The Essence of Regulation

Source: EconLog
by Walter Donway

“The laissez faire position on government regulation is that by overriding the judgment of individuals about production, trade, purchases, professional practice — virtually any and every facet of economic life — regulation violates the right to liberty and property. Because the individual’s judgments, choices, and actions — and the value he obtains thereby — equate with the process of living, regulation in the end violates our right to life. Regulation substitutes the judgment of government, imposed by threat of fines and imprisonment, for that of individuals. It overrides the judgment of those directly involved in and responsible for every phase of economic life (and many other areas, of course), substituting government bureaucracy. Translated into practice that means curtailment of invention, imagination, experimentation, innovation, initiative, and value preferences.” (11/08/22)