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Old April 18, 2013, 09:21 AM   #22
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Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
I have, however, lived long enough to know that a strict laissez-faire approach does not work in critical areas of our economy, like the airline industry.
I don't really know that strict "hands off" policy would be the best choice in *any* industry. We already know what happens in America when there's no external regulation at all, because it wasn't that long ago that our industries didn't have those regulations.

Without regulation, we had seven year-old children losing fingers in textile mills, we had widespread open-pit mining with arsenic and other deadly chemicals used as leaching agents, and we had actual fires on the surface of the Cuyahoga river from the sheer amount of industrial waste that had been dumped into it. We had tapeworms sold as diet aids, and patent medicines that contained high levels of alcohol, mercury, or worse.

For good or for ill, any private company is motivated at least in part by profit, so it's naive to think that if the well-being of their customers or the general public were to come into conflict with the company's profitability, that the company would willingly sacrifice profits.
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