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Tom, I half-way agree with you. In the last ten years we've seen widespread misbehavior in the the finance industry, health insurance industry, and now big oil. BP, our current favorite whipping boy, has seen repeated safety and environmental lapses in the last few years that have resulted in substantial environmental damage in Alaska, more damage in the Gulf of Mexico, and loss of life in Texas and in the Gulf.
What has been missing these and other industries is thoughtful, meaningful regulation that protects the interests of the people and their economy, future generations, the environment (in the case of oil), and investors. The conservative credo of less regulation is better has clearly failed to protect these constituencies.
I do not, however, think President Regan was wrong when he worked to reduce government regulation in the early 80s. Looking back, many of those regulations failed to protect the people, environment, and so on while costing the economy huge amounts of money. Many of the regulations in place in the 70s were not "thoughtful, meaningful regulation."
Where things went terribly wrong is through the application of a single solution -- less regulation, less government -- to all problems. What we've done is let corporations police themselves, with predictable results: Near collapse of the financial system, health insurance policies that don't provide the promised care, and oil companies that rain economic and environmental ruin on thousands of miles of coastline.
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
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