if the regulation is no longer in place?
Unfortunately, there are many candidates running for office on less government regulation that can’t answer these questions. The track record for businesses wanting removal of regulations is not good. An example is the drug manufacturing industry wanting fewer requirements on the testing of new drugs. Would you be comfortable buying drugs for you or your family that did not go through rigorous testing?
We have an energy problem in our country. Coal companies spend lots of dollars on political candidates to get safety regulations removed. Oh, yes, these are some of the same companies that did not obey the regulations in first place, causing the deaths of many miners. Do you think safety regulations should be removed and lives put in danger?
Another suggestion from a Republican leader was that we need to get rid of some of the child labor laws. I assume this person has not had much experience with children working. As a junior high school teacher, I saw students in their first jobs. To many of them, the prospect of minimum wage gave them sudden wealth. They thought they did not need to finish school because they were rich. There were also a few parents that did not care if their son or daughter finished school. Without the laws restricting work hours and age for quitting school, some of my students would have been out of school at 14 years of age. A child at 14, even if told, doesn’t realize what life at 35 will be without an education.
The major reason for many of the laws we have is the owners of business that do not respect their employees. To save some dollars, there are owners who would force employees to work through the day without a lunch break. There are owners that do not put money into the working environment so the workers are safe.
Some of you may be old enough to remember cars without seat belts. The laws requiring them have saved many lives. Yet car makers fought not to be required to put them in cars. There also is the newest thing, “texting while driving.” We are just getting to regulating this so the roads are safe. These regulations are not so much for some one who texts, but for the protection of the innocent motorist on their errands.
Now many will say that all the paperwork required is hurting business. This may be true, but what I do know is that if there was not the requirement to keep accurate records, many business owners would not send all of the sales taxes you pay at the store. The money could end up in the owner’s pocket instead of the government. You can pick up the newspapers and see all the illegal deals companies are making to make their profits larger at the expense of the consumer. When banks get together and illegally agree on what rates they will use, that is not the free enterprise system the Republicans talk about. The Republicans seem to think that without regulations business will not try to cheat the consumers. So many companies are cheating now, why will the lack of regulations stop them? At least with regulations, the consumer has some recourse.
If you have some regulations you think should be dropped, be able to answer the questions of why the regulation was first adopted, what will dropping it solve, and what are the positives and negatives of dropping the regulation? If what you say makes sense, I will join you in calling for the regulation removal. If you cannot answer these questions, do some research before you speak. If the candidates for office tell you they will cut regulations, do not believe them unless they can answer the questions.
The writer lives in Pawleys Island.