View Poll Results: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation

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  • To protect against any and all harm

    7 26.92%
  • To ensure equal and fair outcomes

    6 23.08%
  • To prevent unjust enrichment

    7 26.92%
  • To set boundaries of individual conduct

    8 30.77%
  • To prudently conserve public resources

    11 42.31%
  • To provide orderly protections of individual rights

    25 96.15%
  • To maintain social order

    11 42.31%
  • To maintain social justice

    10 38.46%
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Thread: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

  1. #1
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    What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    On any given social topic, how much government involvement should there be?

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    Re: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    On any given social topic, how much government involvement should there be?
    what government? The level of government has a huge bearing on acceptable involvement

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    Re: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by ARealConservative View Post
    what government? The level of government has a huge bearing on acceptable involvement
    Any level. Pick a level and state the acceptable level of involvement.

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    Re: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    Any level. Pick a level and state the acceptable level of involvement.
    In a society where you are guaranteed the right to freely move, the restriction I would place on community government is it must be desired by the majority and the minority can escape the regulations by voting with their feet (have time to move to escape regulation)

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    Re: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by ARealConservative View Post
    In a society where you are guaranteed the right to freely move, the restriction I would place on community government is it must be desired by the majority and the minority can escape the regulations by voting with their feet (have time to move to escape regulation)
    What if the minority did not want to move?

    Is any regulation justifiable merely because the majority wills it?

    Also, is just a 50%+1 majority sufficient, or should there be a supermajority (60%, 66%, 75%)?

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    Re: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    These choices are kind of vague...I think any of these choices could be acceptable reasons under certain circumstances, and not acceptable reasons under other circumstances.

    To protect against any and all harm - Depends on the harm. Laws against murder and rape are good. Laws against adultery or gambling or drug use...not so much.

    To ensure equal and fair outcomes - Generally no...although I guess it depends on your definition of "fair" (which would be different than "equal" IMO). I think that the government should do more to eliminate poverty since that breeds other nasty socioeconomic problems, but that doesn't mean that everyone needs to have equal incomes.

    To prevent unjust enrichment - Again, I think this depends on your definition of "unjust." Are we talking about Jeff Skilling and Bernie Madoff? If so, then I think that government regulation definitely has a place to prevent unjust enrichment. Or are we talking about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett? IMO there is nothing inherently unjust about being successful.

    To set boundaries of individual conduct - If we're talking about nutty religions that deny kids medication or file harassing lawsuits against anyone who disagrees with them, then yes. If we're talking about things that don't harm anyone else, then usually not.

    To prudently conserve public resources - Yes, definitely. If we don't practice sustainable development, then our resources will dry up.

    To provide orderly protections of individual rights - I can't think of any exceptions to this, so yes.

    To maintain social order - What is "social order"? The police should be able to prevent riots and looting...but not peaceful protests.

    To maintain social justice - What is "social justice"? I do think that the government needs to do more to provide health care and education to everyone, and to alleviate poverty.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 04-10-09 at 05:14 PM.
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    Re: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    What if the minority did not want to move?
    Then they comply with regulations or face the consequences of non enforcement

    Is any regulation justifiable merely because the majority wills it?
    Define justifiable as it pertains to governance.

    Also, is just a 50%+1 majority sufficient, or should there be a supermajority (60%, 66%, 75%)?
    As I see it government doesnít create rights, it defends rights. If people donít have the government they want, why would they wish to defend that government? IF 51% doít like what they have, what stops them from using violence to overthrow the government?

    In the interest of protecting rights the best way we can, we allow a simple majority at lower levels to have a great deal of control of government as this is the best way of ensuring that a majority of people take an active interest in defending government if the time comes to where they need to.

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    Re: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    These choices are kind of vague...I think any of these choices could be acceptable reasons under certain circumstances, and not acceptable reasons under other circumstances.
    Yes, they are vague, and intentionally so.

    I have observed that there are in many of the debates here a tendency to presume a default role for government (again, any level), without fully defining what the role is or why it should be thus. I would like to take discussion back to a fundamental question of what the proper role for government is, and how it is achieved.

    So the choices are vague, and the hope is other posters will provide their own specifics, much as you have done.

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    Re: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by ARealConservative View Post
    Define justifiable as it pertains to governance.
    Exactly what it means: A regulation is right and proper and appropriate solely on the basis of it being an expression of the majority.

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    Re: What is an acceptable reason for government regulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    Exactly what it means: A regulation is right and proper and appropriate solely on the basis of it being an expression of the majority.
    What I find justifiable is a travesty to others and vice versa.

    In the area of governance, justification is quite grey.....and irrelevant.

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