Republicans are an odd bunch these days, a generation or so removed from true conservatives so-called “social” conservatives want to regulate everything in your personal life from gay marriage to a 15 year old girl’s uterus to what songs they can play on the radio, but howl at “big government” when anyone tries to restrict what businesses do. The difference is that unlike something like gay marriage or saying tits in a song, what businesses do is restricted not when it merely offends someone, but when it actually hurts people. We are living in a deep recession caused mainly from taking away regulations limiting what financial institutions can and can’t do which were put in place after the great depression to prevent the economy from de-stabalizing, and a major republican talking point is actually that we need to get rid of more regulations. They convince people that the EPA and education standards and the minimum wage and unions and teachers getting health benefits are the real source of the problem. If we just had fewer (or ideally no) regulations restricting what businesses can do, the economy would be fine.
And it probably would be – for CEOs. Because not having to pay a living wage to your employees, while possibly fatal for them does increase your profit margins. And not having to give them benefits helps too. And not having to provide a safe work environment, or pay overtime, or give people the weekend off etc, etc would also help… the CEO. The truth is that government regulations and unions are the difference between a company and an organized crime syndicate. They’re the difference between a bank and a loan shark. They’re the difference between a job provider and a slave owner, and anti-trust restrictions which prevent monopolies (and aren’t strong enough) are the difference between the neighborhood store and the company store.
Government restrictions are not totalitarianism as conservative politicians make them out to be, they are (though it seems counter-intuitive) what prevents the corporate equivalent of totalitarianism. And it’s not like we’re not halfway there, a poor man robs a store to keep from starving and goes to a maximum security prison for 15 years while a rich man steals billions, cuts a deal and gets six months in a minimum security day care center. Government restrictions prevent totalitarianism from taking root and make us more free the same way police and judges restricting harmful behavior prevents anarchy. Imagine if I ran on the sort of platform that republicans often run on, but instead of advocating corporate lawlessness, I advocated the personal equivalent? What if instead of advocating that an employer shouldn’t have to pay minimum wage I advocated laws saying you shouldn’t have to always show up for work to get a paycheck, and they’re not allowed to fire you unless you do less than 60% of the work the job entails. Or if instead of saying corporate pollution shouldn’t be restricted because of it’s harmful health effects, I advocated legalizing well-poisoning or putting asbestos in your new baby room. Or instead of advocating banks not be restricted in what they can and can’t do with your money, I advocated you being able to gamble with your employer’s wallet and return the money only if you win.
I would be considered an amoral scoundrel or a lunatic or both.