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Free Market, Regulations, Corporations & A Lost Legacy

Posted 03-05-2009 at 11:36 AM by EinsteinsGhost


It is a common belief that regulations and free market don't mix, and that businesses should be let free, no strings attached. Any attempt to control businesses is quickly labeled as anti-American and anti-Capitalism.

I don't agree with that rhetoric and believe that well thought out regulations founded on pragmatism can and do help the free market and the welfare of the whole nation, guaranteeing its security as well. I do not think that opposition to regulations are unwarranted, but they do tend to benefit the causes of great big corporations and the ultimate danger lies in giving them too much power.

Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher from the 17th century suggested corporations to be worms in body politic. Adam Smith saw it fit to be concerned about them encroaching, and taking away, natural liberties of the people. And, they were right. The founding fathers of this nation discovered and experienced it, leading to the American Revolution against the oppression of the East India Company (and Hudson Bay Company, now HBC).

The founders sought to create a system, to create a representative democracy while placing strict regulations on corporations via charters. The idea was visionary, to avoid corporate excesses and to deter them from becoming too big and influential.

Like virtually everything else, it wasn't meant to be. Subsequent generations lost it and even in the late 19th century, red flags were raised.

"There is looming up a new and dark power... the enterprises of the country are aggregating vast corporate combinations of unexampled capital, boldly marching, not for economical conquests only, but for political power" -Edward G Ryan, 1873

That was, perhaps the beginning. Now, big business and government have become so intertwined that any notion of reinforcing the ideas to deter the fears would be seen as an attempt by a lunatic fringe, and to those still living high on McCarthyism: socialist, communist, Marxist, Leninist...

An era of corruption and selfishness has arrived and taken to the extreme. Media gets the blame, but not as much as the politicians who seem to work for themselves and for corporations. Most of them have their services bought, a lost legacy indeed.
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