Government regulation of business from a business perspective

People and the government often criticize, condemn, and seek to impose obligations on business. But let’s look at this criticism, condemnation, and regulation from the business perspective. Surely fairness requires that no criticism should be viewed and evaluated only from the point of view of the critic.

The following is a businessman’s view of much of the criticism, condemnation, and regulation that people and the government assert against business:

1. People want power.

2. People want to exercise and maximize that power through the government.

3. The government realizes that it has limited capacity and can only do so much with the capacity it has; it cannot do everything that people demand of the government,.

4. The government realizes its limits and wants to do more than it has the capacity to do.

5. So the government seeks to use its power to force businesses to do what the government wants done, but the government does not have the capacity to do.

6. Thus, the government sets the rules in the form of laws and regulations and threatens to punish business if business does not enforce the rules that the government wants enforced, but that the government doesn’t have the capacity itself to enforce.

7. If business does not, or is unable to, enforce the rules that the government itself is unable to enforce, then the government imposes substantial and severe sanctions, penalties, and fines on business.

8. If business still does not effectively enforce these rules, then the government seeks to impose the sanctions, penalties, and fines personally on business people themselves.

9. If business is able to enforce these rules and is still able to make a profit from the operation of the business, then the people and the government: 
 (A) criticize and condemn the business and the business people for being “greedy” and undeserving, 
 (B) claim that the government and the people are rightfully entitled to a substantial share of such profits from the business and business people, and 
 (C) claim that “credit” for the successful result rightfully belongs to the people and the government, rather than business.

Therefore, before the people and the government criticize business or seek to impose additional burdens and obligations on business, the people and the government should as a matter of fairness look at the situation from the perspective of business, and ask themselves is what they are requiring of business, or criticizing business about, is fair.

Otherwise, if the people and government do not consider the business perspective, then they are proceeding forward not on the basis of fairness, but on the basis of the exercise of raw power, and doing so many would reasonably contend to be an abuse of power.

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