Letter: Deregulation must be done with great care

Letter: Deregulation must be done with great care

Few would fail to see the flaw in an argument that stated "...since traffic lights, stop signs and speed limits serve to interfere with traffic, they should all be removed, so vehicles can move more freely." Why then do so many buy the argument that "...since rules, regulations and even whole agencies impede economic 'growth,' they should be greatly reduced to facilitate progress and prosperity"?

There is a mantra in many parts of the U.S. Armed Forces that rules and regulations are "written in blood" — someone died or was severely injured because of something now forbidden or more tightly controlled. There is certainly a parallel to this mantra when it comes to restrictions on how our food is grown or prepared, what types of chemicals or fertilizers are dangerous to our water supplies or other parts of the environment, and what kind of toys are dangerous to young children.

To a large degree, this set of rules and regulations are the "immune system" of a capitalistic economic system — actually preventing excessive “growth” much like a human's properly operating immune system prevents the excessive growth of cancer, and like our own immune systems, should be degraded only with the greatest of care and forethought.

One other thing to keep in mind is that in the context of “rules, regulations and protective agencies,” the word “growth” can be taken as meaning “profit,” and since elimination of traffic lights might benefit the 16-wheelers and Ferraris but not Fords and Hondas, more and faster growth probably won't primarily benefit the general public.

James H. Patton, Jr.
North Stonington


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