Discuss whether too much governmental regulation of business or too little governmental regulation of business presents the greater danger to: a. the greater good b. business

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The answer to this is, of course, a matter of personal opinion.  There is no way to objectively determine which thing, too much regulation or too little, is more dangerous to business and to the greater good.  Let us look at arguments for each side of the issue. 

We could say that too much regulation is a greater danger both to business and to the greater good.  The best way to argue this is to say that regulation makes it too hard for business to prosper.  Regulations increase businesses’ costs.  They make it harder for businesses to start and to thrive.  By raising costs, they make business less profitable and, therefore, they are bad for business.  Because they are bad for business, they are also a danger to the common good.  The common good depends very much on businesses.  Without businesses, consumers cannot be satisfied.  It is businesses that produce the things that consumers want.  In countries like the old Soviet Union where there were no businesses, there was a great shortage of consumer goods.  In addition, without businesses, the economy cannot produce enough jobs.  Businesses are the creative force that make well-paying jobs for people in a society.  Too much regulation leads to fewer businesses and less economic growth.  Thus, regulation is a danger to businesses and to the greater good.

We could also say that too little regulation is the greater danger.  Too little regulation could be bad for business because it would erode public confidence in businesses.  Without regulation, businesses would be free to engage in practices that harm both workers and the public, just as they did in the Gilded Age when there was little regulation.  Businesses would lose the trust of the public, thus losing customers and profitability.  Too little regulation would also be bad for the greater good.  For one thing, it would reduce the number of businesses, leading to the problems discussed in the previous paragraph.  In addition, a lack of regulation would allow businesses to harm people.  A return to the days when workers could be abused and businesses could pollute with impunity would certainly be a danger to the greater good.

In these ways, we can make arguments on both sides of this issue.  It is for you to decide which argument you find more compelling.

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