I’m as conservative as the next guy (I think) and lean toward libertarianism. This means the usual government regulation and intervention is as odious to me as to most. I regularly make fun of the most obnoxious examples of government run amok.
But what does that mean in two recent cases, the explosion and subsequent belching of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and the financial reform bill? I suppose one could add the Rand Paul flap about the Civil Rights Act to these two.
I’m going to paint in broad strokes here so don’t try to apply my thoughts to every situation.
Was the Civil Rights Act good for America? Should consumers be shaded from shady practices? Does the government have an interest in protecting the environment?
Most thoughtful people would answer yes. I think the difference would come in the extent of government regulation that takes place.
But as I’ve read some of what’s out there, I begin to wonder. Barry Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Act and Reagan, William Buckley and others were against it. Some are starting to defend Rand Paul for what he said.
Then how do we hold companies accountable for accidents or over-exuberance in their practices in a completely free market as most of my conservative and libertarian friends want?
Then again, once the government feels they need to hold one business accountable, they will feel the need to hold other businesses “accountable.”
And once they feel the need to protect consumers from shady practices, they will feel the need to protect consumers in other ways, for example, raw milk here in Wisconsin.
Is there a suitable middle ground? Is there some other way I’m not seeing?