Why must it always be “all regulations, all government bad”? Is it not as simple as “regulations against the masses are bad, regulations in favour of the masses are great”?
The government is meant to be the democratic tool of the majority to create community action. When the government is not representing the people, then the government must be deposed. This is the base idea behind government and its relation to the right of revolution.
Taking this to government regulations, if the rich are pushing detrimental regulations to the people and the government only exists to enforce that, then they’re not a legitimate (democratic) government. However, why do libertarians seem to extend this to saying all governments are illegitimate or all regulations are bad? The flipside to the previous statement is that if the masses are pushing for regulations detrimental to the ultra rich and beneficial for a large majority of people, then that is a democracy.
Did we not already see what happens in a country without regulations with the Gilded Age? Before the late 1800s, most people subsisted off of farming, unskilled labour, skilled blue-collar labour, or their own small/medium businesses; and the only viable monopolies/oligarchies were plantations who were using slaves before 1860 and eating up smaller farmers and paying black people very little even following emancipation. The nature of most competition being medium sized businesses at largest (in the north) before the industrial revolution made unions much more easy to function. Unions and trade guilds were a regular way of staving off exploitation and keeping standards. Even unskilled manual labour had unions, famously such as miners. There were no real laws against trusts, however, as the gilded age reached its peak, anti-trust laws started seeming necessary. A combination of union organization and democratic regulation through the government would lead to more reasonable wages, shorter work-weeks, and the creation of many standards (child labour, food safety, etc.). While I don’t agree with the creation of The Federal Reserve or Abolition, the rest of the progressive era yielded a net positive for the average worker.
With the recent GME phenomenon, there are hedge fund executives and big wall-street players who want collective action of 10,000s of people buying into a stock illegal via regulation. This is clearly bad. But how do so many people make the jump from that to all regulation is bad? A similar sentiment seems to be for government programs. In that situation, elasticity of a product is what matters on whether you should push for a private endeavor or public one. A public one can be seen as a type of “regulation”. You would pay a lot if it meant not suffering from lifelong illness, so health-related costs can go up drastically as price is artificially inflated in the name of profit or supply is artificially withheld. Those kinds of things are public, especially infrastructure. Why must there be a blanket sentiment of “all government bad” instead of “all government that benefits only the very rich, especially through lobbying and corruption, is bad. Even more concerning if the benefit to that minority comes at the cost of the masses”? Why can’t it just be that?
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society