Thursday, November 24, 2011

Agorist Thesis #5

5. Government regulation forces people to abstain from trades they would otherwise voluntarily make.

Government regulations may be seen as a necessity by some, but the reality is that the market regulates much more efficiently than any government can.  A system of private property rights and arbitration is best to deal with the demands of millions of people, rather than the current monopoly on regulations that can often be twisted for one group of individuals to be able to take advantage of another.  Big businesses can lobby to change the laws in their favor, unions can legislative to give wage laborers an unfair advantage over their employers, etc.

Government regulations often have unintended consequences - minimum wages, for instance, lead to the unemployment of those individuals whose labor isn't worth the minimum amount set by government.  This leads to unskilled workers (eg: teenagers) having high levels of unemployment.

One of the first examples of this thesis became apparent to me at a young age - when I was about 12 or 13, there was a business who wanted to buy land from another business - to build a new factory in my county.  They had to get permission from the city counsel.  The council put several unnecessary requirements on that transaction, which led to the deal falling through.  That was one of the first times I started to realize how wrong government was - that a small group of individuals could make decisions for the rest of us.

Here are a few videos on the topic of government regulations:

And of course, questions and comments are always appreciated.

Agorist Theses originally from An Agorist Manifesto by Kyle Bennett.


  1. Suppose that the factory in question had created immense amounts of pollution in the area. Wouldn't that be "a small group of people [making] decisions for the rest of us?"

  2. @Anonymous - Yes it would be - pollution is a violation of everyone elses' property rights.

    I think pollution would be best handled judicially, but governments like to deal with this issue of rights' infringement at a legislative level.

  3. We all know that big business (or small business) when left unchecked, can wreak havoc on the liberties and lives of the people in the community, employees, etc. lack of regulation in Wall Street and banking and predatory loans were a major reason for the U.S. economy became such a mess, a mess which may never be cleaned up. It has been said, "if men were angels, then no government would be necessary!" +followed

  4. The same is true of big government and small government. The truth is that we should be cautious of excessive power in both, but to damn either because of its individual problems is to throw the baby out with the bath water.