Why anti-fraud law

Reader comment on: Private Regulation

Submitted by ben (United States), Mar 18, 2010 22:24

It would seem the argument you make would apply to anti-fraud as well. If a gas station is rigging the meters, a private company would come out with a website advertising which are the reliable gas stations, no? The fact that you agree that the government has any role in regulation puts you on a spectrum. The argument is where along the spectrum is the appropriate place for government to intervene. The government should regulate people's most basic needs to guarantee that every person has a basic level of health, security and education to maximize their human potential.

But I think the big flaw in your argument is the confusion between a review and a regulation. You seem to be using these words interchangeably, but they aren't. Imagining a world in which every decision one had to check out a private website or company that provides a review would be absurd. I go to the grocery store, but before deciding what tomato sauce to buy to make sure I don't get e-coli I need to go online to tomotosauce.com for the review and health history. Before buying a new toaster I check to see how often it catches fire (rather them on the story shelfs based on price and features). Before eating at a new restaurant I need to check to be sure that Zagat "health edition" hasn't given it a "likely to make you sick" rating. I do not want to live in a country where every one of my decisions has to be micromanaged. In our complex world we would not have time to do anything else. I am happy to outsource a basic level of care to the government, knowing full well that at time it does not regulate perfectly, just like the private sector.

Lastly, in this make believe land where the only check on businesses exploiting customers is a unenforceable private sector review system would undoubtedly harm the poorest among us. Consumer reports has a fee. Many of these types of rating companies would be unavailable to those without internet access, or basic literacy for that matter. Government has many jobs - protecting the least among us is perhaps its most important. Regulations help do this, albeit imperfectly.

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JfPMqklwZgoeyR [10 words]Tkhnas for the insight. It brings light into the dark!Jun 9, 2011 04:24
⇒ Why anti-fraud law [373 words]benMar 18, 2010 22:24

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