What if there was no government regulation of people’s lives?

Let’s assume that we live in a society without a  government that is allowed to pass laws that favor some people over others…  There are no copyright or patent laws. Early in our history we didn’t pay attention to such things.  No licensing, regulation of business as now. Anyone is free to offer whatever services they feel able to provide. No drug laws, no prescription laws, no laws against importing things from other countries. No zoning laws that limit what people can do with their own property. “Minding your own business” is the rule of the day. There are traffic laws, but the only law is regarding harming others. There is a strong prohibition against the passage of any law where there is no “victim”. People are free to make their living any way that they wish, as long as they do not use force or fraud. Violence against others is prohibited except in cases of self defense.

Much of the legal system we have today dates back in history to when monarchs had the authority to grant legal rights to certain people regarding what could and what could not be done. Copyright and patent date from this era. The king (or queen) could give you a “royal monopoly” to do certain things that were denied to everyone else. Groups of skilled artisans would form a “guild” (like a professional organization) to prevent others from providing the same goods or services. The guild effectively reduced the supply of goods and services which allowed its members to earn higher incomes than before. The first labor unions were limited to skilled workers (craft unions) as “bargaining units”. Again the idea was to obtain a higher income through reduction of those allowed to provide the goods or services. Restriction of supply has always been a method to gain higher incomes, a policy that appears to go back some thousands of years with the formation of cartels, trusts, various economic monopolies over some needed substance.

All of these sort of things require the use of “force” in one way or another to function. One method is to hire “thugs” to beat up (or even kill) those who refuse to “go along”. Anti-union actions by business in the 19th Century sometimes even went to this point. Another “tactic” was to use law enforcement or if necessary the military to “break” the attempts to form labor unions. The owners of the big corporations of the era were often ruthless men willing to do whatever was necessary to prevent the unionization of their workers. It was a considerable “help” to have a national government that would agree to do most anything that “big business” of the day wanted done. This is also why there was a sometimes violent “anarchist” movement in reply, as many people understood that it was the combination of “big business with big government” that was the “problem”… In effect, it was understood that without the armed force of government, big business was limited in what it could do to prevent the organization of workers for an improvement in their pay and working conditions. As a matter of fact, throughout our national history, the US government has been more often on the side of business than the people. It has also been “on the side” of certain groups, assisting them through law and regulation to earn higher incomes than what they could ever earn without the power of government behind them. So reducing the power of government is one way to “balance the scales”.

The claim will be made that “government makes life better” for most people. The idea being that without government regulation, we would suffer from unsafe food, drugs, unlicensed medical providers, and every other problem government supposedly solves. The major problem with this is that government does a poor job of seeing to our safety. Also it creates more problems than it solves. It increases the cost of living by as much as $6,000 a year per capita. People are prohibited from using their skills and talents to employ themselves and serve their willing customers because of government laws and regulation. All in the name of “public safety”, where it fails more often than it succeeds. It deprives the sick of medicines proven safe in other countries. Our government has also made enemies out of those who were “collateral damage” from our drone attacks. Then there are laws like “civil forfeiture” where you have to “prove” your innocence of a crime instead of the other way around which is the way it should be in a free society. Our drug laws have given us the world’s largest prison population both in absolute numbers and upon a per capita basis. We have the world’s most expensive health care, but despite the fact we pay “more”, our health statistics hardly qualify us as a “first world nation”. As for “food safety”, we allow things that the rest of the developed world doesn’t allow in theirs. Which may be one reason that our health statistics are as bad they are today.

In conclusion, it appears that we are losing more than we gain by allowing government to rule our lives as it does. And what applies to the federal government also applies to state and local government. The “harm” done seems to be greater than the “good” that it does. Part of the problem of course is politicians who fail to serve those who elected them to office. Many of them appear instead to serve those who financed their expensive political campaigns instead of the American people. We also have seen the consequences of the “cuts” in services to our veterans, some of whom have died waiting for medical treatment because Congress decided to cut the amount of money that was allocated to the VA for health care. Proof, I suppose, of the low value placed upon their lives by our politicians. Who live like the aristocrats of another era rather then serving the American people.

 

 

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About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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