Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.
It is not a breakthrough on the frontiers of knowledge that minimum-wage laws reduce employment opportunities for the young and the unskilled of any age. It has been happening around the world, for generation after generation, and in the most diverse countries.
People who create things nowadays can expect to be prosecuted by highly moralistic people who are incapable of creating anything. There is no way to measure the chilling effect on innovation that results from the threats of taxation, regulation and prosecution against anything that succeeds. We’ll never know how many ideas our government has aborted in the name protecting us.
Federal regulations alone are estimated to cost Americans more than $600 billion yearly. We pay government in lives shortened or lost because of delays in new drug approvals. Because of a raft of restrictive barriers to enterprise, we pay for government in terms of businesses stymied or never started and jobs never created. A government education monopoly that often fails to educate exacts a terrible price by stunting careers and squandering immense human potential. One cost of government that can’t be reckoned in dollars and cents — a diminution of the individual’s basic freedom to act and speak on his own — has been deemed important enough to spark a revolution from time to time.
The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils…. They have seen, too, that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding.
Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue … presents a new harvest to those who watch the change and can trace its consequences; a harvest reared not by themselves but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the few, not for the many.
Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.