To regulate, or not to regulate: That is the question.

United States
February 11, 2009 9:16pm CST
With all of the problems the United States has had with recalls, Ponzi schemes, and our banking issues many have wondered how these were missed by regulators. Do think that our government should be in the regulation business, or should we let the free market regulate itself?
2 people like this
4 responses
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
12 Feb 09
I think the free market can regulate itself. When the public doesn't like a product anymore or ever, the public votes with their wallets. It is a disgrace the Ponzi schemes even exist and I sympathize with the people who invested much of their savings to only find out recently that they no longer have a savings. Hopefully more people will be careful in the future to invest in a company which promises high rates of return.
1 person likes this
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
12 Feb 09
We do have agencies - in these cases where are the FDA and the SEC? Why weren't they doing their job? The peanut plant supposedly knew they were sending out bad products and did so anyway. The SEC was supposedly told of the scheme by a whistleblower and did nothing.
• United States
12 Feb 09
I personally don't feel that the market can regulate itself, if it could then we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today. Unlike you I have no sympathy for people that ignored facts, and logic. Many of these schemes were paying high yeilds every year like clock work, even in bad times. They allowed greed to cloud their common sense, so why should I feel sorry for people that knew what they were doing was wrong, but didn't care because they were making money?
• United States
12 Feb 09
Dee, the reason the FDA and the SEC don't find these problems is because they are under staffed, and regulation was not important to the past administration. Republicans do not believe in regulation, and they have a long history of cutting funding for agencies who's job it is to investigate cases like these.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
12 Feb 09
It was government regs that created the problem. They were required to equal opp lend. So welfare and other entitlement funds were counted as income. This is just one part of it, but just proves that it is time for Government to butt out.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
12 Feb 09
Ery if these poor people are uneducated and too stupid to realize that EVERYONE wants a quick buck then they have nobody to blame but themselves. Comparing cable companies to this bank crap is dealing with apples and oranges. Cable companies get their money up front so they will sell to anyone they can. Banks wouldn't have loaned money to poor people if they didn't have to because they LOSE money when people don't pay them back.
• United States
12 Feb 09
Taskr, those banks made a fortune, because those loans were secured by the federal government, insured by AIG, and charged huge interst rates. The problem came when AIG and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack went under, and those people that were paying tons of money in interst had to spend most of their money on gas because the Bush administration felt that they had to pay them back for all of the money they donated to them. Those banks can blame Barney Frank all they want, but I never heard them say a word about these loans when they were making billions off of the interest.
@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
13 Feb 09
We need some regulation and we need it bad. For seventy years the regulations of the 1935 banking act clause (Glass Steagall Act) that separated investment, retail and commercial banking and set up the FDIC to insure ONLY retail banking, kept us from a financial meltdown. The first dismantlement (under Reagan) brought the Keating S&L mess and cost something like 500 billion. The final gutting of Glass Steagall(under Clinton)brought our current trillion dollar mess. The investment banking industry spent 300 million dollars lobbying for years to get rid of Glass Steagall. They finally got what they wanted and we got the worst financial crises since 1929. It's time to put those regulations back. They worked and we need them. Hopefully thepresident has been listening to Paul Volker who has been one of his advisors and who went on record under Reagan as opposing the removal of parts of Glass Steagall. The chief argument against Glass Steagall was that it was archaic and impeded growth in a free market place. While we were getting rid of these regulations, China was setting up their modern banking system. They incorporated the very regulations we discarded and the result was the fastest growing economy on earth.
1 person likes this
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
12 Feb 09
We pay the members of government to police and enforce the laws of the land. They are not earning their money. We must make some drastic changes in our government where the average voter controls them. We just let them go and do whatever they want to and you can see the results of this all around us right now. The government must fear the actions of the people or it simply will not work in the best interest of the people. The American voters need the ability to vote people out of office in very short order. The only thing the politicians fear is loosing their job. The people need to ability to strip them of their job if they don't perform according to the desires of the people that pay them. In short the voters must control what the government does and how they do it. This last bail out would not have been passed if the people had their way. These people are employed by the American taxpayers and the taxpayers need the ability to fire them if they don't do their job right. Art
• United States
12 Feb 09
Art, thanks for your response. When you vote for president you are voting for, or against those people enforcign our laws. Republicans believe in free market regulation, which means that the government shouldn't regulate anything, the market will do it for them. Democrats believe that the free market can't be trusted to regulate itself because the free market doesn't care about lives, it only cares about profit, and loss. The American people voted for his bail out when they voted in November, if they didn't want a bail out they could have voted for McCain. Thank God the American people aren't that stupid.
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
13 Feb 09
I didn't vote for Obama. In fact I didn't vote for anyone. I never have voted and never will. I do not believe in the voting system. At least not in the way it's done in the US. We also need the power to vote people out of office in very short order. If some joker isn't working in the best interest of the people then put him on the streets looking for a job with the rest of us. Art