Is deregulation good for society?

Last updated: March 9, 2017

Deregulation has been blamed in the financial sector for the banking crisis that caused a global recession. Equally, too much regulation has been blamed for creating a 'nanny state' that leaves people devoid of any sense of personal responsibility.

George Monbiot in the Guardian:

Is deregulation good for society?
Yes because...

Regulation can be expensive

Within policing the costs of regulation (red tape as it is named by the media) is substantial, both in price and in cutting patrol times and thereby making streets less safe.[[]]
Schools are also facing needless costs of red tape[[]]
Deregulating could free up funds for more useful applications.
No because...

Is deregulation good for society?
No because...

People need to take responsibility for themselves

Deregulation is like trying to play a game of football without a referee. Government can't demand that people take responsibility for things that they have no control over, especially when ordinary citizens are against big business that has huge amounts of money to spend lobbying in it's interest (making money and nothing else) while people are left without a defence against the negative effects of deregulation. Obesity isn't entirely the responsibility of a particular person, it should be treated as a disease like any other. β€œFor an increasing number of people, weight gain is the inevitable – and largely involuntary – consequence of exposure to a modern lifestyle. This is not to dismiss personal responsibility altogether, but to highlight a reality: that the forces that drive obesity are, for many people, overwhelming.” [[Government Office for Science, 2007. Tackling Obesities: Future Choices. Project Report, 2nd Edition.

Why do people need to take responsibility for themselves in the first place? Telling people that they should have to take into account every possible consequence of their actions is both unfair on them and unneccessary. Where an action has consequent effects on other people (such as carbon emissions causing global warming) that an individual can't neccessarily foresee or take into account, we need the Government to step in and regulate to avoid those external harms.
Yes because...
The more we increase regulation in society, the more people feel that they don't have to worry about their actions and behaviour. This spills over into all areas of life, including the responsibilities we have to our families and at work. Regulation comes along with the message that one shouldn't have to worry about what they do, because someone else - i.e. the government will take care of it for them. If we have a whole nation that relies on every other person to look after them, then the country will fall apart. For example, the traffic lights system on food packaging is an oversimplified way to present what is actually quite complex information. It is the job of parents to prevent their children from eating fatty foods and if they choose, to stop them watching adverts selling unhealthy food, not the governments.

Is deregulation good for society?
No because...

Regulation works

The most regulated careful banks survived the Financial crisis. The public has a trusts for/in regulated banks.As even if there are ups and downs in currency value your money is safe.

Regulating markets means that when/if things go wrong there is the reliable government safety net and booms will be accelerated to win public support.

Public confidence is good for the economy, trusting banks is good for the economy; security is good for the economy and people.
Yes because...
Not quite. Regulation does not work. The economy becomes entirely dependent on political motives. Governments like big booms and busts as it:

1) Creates a greater voter turnout

2) Means political parties emerge as heroes when an economically predictable/inevitable boom bursts into the picture.

Is deregulation good for society?
No because...

Regulation really works

Regulations mean that banks are forced to take fewer risks and so depend less on government bailouts.

Over-dependency on Government bail-outs means banks go soft. They can then take advantage of the trust the public has in/for them and take even greater risks with people's money.

Then the government will have to resort to deep cuts and the public (hypothetically and in the current scenario) suffers even more.

Regulation is therefore preferable to the alternative (falling back on a bailout if the system fails completely), taking preventative measures before the problem gets too large.
Yes because...
Bailouts are not the only alternative to increased regulation: one suggestion is that smaller banks are encouraged so that in the event of another financial collapse reckless banks can be allowed to go bankrupt (with only their savers protected).

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