One of the issues most commonly touched on at USMB is regulation. A lot of people support it a lot of people can't stand it. This seemingly trivial issue is in reality one of the most important and affects each of us everyday. I thought I'd bring up the issue, see if anyone wants to state their opinion, and try to reach a consensus. Here's what I think. I believe that too much regulation hurts the economy, but that regulation is always needed. As anyone whose has ever entered, among other things, the Chinese healthcare system will tell you, KNOWING that that is antibotics in that syringe and not say Windex is a definite plus about medicine here in the states. Indeed, one of the biggest healthcare problems in the 2nd and 3rd worlds is ensuring that a presciption drug companies are selling you the product as advertised. A surprising number of people have met less then happy endings because of this lack of regulation. This lack of standards and regulations is also the reason why many people don't support the idea of importing drugs from overseas. Indeed, it is because of situations like the one above that drive me to support regulation. We already have enough snake oil salesmen as it is. If we can't hold them accountable for their actions because of a lack of regulations, then it's only the little guy who gets screwed. Without regulations, ADM suddenly has very little incentive to make sure that thoses apples aren't poisonous. After all, without regulations, who is ever going to find out? Not the FDA for sure. And even if someone does figure it out, technically ADM didn't do anything wrong. They just sold you some apples, and no one said they were good apples. Sure, you can take your business elsewhere the next time you buy apples, but that becomes problematic if your dead. As for hiring and workplace regulations, these are also needed. What is it that allows sweatshops to exist? There are no regulations that forbide those conditions from existing in those countries, the employers have no incentive to improve conditions and thereby hurt profits, and for the workers, it's either this, similar work at another factory, unemployment, or back to the paddy fields and subsistence farming for the next few generations. Workplace regulations are essential, a minimum wage prevents a race to the bottom, workplace safety ensures that Bob can go to work everyday without fear of dying and knows that he'll have a least the minimum to feed the kids at night. Sure Bob could try to find work somewhere else, but that's problematic if Bob winds up 1. Dead because of a lack of workplace safety or 2. Can't feed the kids because every job pays the same $1.50 for the work he does. Bob could try to go to community college to develop new, higher paying jobs skills, but employers wouldn't accept his credentials because the lack of regulation in higher education prevented them from knowing if his degree was legit. The already well known institutions faced a similar problem, they couldn't trust the applications they recieved from the unregulated secondary school system, and have no idea the actual quality of the students they are accepting. Basically what I am saying is that sure, regulations can cause a lot of hassle and red tape, but we do need a set of agreed upon standards or else who knows what could happen. Regulations provide these standards and ensure a well run,and safe, economy and workplace.